Monday, May 22, 2017

Monsignor Edward Arsenault

It can be easy to blame the bishop for the financial mismanagement of his diocese because he is the one who approves everything.  His signature is on the paper. However, it is possible for a priest to steal from the Church without the bishop's signature and without him knowing. It is possible for a priest to steal and even mismanage church funds as in the case with Monsignor Edward Arsenault.  According to the news article:

CONCORD, N.H. — Pope Francis has dismissed a Roman Catholic priest from New Hampshire who was convicted of stealing $300,000 from a hospital, a bishop and a deceased priest’s estate. 
Monsignor Edward Arsenault, who served as the face of the church in the state during a sex abuse scandal, pleaded guilty to three theft charges in 2014. He was transferred Tuesday to home confinement and is up for parole on Feb. 19, 2018. 
The Diocese of Manchester said Friday that Arsenault was removed from the priesthood Feb. 28 and no longer has “faculties to act, function, or present himself as a priest.” 
“Dismissing a priest from the clerical state is very serious and taken very seriously by the Holy See,” said the Rev. Georges de Laire, the diocese’s vicar for canonical affairs, who conveyed the decision to Arsenault on Thursday.“It is not a decision that is reached lightly as it implies pain for the former cleric and those who may have been affected by him,” he said. 
Arsenault could not be reached for comment Friday. 
Prosecutors said Arsenault billed the church for lavish meals and travel for himself and often a male partner.
He was convicted of writing checks from the dead priest’s estate to himself and his brother and billing a hospital $250 an hour for consulting work he never did.
Arsenault held senior positions in the New Hampshire diocese from 1999 to 2009. He had been the top lieutenant for then-Bishop John McCormack, handling both a clergy sexual abuse crisis in New Hampshire and orchestrating the church’s new child protection policies.


  1. So you're still assuming Monsignor Benevente is still guilty even after he's been CLEARED? You see the biggest difference is that Monsignor Benevente never ran from the smear accusations you neos crucified him with without even giving him a chance to prove his innocence. The hypocrisy in all this is that brother tony RAN away and is trying desperately to hide and only guilty ppl run. Unlike brother tony, Monsignor Benevente has relied on his faith, prayers and truth. It's been very evident with the many who support Monsignor Benevente.

    1. Dear Anonymous at 10:03 am,

      Archbishop Hon only cleared him in the hopes of APPEASING you. As Tim Rohr used to say....Hon only threw you a bone whenever you threatened to sue him. By throwing you a bone, he hoped you would be appeased and stop your threats, lawsuits, and protests. However, the bone throwing did not work.

      The evidence of financial mismanagement provided by Jackie Terlaje to the media showed a different story.

    2. And didn't Jackie Terlaje (or somebody) file a complaint against Monsignor Benavente with the AG & GPD Diana?
      What happened to those complaints?

    3. the people who support monsignor is the people is causing all this crap here on guam look whats happening now the same shananigans all over again when the archbishop did this he new that the people who wants to sale the seminary and make it into a casino and what we were doing the archbishop was showing you the evidence of what monsignor did but who did you run to timmy

    4. Dear Anonymous at 11:27 am,

      Probably the same thing that happened to the lawsuits against the Archbishop. They all excused themselves.

      The point is....we all saw the evidence Jackie gave the media. Even Tim Rohr agreed that it was inappropriate for Monsignor James to take out thousands of dollars from Catholic Cemeteries and using it for personal use.

    5. AB Hon shouldn't have cleared Mon. James when evidence shows financial mismanagement. It's bad enough that Guam's Catholic Church had covered up the sexual abuse of the clergy. Should they also cover up the financial mismanagement done by the clergy too?????

    6. grow up in faithMay 22, 2017 at 3:09 PM

      Diana at 11:03 a.m. I have always wondered if you could agree with Tim Rohr on anything. Now I see you have no trouble to do that whatsoever so long as your interest is the same. Now, Archbishop Hon is in the shared contention of Tim Rohr and you. I wonder why?

    7. Dear Grow up in faith,

      Where did I agree with Rohr? In my blog, I have ALWAYS said that Archbishop Apuron removed Monsignor James for misuse of funds. It was Rohr who finally acknowledge that taking thousands of dollars from Catholic Cemeteries for personal use was an inappropriate thing to do. He said that after the evidence was published in the newspaper.

    8. grow up in faithMay 22, 2017 at 6:20 PM

      Diana, you agree with Tim Rohr that Archbishop Hon only "threw in some bones for appeasement". This is quite condescending. Archbishop Hon had a consistent policy to avoid litigation as much as possible. It was the instruction of Vatican.

      You take stuff from the Jungle so long as this is your interest.

    9. Dear Grow up in faith,

      Next time be more specific in what you mean. In this, yes, I agree with Tim that Archbishop Hon was throwing bones to appease the protesters. If I recognize that Tim was correct in something, I am not afraid to acknowledge it just as Tim acknowledged that taking $16,000 from Catholic Cemeteries for one's personal use is inappropriate.

    10. grow up in faithMay 22, 2017 at 6:47 PM

      Tis is not true, Diana. Archbishop Hon said the protestors will go home in 2 weeks, but if not, he would not care! This was exactly what happened. He did not care!

      He did not care, because the protest has no legal standing. It is just an expression of opinion of a handful people. Nobody needs to appease them. They make no impact on Rome! They will go home sooner or later, it does not matter what decision Vatican makes about defrocking or not.

    11. Dear Grow up in faith,

      The only person who claimed that Archbishop Hon stated that the protesters would go home in two weeks was Walter Denton, and everyone in the jungle swallowed what he said without going to Archbishop Hon to verify whether he actually said it or not.

      The only one claiming that Archbishop Hon does not care was the jungle. You never heard Archbishop Hon said he does not care. Those words never came out of Archbishop Hon's mouth. It only came out of the jungle.

    12. Monsignor is a thief .

  2. Its good this also is brought up because not only cleaning up church of sexual abuse but also financial mismanagement by the clergy. Nothing is swept under the rug. OP is just an eye opener that it can happen here on Guam. Sounds similar to situation that happen here on Guam. What a coincidence!!!....

  3. If Jackie's claims were irrefutable then she wouldn't of been fired from the finance council. But Diana, you can fish all you want, Monsignor Benevente has been cleared. Any issues you have, bring it up to Rome and see if they will listen to your pleas. Cause surely Rome is hearing the jungle since you told them to write letters to Rome.

    1. Dear Anonymous at 2:09 pm,

      Jackie was not fired. She resigned. She said that she did not want to be complicit to the cover up of the misuse of church funds. It is not necessary to bring it up to Rome. The evidence was published on the media so that everyone will know the truth. And it was brought to the Attorney General's office and GPD. However, I have said this before, the evidence should have been reported to the police three years ago when the misuse of funds was discovered. But it was reported to the police last year.

  4. The LFM uses incantation, a fundamentally pagan practice, against the Archbishop of Agana. Their marching with the silly "defrock" sign is not only becoming boring, it is straight pagan and de-sacralizes the Holy Rosary that they hold in their hands.

  5. Monsignor borrowed money acceptable. He is not a thief. He used church money intending to return money next week. How often Diana do you remove $100 from Housekeeping Jar for Friday night pizza later repay next pay check Friday. Not theft advance payment.

    1. Dear Anonymous at 10:48 pm,

      According to the evidence given to the media, Attorney General, and Guam Police Department:

      "Between January 2009 and July 2014, Msgr. Benavente received payments of $326,913.61 by simultaneously drawing payroll and stipends from the Catholic Cemeteries, and stipend payments from the Cathedral-Basilica. Upon the change of administration, credit cards in the name of the Archdiocese were discovered holding balances in excess of $60,000; the credit card in the name of The Catholic Cemeteries was specifically used by Msgr. Benavente for restaurants, air fare, the Shangi-La Hotel in Manila and other five star Hotels. In the same period, The Catholic Cemeteries and the Cathedral-Basilica expended more than $123,000 towards credit card payments to First Hawaiian Bank and American Express. Other payments for a credit card in the name of Msgr. Benavente, a gas card, and cellular/data phone privileges, which were paid for by The Catholic Cemeteries, accounted for an additional $23,000. Notably, $13,000 of cemetery funds were paid for Msgr. Benavente's 20th Anniversary reception. Total advances documented between January 2009 and July 2014 by both entities for Msgr. Benavente are nearly $475,000. This does not include cemetery family crypts valued at 380,000.00, which were gifted by Msgr. Benavente to his close friend and family: in other words, no fee was charged for these cemetery plots."

      And that was only some of it. I did not list everything down.

    2. If we're gonna clean out the church, it should also include those who misuse church funds. Absolutely no more covering up the clergy for abusing children and misusing church funds.

    3. So why don't you Diana write a letter to Rome so that they can hear your cries. Monsignor Benevente has already been cleared. You just refuse to accept it. You continue to judge him based on evidence that was already challenged and dismissed. Seems like you have a grudge that you refuse to let go.

    4. Dear Anonymous at 5:20 am,

      You are turning a blind eye on the evidence only because he is the favorite priest of the jungle. Who the priest is should not matter.

      For many years bishops have covered up the sexual abuse of the clergy. This time, Archbishop Hon was wrong in covering up the misuse of church funds. Priests and bishops should always stand for the truth. The evidence is the truth. The reason for the sex abuse scandal is because they did not stand for the Truth and allowed priests like Father Brouillard to move around. In the long run, the same thing will happen when bishops cover up priests who misuse church funds.

    5. Turning the blind eye? It's you who's turning the blind eye to the evidence that was challenged publicly and justified. It's you who refuses to accept that Monsignor Benevente has been CLEARED of everything. You forget that archbishop hon was in constant communication with archbishop Byrnes and Rome. If the evidence was wrong then the Monsignor would not have been cleared.

      The only one running is brother tony. Not once has he even given Monsignor Benevente a chance to defend himself yet you turned the blind eye to that FACT. Obviously you seem desperate that you can't accept that Monsignor Benevente is cleared of any wrong doing.

      Btw, there's a reason why Monsignor Benevente has many supporters. It's because he has strong faith in our Lord and has helped improve the archdiocese. So like you've said many times before, write your complaints to Rome. You have to agree that it's worked for the jungle.

    6. Dear Anonymous at 7:12 am,

      Archbishop was being threatened with a lawsuit. He was named in a lawsuit along with the Archdiocese of Agana. Then suddenly his name disappeared from that lawsuit.

      As a matter of fact, it is on record that the jungle made a false accusation against him. Tim Rohr accused Archbishop Hon of trying to remove Father Mike Crisostomo by getting a false witness to testify that he was sexually abused by Father Mike. Nevermind the fact that Rohr admitted that this person had been accusing Father Mike for years.

      Furthermore, it is known fact that CCOG gave Archbishop Hon MONEY to get the Yona property back to the Archdiocese. CCOG admitted in news report that the money was given to get the property back. And Archbishop Hon accepted this money, knowing full well that the Yona property was ALREADY owned by the Archdiocese of Agana.

    7. It would be interesting to know exactly what AB Hon told AB Byrnes about the Yona property since money was exchanged between AB Hon and CCOG.

    8. It is also on record that archbishop Byrnes filed in court documents to PREVENT you neos from trying to claim the RMS back. So if the archdiocese already owned the RMS then why would archbishop Byrnes need to file this? Lol

      I see you can't admit that your evidence has all been rebuked and you can't accept the outcome. Don't worry cause our Lord Jesus will forgive us all.

    9. Dear Anonymous at 7:43 am,

      The seminary was always owned by the Archdiocese. We have always been telling you that only Archbishop Apuron and his successor have the authority to remove the deed restriction. We have also been saying that only Archbishop Apuron and his successor have the authority to appoint or remove the two boards of RMS. Archbishop Hon never had that authority. The problem here is that you were misled into believing that the deed restriction gave away ownership of the property. If that was actually true, Archbishop Byrnes would not be able to rescind the deed restriction. The fact that he was able to do that only proves that we were right.

      The Deed Restriction never took ownership away and Archbishop Hon admitted that. The Deed Restriction only restricted the USE of the seminary. Nevertheless, the seminary continues to operate as it always has been regardless of whether the deed restriction was there or not.

    10. "Archbishop Hon accepted this money, knowing full well that the Yona property was ALREADY owned by the Archdiocese of Agana."

      Wow, wait a minute, Diana! Are you accusing Abp Hon? What is exactly your charge?

    11. Dear Anonymous at 10:24 am,

      This is what Archbishop Hon told KUAM news:

      "The Archdiocese of Agana owns that property. No doubt of it......" said Archbishop Hon during an interview on KUAM.....

      And this is what Tim Rohr wrote in his blog:

      "......David Sablan, even though the CCOG gave the archdiocese TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS to help with the legal fees associated with the return of the Yona property.

      The CCOG has put its money where its mouth is. It has demonstrated its desire to help and further stands ready to do so. Yet, while the archdiocese willingly accepted the money, there has been no phone call from Byrnes."

      Archbishop Hon was in charge of the Archdiocese at the time CCOG gave $25,000 to the Archdiocese. CCOG gave this money for the specific purpose of getting the seminary returned to the Archdiocese. And Archbishop Hon accepted this money, knowing full well that "the Archdiocese of Agana owns that property. No doubt about it."

  6. Thousands were spent in Shangri- La Hotel Manila .
    Suits $400 a night.
    $100 Tips Hotel Staff.
    Shame on him.