Thursday, May 8, 2014

WITHOUT SPENDING A SINGLE PENNY


I was asked to respond to this:
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "WHO OWNS REDEMPTORIS MATER?" 

Please take note of Diana's statement saying that the Archbishop did not spend a single penny for the seminary! 

Dear Anonymous,  
If that were the case, then we would be getting men who are not qualified to be priests. I don't think the priesthood should be operated like a secular university. God gave us free will, and He wants men who want to be 100% in the priesthood because they desire to serve Him, not because they are trying to avoid paying back their education.  
Yes, it's very sad that people are not giving to AAA to support the Catholic Church. It is the Catholic Church they are hurting. Nevertheless, God is always with His Church and He takes care of her. God performs miracles. The RMS is a miracle in itself. The Archbishop acquired the RMS seminary without spending a single penny on it.

In the first paragraph, Diana is bashing Aaron Quitugua. I guess not only is "she" now Kiko-qualified to interpret the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, "she" is now the Kiko-Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese. In the first part of the second paragraph "she" is bemoaning the extremely poor showing for the AAA. We'll talk about both another time. For now, let us just address the statement noted by the sender:
The Archbishop acquired the RMS Seminary without spending a single penny on it.
Diana is just repeating what she's been told. This is simply another neo-yarn, the type of which is oft used to self-canonize the Neocatechumenal Way, e.g. something good happens, and" Oh Look! God is doing this. You see! God loves the Neocatechumenal Way! God loves Kiko." Of course, when something bad happens...well, you know what they do with that. 

But let's talk about this yarn. 

First some clarity. The Redemptoris Mater Seminary is a school that occupies the old Accion Hotel property in Yona. The Seminary does not own the property. The Archdiocese of Agana owns the property. (Or, at least we THINK that's the case!)

 RMS is constituted as a Guam corporation separate from the Archdiocese and is essentially a tenant, and a rent-free heavily subsidized one at that. So, to be accurate, Diana's statement should read:
The Archdiocese of Agana acquired the Old Accion Hotel Property in Yona without spending a penny on it. 
But that would still be incorrect, for the people whose "pennies" were used to BUY this property (yes it was "bought") would be very surprised to know that their pennies were not needed and that we got if for FREE! 

There is also another group of people who would be very surprised to know where the Archbishop got some of those "pennies" since their money was given for a different purpose. But we'll leave that aside for now. I want to address where this "seminary for free" idea came from.

It can be credited to Fr. Giovanni Rizzo, a former Vice Rector of RMS. In 2010, the Redemptoris Mater Seminary featured itself in a special publication section of the Guam Pacific Daily News. Fr. Rizzo wrote one of the articles for the feature, A Milieu For A New Aesthetic, and as Vice-Rector either wrote or approved the others, including the cover story, A Miracle for Guam, where the "free" statement appears:
Many prayers were raised to God so that He would give us a place, and indeed He did not delay in answering our prayers. He provided us with the building that is now our seminary, a previous hotel, built by Japanese, somewhat along the lines of a Spanish monastery. It was place too big for our little faith, but for God nothing is impossible. When God gives, He gives abundantly! Imagine, a property worth millions acquired by the diocese for free! (emphases mine)
So you see, Presto! Prayers were raised to God and Voila! A Seminary FOR FREE! Manna from heaven. Water from the rock. The Red Sea parts. A sign from God that the Kikos are the new "chosen people" following their pointy-bearded Moses in a new exodus away from the fleshpots of a pyramidical church where regular Catholics grovel in their unsalted ignorance and on to the promised land where they will forever dance around flowered tables to the strums of flea market flamenco. (And nothing against flamenco. I'm half Spanish.)

But of course there is no FREE seminary. It DID cost money, lots of it. And in addition to what the Archdiocese itself paid (some of it from those other sources), there were people who worked very long hours to locate and work with donors, and others who worked just as many long hours negotiating the purchase. 

NONE OF THIS WAS FREE. 

People put up their money, time, knowledge, effort, and sweat to make this happen for the Archdiocese. And for what? Because they believed that this was to be a seminary for the Archdiocese of Agana for the formation of priests from and for this Archdiocese. Well surprise, surprise, surprise! 

We'll get into what the Yona property actually cost and where the money came from in much more detail in an upcoming series of posts. But let's go back to Fr. Rizzo and his "yarn". 

Unfortunately, this stretching of the truth to fit the Kiko narrative is a sad habit of many of the Kiko's. (Notice I said "Kiko's, not Neo's). But it is particularly disturbing when the one who engages in said "stretching" is a priest, a vice-rector of a seminary, a formator of new priests, and a canon lawyer to boot. And it is exponentially more disturbing when the subject matter stretched is the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Last August I did a post recounting an engagement I had with Fr. Rizzo in 2010 about his article A Milieu For A New Aesthetic. I objected to his taking liberties with the Catechism to lend credence to Kiko's practice of relocating the altar (he won't call it an altar) to the middle of the assembly versus at the head which is the general practice of the rest of the Church. 

The post is copied below. The original post can be read here

AN UPSETTING ENCOUNTER 
While rereading “A Miracle for Guam”, a special feature in the Guam Pacific Daily News published in April, 2010 about the origins of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona, I came across an item that caused me to recall a conversation with Fr. Giovanni Rizzo, who was then the Vice-Rector of the Seminary. 
Fr. Rizzo had written a sub-feature for the story on the seminary entitled “A Milieu for a New Aesthetic”, wherein, he attempted to make the case for the placement of the altar in the center of the church, a feature unique to the Neo-Catechumenal Way. 
(For those who don’t know, the altar in NCW liturgies is usually a large square table placed in the center of the worship space and not in the front or at the head of the church as most are used to seeing.) 
To make his case, Fr. Rizzo “appears” to quote the catechism stating: “....the Altar—that is at the same time the Cross, the place of sacrifice, the Lord’s table and the empty tomb of the risen Christ—is in the center of the Church [1182].”
Upon reading this, I sent an email (on 4/22/10) to the Archbishop and to another priest at the seminary who I knew well (I did not know Fr. Rizzo very well) and inquired about Fr. Rizzo’s addition of the word “in” to the Catechism text. 
Paragraph 1182 of the Catechism actually says: “The altar of the New Covenant is the Lord's Cross, from which the sacraments of the Paschal mystery flow. On the altar, which is the center of the church...” (emphasis mine) 
As you can see, the Catechism does NOT say the altar “is in the center of the church”, but that the altar “is the center of the church.” With anyone else this might have been a small matter. But because the NCW believes that the altar in fact belongs in the physical center of the worship space, this wasn’t just a matter of semantics or a misquote. It was a direct aim.
I did not hear back from the Archbishop or from the other priest I addressed, but was approached personally, a few days later, by Fr. Rizzo. His essential argument for including the word “in” was that it was a matter of interpretation, that I had not understood him, and that he had not quoted directly from the Catechism. 
I countered by saying that while he had not quoted the Catechism verbatim, he had in fact referenced the paragraph number [1182] , which made his “interpretation” appear to be authoritative. More was said, but to be polite, I agreed to disagree and we parted.
However, there was no question what Fr. Rizzo intended given the context of his article: a “new aesthetic”, which of course refers to the artistic arrangement of things to produce a desired effect upon the beholder. 
Rizzo confirmed this direction in his article as he went on to discuss the use of icons in the worship space - a matter which I also engaged in the email but won’t do so in this post (you can read the email here.)
In short, I was shaken by the incident. Rizzo was a canon lawyer and vice-rector of the seminary, a seminary responsible for the formation of priests: men to whom we look for guidance on matters relative to where we will spend eternity. 
And he was willing to alter the Catechism to serve his ends, or more precisely, the ends of a particular group within the Church which he has chosen to serve. And when confronted, had gone on to justify that alteration.
I only bring this up because so much is being said right now about the role of obedience in the Gofigan affair. Of course, Rizzo isn’t the first priest to take liberties with the Catechism. I run into it all the time in regards to birth control and even abortion. But we’ll save that for another time. 
Meanwhile, we praise and thank God for priests who are faithful and do not lead the little ones astray.
Those who are just entering this fray sometimes feel that our points are trivial. But there is point after point after point, all of which continue to pile up into a massive concrete wall of division. We see yarns and stretching and "so what's" and insults and silence. And finally the people are speaking with their wallets, their closed wallets. You got the seminary for FREE? Great. Then run it for free. 

P.S. My fault? It's my fault that the AAA is a pittance. Sorry. This is what happens when there is no financial transparency. Other dioceses have long since made their finances an open book. Not this one. You might say that the silence of the chancery is finally being met by the silence of the people. There is no need for torches and pitchforks or even signs. Closed wallets will do. Anything else, Diana?

38 comments:

  1. There is only one word to describe Diana and her blog: obtuse.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I believe that running that seminary in its present form is too large for the island. Especially in light of the fact that they are turning out "special interest priests". Who are not under the control of the Archbishop but under the beck and call of the International Team of Catechists.(NCW)

    I admit they do parish work here but these fellows are jet-setters. Fly here, fly there...further withdrawing the monies of this Diocese. After a year or two they are gone, on mission to further "evangelize" in the catholic communities in other countries.

    At the very least this Archdiocese owe the Good People of the Diocese an audited accounting of that Elephant. Why not? How much does it cost to ordain that man? We should know those numbers. Sadly, i think they don't even know themselves or it's so convoluted.

    Many NCW tout the fact that we ordain priests on Guam but at what expense, at the insolvency of our Diocese? For what, bragging rights?

    Guam at the most could support a Minor Seminary like one that was in place at Fr. Duenas before. The Catholic Populus cannot afford the overhead of such a big facility, and that begs another question: should we have to foot the bill if these ordained men serve the NCW. I have to admit that the NCW has been pretty slick getting away with that so far, these guys have a good thing going. At the very least those ordained need to repay the island by serving her. As an example, 3years continuous service for every year of formation, whether in pastoral duties, teaching at our catholic schools, etc..


    -Catholics United-



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Someone's post and Diana's comment...


      AnonymousMay 8, 2014 at 8:49 AM
      This is a matter that the Archbishop needs to look into. There is only 4 more weeks until Pentecost Sunday, which ends the AAA, the goal will not be met. Maybe the money collected from the Gala will be thrown in to help with their education. I don't know how the collection from the Gala works or where it goes.

      If it becomes mandatory for the parishes to take from their capital funds to meet their so called AAA assessment then problems will arise. Our parishes will be put in a deeper hole when it comes to paying bank loans taken out to rebuild a church as in the example of the Santa Teresita Church in Mangilao that was destroyed by a typhoon.

      I still believe it has to be paid back. The Archbishop need to come wi some kind of solution or compromise .

      Reply

      DianaMay 8, 2014 at 12:10 PM
      In the first place, the Archdiocese acquired this seminary for free without spending a single penny. Now that God has given us a free seminary, people are saying that we can't afford it to keep it in operation? It has been operating so far despite that there are people out there discouraging others not to contribute anything to the AAA or to the Seminary.

      If we want to keep the Seminary in operation, then we need to contribute the money. Since it has been built, the number of ordained priests have increased on Guam. I agree that a few of the seminarians will not become priests, but Is this really not the one hurting the Archdiocese? I would think that the ones who are really hurting the Archdiocese are those encouraging people not to contribute to the AAA or the seminary.

      Reply

      Delete
  3. Didn't Aaron volunteer to pay his education while attending school?

    There really should be a contract signed that if the seminarians leave, then their education must be paid back to the Archdiocese of Agana. It is only fair, fitting and proper to do it this way. money paid back can be used to educate another seminarian.

    I guess Diana thinks she is "Dear Abby". Woman you need to think before you write. You just put your foot in your mouth!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, he did. And yes they should. Nowhere in the world is a seminary education free except here.

      Delete
  4. -First i believe, if you wish to enter the seminary, your parents, your family,should do what they can to sponsor those men. Short of that, they may have a guarantor of some form?, perhaps the parish from which they originate from.

    And these men should be vetted early on to see if they can pass the rigors of schooling and formation so as to keep retention high.

    Also Fr. Piuus is quoted," the seminarians need to eat". With all that land, let them farm it :)

    They can't be occupying all the rooms, rent the place out, wedding events, etc.., if isn't already.

    -C.U.-



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent, practical suggestions. But then the seminarians might be "contaminated".

      Delete
  5. I say this starts to be very, very interesting... But I believe Diana is not the real deal here. She said she has been in the Neocatechumenal Way for 8-9 years. Obviously, the Seminary was purchased before that. So I would not ask/trust her about anything in this regard.
    What is revealing is that the Seminary holds annual fund raising campaigns for the "Sanctuary of the Word". They say each year that this is a very important project to give your donation to, a true "new aesthetic", because it will be like a prayer room in a yeshiva. Oops, what?! Yes, a yeshiva! As you all know, a yeshiva is a Jewish institution for students who devote themselves to studies of the Judaism.
    Now, you may ask who would donate money to a Catholic Seminary in order to build a "Sanctuary" which is like a prayer room in yeshiva? Well, it is your guess, but I admit at that point I stopped donating anything to the Seminary for good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kiko is all about the jewification of Christianity.

      Delete
    2. KIko claims this line of thinking about our Christianity comes from Vatican II. But Vatican II never said we must be all Jewish now... ;) Honestly, what is the point of referring to a yeshiva?! These places are bases of extreme militant education. Would Catholics truly need to import this practice from another religion? Why...?
      Neocatechumenals make much of the Pope saying Jews are our "elder brothers" in faith. But was not Cain an elder brother to Abel? Was not Esau an elder brother to Jacob? The Old Testament's view of being and "elder brother" is not always about love, but much more about hate, plot and murder.
      I don't know where all the lavish money in Kiko's pocket is coming from. But the condition that they need to place a Menorah on the table at the Neocatechumenal mass is telling much to me. They collect money in trash bags? Come on, those black bags are large enough for secret donors from the Middle East to hide in them, aren't they? ;)

      Delete
    3. The reference to the Jews as our "elder brother" is not unique to Francis. It is a common acknowledgement of the line of salvation which was fulfilled in Christ. Kiko's "jewification" of Christianity is neither Jewish nor Christian. It is the imaginative concoction of a former atheist who happened along in a period of church history - as they always do - when leadership was weak and doctrine was compromised. As for the "donor" to the seminary. There is no connection to the Middle East. I will soon explain.

      Delete
  6. Actually our diocese, to get beyond missionary status needs to have its own seminary. Why we have a special interest seminary before we established our own diocesan seminary, I'll never understand. Another point of contention, I remember St. JPII making a statement that these RMS must fall under the control of the local ordinary. To bad that's not the case here. I just wish that Rome would make a decision already! I mean how can a lay person be telling a bishop what to do, when and where to do it? This is the reason the NCW hierarchy doesn't really respect the priests, in their minds they are higher than them, smarter than them, have more power over the Holy Spirit than them. Just go form your own church already!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Does Guam really qualify for "missionary status" when it's 90% Catholic island? Or do people on the hill reap financial benefits from claiming missionary status?

      Delete
    2. In so far as procuring grants from the Catholic Extension Society, nothing is said about a seminary. However, the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (formerly the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith) which oversees the activities of the Church in "mission" lands may have a seminary qualification. But we certainly DO NOT qualify as mission territory under the parameters of the CES. See my post here: http://junglewatch2.blogspot.com/2013/12/no-longer-mission-diocese.html

      Delete
  7. Our Archdiocese has a lot of funny stuff going on. Years ago speaking with a local Deacon he lamented to me that when he first wanted to be a Deacon, making his request to the diocese, he was informed by the powers that be that he could only do so if he agreed to join the NCW as well.

    At first the man was infuriated at this predicament. But his love of wanting to serve fellow Catholics gave him the strength to accept the "girlfriend's ugly sister". God bless you sir.

    What other diocese does pulls off this kind of stuff?

    Practically nowhere else.

    -CU-

    ReplyDelete
  8. Why can't he help build our church in Astumbo, There's already a lot. We'll never reach the cost, if it cost a million, cos the price of the materials went up. We only reached a little over $300,000.00. We will be all dead before it's built. And the traveling to the holy cities, not necessary to go every year. Should make the priest take turns instead of always the Archbishop Isn't the church or chapel for Astumbo important to him. Thanks a lot, we just have to keep hearing mass at the Senior Citizen Center until we all pass away.

    ReplyDelete
  9. How much as the bishops appeal raised so far. Any recording published by the chancery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If your annual bishops appeal has only raised 66,000 USD then it is a clear sign to me that the resident community of Guam are unhappy with archbishop Apuron. When people do not give its for a reason.

      Delete
  10. Dear Anonymous at 8:12 p.m.,

    God can. It was God who gave the Archdiocese the RMS seminary for free. God can do anything and with Him, all things are possible. This is why the RMS is said to be a miracle because it was given to the Archdiocese of Agana, and they did not spend money on it. Do you honestly think the Archdiocese can afford to purchase something that cost millions of dollars? Of course, Miracles do happen.

    Just look at Mother Teresa. She managed to build over 100 missions, orphanages, shelters, and hospitals, and she did not have any money to begin with. This is why the media follows her around. How can a nun living in poverty managed to build all these things in more than 130 different countries. She was poor living among the poor. Yes, you can pray. Prayers are very powerful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you but you don't know what you are talking about, do you?

      Delete
    2. A load of boloney 9.41pm. Are you smoking weed your very delusional. Are you the one posting other delusional comments in the jungle.

      Delete
    3. The archbishop cannot be compared to mother Theresa. Another delusional statement.

      Delete
    4. I think the post from 9:41 is a copy and past from "dear Abby's" blog!

      Delete
    5. This is amusing. Behind Mother Teresa's miracles there was a lot of compassion that produced some money flow. A smart manager, probably the Saint herself, arranged that money flow into those miracles to happen.
      But what is behind the miracle of the RMS purchase here in Guam? All we know there were secret donors who made some secret demands and conditions as how their money could be used. This is the outcome we all see, an RMS that wants to build a yeshiva-like structure on its ground. I cannot help thinking that the inhabitants in this RMS already have some yeshiva-like structure in their hearts.
      If the money was channeled following the interest of some Middle East country or religion to grow and promote "special" kinds of Catholic clergy around the world, well all I can say I don't know...

      Delete
    6. Anonymous (May 9, 2014 at 6:19 AM) is absolutely correct about the post from 9:41 being a copy/paste from "Diana." It's a comment in her "Annual Gala Dinner" post of 4 May 2014. On 8 May a comment was made to the effect that nobody "gives away a multi million dollar property away without any strings ties to it … that something fishy is going on." The comment posted by 9:41 was "Diana's" response.

      9:41 should have indicated that s/he was reposting the comment from "Diana's" blog since there was no "Anonymous at 8:12 PM" in the string of comments on this particular JW post.

      Delete
  11. The archbishop does not care about Astumbo because it is not special that will make his legacy shine. A multi-million dollar seminary with all the hoopla surrounding it is what will, according to the him. He forgot what Jesus would do, which is to humble your self and serve hos sheep. Tragically for us, the only sheep he cares about is his Neo brothers.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anyone who claims the building complex formerly known as the Accion Hotel and now the NCW Seminary was purchased for free is on weed!

    ReplyDelete
  13. What is this astumbo please.

    ReplyDelete
  14. As per Gino in Diana's blog:


    AnonymousMay 8, 2014 at 11:20 PM
    It's hard for Tim's disciples to believe that the former Hotel Accion was given free to the Seminary. That structure belongs to the Vatican. Not a single cents came from anyone in this island. No one! Zip, none, zero , 'Taya, nothing. Get it to all your thick SKULL!

    Gino from Sinajana

    ReplyDelete
  15. Don't forget to support the Gala for the RSM on May 25th. $200 per person and you can buy a table for 10 for only 1750. Support this worthy cause.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the reminder. Look for an upcoming post about the "Gala".

      Delete
    2. The reminder from Anonymous (May 9, 2014 at 12:51 PM) to "support the Gala for the RSM" brought a smile to my face — due to the transposed letters, it looks as though the Gala would benefit the Religious Sisters of Mercy (RSM), a cause I would be very happy to support! Of course, I know the commenter actually meant "RMS" (Redemptoris Mater Seminary), a cause I will PASS on supporting.

      I must admit that I found it curious that 12:51 quotes us "$200 per person … a table for 10 for only 1750" while the information on page 6 of the 4 May 2014 issue of the U Matuna Si Yu'os indicates "$175 per person or $1,575 a table of 10." I certainly hope 12:51 isn't in charge of ticket sales since the prices quoted are higher than the ones in the article and the ad!

      The article written by Jennifer Louise Dulla mentions that "This Gala Dinner is the only fundraising event for the Seminary … The Seminary lives solely on Divine providence and does not have a stable source of income …" I have to admit that, in light of the fact that "Seminary Subsidy" will be receiving 65% of the funds collected from the infamous Archdiocesan Annual Appeal (AAA) I found that claim to be amusing. Of course, at the rate the donations are coming in — $61,125.48 as reported on page 3 of the above-mentioned publication — it might be necessary to extend the AAA until the Feast of Christ the King to meet the 2014 goal amount of $253,252!

      Delete
  16. Yes, the seminary lives solely on Divine Providence, and that providence is the Archdiocese of Agana who has been subsidizing the seminary to the tune of several hundred thousands of dollars every year. Just check their financial statements. Ms. Dulla should check her "facts" first before releasing her article. This goes to show that she is either a poor reporter or simply a mouthpiece of the NCW, or both!

    ReplyDelete
  17. To Gino:

    You must be on weed to say that the seminary did not and has not caused this island a penny. Check your facts man before making such ridiculous statements. Ask your archbishop or the Chancery for the financials of the archdiocese and you will see otherwise. For example, ask them if the NCW priests at the seminary are getting paid a salary by the archdiocese. Even Fr. Pius, the head honcho of this archdiocese(that's right--it's not Apuron) gets paid.

    ReplyDelete
  18. So Diana says the seminary did not cost the archdiocese a penny. Read..... Article may be found on Catechumen-USA Tuesday July 26' 2011. This article says something different.

    The first site of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary was at the prior Father Duenas Minor Seminary in Tai, which had been closed for some years. In December of 2002, the former Accion Hotel overlooking Ylig Bay became available for sale and the Archdiocese purchased the site for the seminary. Fortunately, the seminary began moving to its present location as, that same month, Supertyphoon Pongsona destroyed the Tai seminary building. The Yona seminary is now home to thirty-three seminarians from thirteen countries. On May 21, 2005, Alberto Salamanca, now pastor in Barrigada, was the first seminarian to be ordained a priest from this seminary.

    ReplyDelete

Recommendations by JungleWatch