Saipan’s Bishop Emeritus Tomas Camacho dies at 84

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Guam – Bishop Emeritus Tomas Camacho of Saipan’s Diocese of Chalan Kanoa passed away this morning at the age of 84.

Father Isaac Ayuyu of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral Parish says Camacho had been undergoing cancer treatment for the past several years and decided about two to three weeks ago to stop his treatment. He passed away surrounded by his family.

Masses and rosaries will be held for him at the Mount Carmel Cathedral in Saipan. He’ll be buried next Tuesday at 11 a.m.

Meantime, Tony Diaz, Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of Agana, says the Catholic Community on Guam also joins in the mourning for Bishop Camacho.

“Many people who have been here for a number of years, even a short number of years, on Guam and Saipan are familiar with Bishop Tomas. The Bishop Emeritus of Chalan Kanoa was a well-loved priest on Guam, Saipan and the Marianas in general,” said Tony Diaz, director of communications for the Archdiocese of Agana.

Camacho was a priest for 56 years and holds the distinction of being the first Bishop of the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa, which was established in 1984. He retired about 8 years ago and was succeeded by Bishop Ryan Jimenez.

Last year, Camacho was accused by two former altar servers in the sex abuse scandal on Guam. It’s uncertain how Camacho’s death will affect his pending cases.