Sunday, January 5, 2014

CATHOLIC EXTENSION SOCIETY: RESPONSE TO COMMENTS - AND OTHER STUFF

There were several comments relative to questions about how the grant money from the Catholic Extension Society is being spent. 

How the money is spent and whether it is spent properly depends on the nature of the grants and how they were written. We do not have access to the actual grants so we don't know if the money is being spent as per the provisions of the grants. 

At this point, we are not concerned with how the money is spent but with what we consider to be our questionable posing as a "mission diocese" to qualify for such grants. We assume that once the Catholic Extension Society looks into this, they will also investigate into how their money is spent.


On another note.

The nature and intent of the establishment of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary is now clear for all to see. It is a Neocatechumenal seminary established as per the aims of the Neocatechumenal Way. Priests are not formed there for service to Guam as a traditional diocesan seminary would require, but to serve as per the missionary objective of the Neocatechumenal Way. 

This was made clear recently in the U Matuna. In referring to the four priests recently sent "on mission", the paper stated:

They all have been trained in a Redemptoris Mater Seminary which has the aim to form seminarians with a specific missionary spirit, that after ordination the priests are available to go wherever the archbishop sends them. (Editor. “Four Diocesan priests go to the mission.” U Matuna Si Yu’os, December 8, 2013.)

This is all well and good, and some are truly thrilled that we have been so blessed with an abundance of priests that we can now begin sending them "to all the world". However, the establishment of a missionary seminary on the Yona property VIOLATES the intention of donor whose financial gift made the purchase of the property possible. The gift was given with the specific intent for the purchase of the Yona property and for the establishment of a seminary for the Archdiocese of Agana. 

There are two matters here. 

First, the gift was not given with the specific intent that the property must be used for a seminary. In fact, those close to the transaction truly believed that the Chancery would see the purchase as a windfall and sell it, since the property, acquired with only a few million dollars is actually worth tens of millions. 

The sale of the property would have enabled the Archdiocese to wipe out much, if not most, of its debt, construct a more suitable and modest building for a seminary, and set the archdiocese up to be financially stable for a long time to come. By keeping the building and attempting to convert it into a seminary, the archdiocese has incurred a massive liability which has required equally massive amounts of money to convert and maintain. 

Even though this was certainly a questionable choice for the use of the property, its use as a seminary does not violate the term of the gift. However, its use as a specifically Neocatechumenal seminary, with its objective to form priests for service beyond the Archdiocese of Agana, does violate the terms of the gift. 

If the Archdiocese insists on having two seminaries, then, to honor the intention of the gift, the Neocatechumenal seminary should be moved to the former Carmelite monastery in Malojloj and the archdiocesan seminary moved into the Yona property. (By the way, it would be nice if the archdiocese could get around to paying the Carmelites for the monastery - they own the buildings.)

But of course, this is ridiculous. We do not need a palatial multi-million dollar seaside estate for a seminary. Sell the place, get the archdiocese out of debt, fix our crumbling schools and churches, construct a suitable building for a seminary, and use what's left to set up an investment account to assist our aging priests and nuns in their later years. This is called stewardship

And, truly, we should think beyond a local seminary. Even if we did construct a building, it would be difficult to locally establish and sustain the actual educational opportunities necessary for forming men thoroughly for the priesthood. We would do better to send our men to the best seminaries in the world and have them return to us highly educated and prepared. The sale of the property would allow us to afford this (and the donor would probably agree). 

By the way, the inability to locally educate and prepare men thoroughly for the priesthood has long been the problem for RMS, which seems to rely heavily on a round robin of visiting professors. But we'll get to that another time.

Note: The archbishop will argue that he is a "corporation sole" and that everything belongs to him and that he can do whatever he wants. He would be correct. 

17 comments:

  1. Tim said: Note: The archbishop will argue that he is a "corporation sole" and that everything belongs to him and that he can do whatever he wants. He would be correct.


    “True freedom isn’t the ability to do whatever you want, but the ability to do what you ought.” - Pope John Paul II

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  2. Tim is once again correct in his evaluation.

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  3. The Archbishop was willing to give away the Archdiocese's greatest asset, the Neo Palace seminary property, and when the members of the Archdiocesan Finance Council stopped him from doing so (not to mention even the Archdiocesan legal counsel), he fired all of them, with the exception of his vicar general, an ardent supporter of the neo. Clearly, we don't need Catholic Extension Society's money as the Archbishop is willing to give ours away by handing over our greatest asset. While the Council may have succeeded in stopping him from giving it away, he's still attempting to find a way do give it to the RMS, by appointing new members to the AFC, two of whom are ardent members of the neo.

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    1. James from TamuningJanuary 6, 2014 at 12:14 AM

      Has anyone ever seen published or distributed financial statements of this archdiocese? And if no, why not? I mean, aren't we like stockholders of the Catholic Church so that we are entitled to this information on an annual basis? Shouldn't the archbishop keep his flock abreast of how this archdiocese is doing? Or, is everything done in secret or behind Chancery doors? I think a healthy dose of transparency will keep this archbishop and his cohorts in line, something that is sorely lacking right now.

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    2. James, our relationship to the Archdiocese is somewhat like that of a stockholder. We are beneficiaries of a trust that is overseen by the archbishop who acts as a trustee. As such, the archbishop is supposed to manage the assets of the trust, e.g., the RMS seminary, in a way that benefits the Archdiocese. Members of the Archdiocese, i.e., Catholics that practice their faith in the Archdiocese, have legal standing in the civil courts to bring suit to stop the archbishop from violating his fiduciary duty to the archdiocese. It's hard to see how transferring the RMS seminary from the Archdiocese to another entity in exchange for nothing operates to the benefit of the Archdiocese; and, thus, how doing so does not violate the archbishop's fiduciary duty as trustee of the trust which exists by operation of law and which holds all of the assets of the archdiocese.

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    3. Seems the Archbishop is quite benevolent with the assests entrusted to his care! My sister was on the Parent Advisory Board at AOLG, and a few years ago Sr Francis Jerome was quite thrilled to announce that as a part of the 60th anniversary of the school's founding, the Archbishop was going to deed the property from the Archdiocese over to the Sisters of Mercy. But I guess something went wrong, like the Archbishop forgot to get the permission of the AFC first. Sound familiar? The Archbishop giving away ultra-valuable property with no compensation, just because he was asked to. Sr Jerome was quite upset, which means fortunately the transfer of title never took place. Apparently, his advisors interceded (the AFC?). I guess since it wasn't as important as the Neo seminary the Archbishop didn't fire them as a result of this issue.

      Isn't it amazing how the CEO of the biggest organization on Guam manages his organization with the same skill as a high school graduate fresh on their very first job? If Rome doesn't replace him, I hope they at least send him to school to learn some basic skills of management.

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  4. Correct in what you say concerning the finance council and the Rms seminary property. It was unacceptable and unethical for the archbishop to attempt such an action. We are aware he is still attempting to find a way. However, the world is now watching very closely this whole situation. We have every confidence things will work out .

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    1. I agree, Anonymous (January 6, 2014 at 12:17 AM). I guess the words of the Rev. Cotton Mather rings true for the Archbishop: "Never entrust a man with more power than you are content for him to use; for use it he will."

      From what has been exposed through this blog, I can't help wondering if the Archbishop's threat to Fr. Paul Gofigan — "to experience a more arduous and painful closure" to ministry — will be HIS consequence. In the meantime we must pray …

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  5. James, we are not stockholders of the archdiocese. The archbishop is the head of the corporation. However , he is accountable to the archdiocese to the people of God. He should release financial statements as a matter of prudence but as we know our archbishop is not a prudent man and lacks administrative leadership qualities. He can do whatever he wants he has the power, but one should be aware he no longer acts in the best interest of the church of Giuam. He works only for NCW.

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    1. The relationship between the archbishop as corporate sole and the Archdiocese of Agana is that of trustee and beneficiary. The archbishop is the trustee and the archdiocese is the beneficiary. Thus, all of the assets that we presume to be owned directly by the archdiocese are, in fact, held in trust by the archbishop for the benefit of the archdiocese. Therefore, when the archbishop sells property, he must do so with the interests of the archdiocese at heart and must follow the rules or bylaws adopted by the archdiocese which govern the sale of property. Presumably, the rules adopted by the Archdiocese of Agana required an affirmative vote by the AFC as a condition to transferring the seminary in Yona to the Neos; and when the majority of the AFC refused to affirm the transfer, the archbishop fired them. It would be interesting to know on what basis the archbishop fired them and whether doing so violated the governing rules.

      By the way, all of the comments that I've read presume that the seminary was never transferred to the Neos. Has anyone checked the records at land management to see if this presumption is accurate?

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  6. Our staff has been reviewing the bio of our chancellor. We were surprised to learn of poor academic records at st. Patrick's seminary and further went special academic classes in Berkley to pass requirements for ordination. He was not recommended for ordination on grounds of academic suitability.

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    1. Janet B - MangilaoJanuary 6, 2014 at 2:14 PM

      Simple question...since the emphasis of the Neo is to provide priests for missionary service, and since the Vatican has already stated that this missionary service is valuable and necessary, maybe we should send Adrian and Tony on the same mission to China?
      Seriously. This service is necessary, and our top leadership in Agana is unique in that our Archbishop is the only bishop in the world who actually walks in the Way, and has surrounded himself with Neocats. Every priest and mission family needs spiritual guidance from a bishop. So maybe Rome should create something akin to an eparchy and send Tony to China to be in charge of the 10,000 priests Kiko has promised to give to the Church to invade secular China. He can keep his infrastructure intact, and Adrian and David can also relocate to China.
      Then Rome can find a real leader for our Archdiocese. You may laugh but it seems to make a lot of sense from where I sit.
      Any thoughts?

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  7. Henry W - San Miguet/TalofofoJanuary 6, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    I agree wholeheartedly with my prima from Mangilao. Since the Archbishop seems only interested in serving one small sector of the faithful, why not let him focus 110% of his efforts on his beloved Neo. I do see that they have done good things, and in China at least they will be out of our way, while still in the Way.
    Could Pius also go with them? He seems to be the real person calling the shots, so the Church could establish an entire hierarchy in China with the Chancery from Guam, and allow us to start fresh.
    Tim, my vote is that this is where we should focus our energies. That way the Chancery still has a role, albeit in China, and we are allowed to rebuild the Church on Guam. Seems like a win-win situation.
    Fr Paul could be the interim administrator on Guam until the Vatican selects a new Archbishop.
    And if the current leadership doesn't like the idea of moving to China? Not likely, since they have already condoned this practice by sending others to these truly mission territories. What's good for the goose is good for the gander, right Archbishop?

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    1. Janet B - MangilaoJanuary 6, 2014 at 2:37 PM

      Thanks Henry...I like the idea of Fr Paul as interim administrator. Only one real question...is Tony committed enough to pack up and move to China? If he does, will the lay people of Guam still have to foot the bill for maintaining his personal and private residence in Mangilao? Maybe the new Archbishop would not be too happy about all that money spent on Tony's private home. The people would be outraged to see all the things we have been paying for from the collections and donations we give each week, which is why you'll never see a full accounting of how Tony spends our money.

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  8. China sounds a great idea to me. If archbishop Apuron s family is now the NCW in fairness to him he would be best to devote rest of his life to NCW and resign as archbishop and let a new bishop govern Guam. But archbishop Apuron will not do this because he would not have the financial resources of Guam to use.

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  9. I believe we are still a missionary church (Guam) as far as Rome is concerned. there are certain criteria that needs to be met, one of which is the establishment of a diocesan seminary. Perhaps this is what the chancery people thought would fulfill that mandate when they established RMS?
    I wonder how RMS seminaries were formed in other places? Seems Guam is the only place that has fully established a seminary strictly for the RMS with Archdiocesan funds even. How sad.
    If there is as much money floating around in the NCW as people have stated on this blog, is it reported? The Archdiocese may be in danger of losing it's tax exempt status if not. It seems that the rope is getting more and more slippery for those in power at present.

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  10. What is this about the archdiocese paying for the archbishop's private residence in Mangilao? Is this proper? It does not seems so. Can someone please look into this? This fact could be BIG and HUGE because if in fact the archbishop is using Church funds for his personal property, then this is a crime. WILL SOMEONE WHO KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT THIS PLEASE DISCLOSE DETAILS? This is HUGE.

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