Tuesday, July 8, 2014

RMS 102

In our last post on this story we noted that four of the five members* of the archdiocesan council were fired en masse after opposing Archbishop Apuron's attempt to hand over the title of the Yona property** to the Neocatechumenal Way. The only member not fired was the Vicar General who is required to be in union with the bishop, but who also is not only a member of the Neocatechumenal Way but has a residence on the Yona property. 

Also as noted in our last post, the archdiocesan finance council is the one council that is not merely advisory. Canon Law requires a bishop to obtain the CONSENT of the council in the matter of the alienation of certain church properties, specifically properties as valuable as the one in question (estimated to be valued currently at 35 million dollars). 

Archbishop Apuron knew this and so did the Vicar General, which is why neither objected to the original decision of the finance council to deny the transfer of title. The decision was clearly enshrined in a letter from the finance council to Fr. Rodriguez, the seminary rector, dated September 8, 2011:
The request before us is that title of the property be conveyed and transferred to the Redemptoris Mater House of Formation…Upon review and consideration, the Archdiocesan Finance Council has denied the request…
You may be asking what possessed Archbishop Apuron to, out of the blue, up and demand that the Archdiocese of Agana hand over a $35 million dollar property to a foreign controlled entity when churches and schools are relying on bake sales and car washes to repair their crumbling buildings! Hang on to that thought.

It is apparent that Archbishop Apuron, after the denial of the transfer, immediately sought the council of the "foreign controllers". (We'll talk about who they are in a bit.). It is apparent because two months later, on November 16, 2011, Archbishop Apuron wrote the council:
After having consulted with (the Vicar General)…I wish to specify precisely that, probably due to a lack of knowledge of Canon Law, it was erroneously understood as “alienation”. The matter is clearly not “alienation,” but simply an assigning of the title of a property that is transferred and renamed from one public juridic person subject to the Ordinary to another public juridic person subject to the same Ordinary. The Title holder then doesn’t change at all because it remains the same Ordinary…
"After having consulted with the Vicar General"??? Really? This is terribly problematic. The Archbishop is here either admitting or asking us to believe that he did not FIRST consult with the Vicar General (whose job it is to advise the bishop in these matters) before seeking to transfer the title of a $35 million dollar asset, held in trust (as per Guam Law) for the people of the Archdiocese of Agana. 

If he did not FIRST consult with the Vicar General, then this is an admission of gross ineptitude. But of course he consulted with the Vicar General. The two of them, both hard core kiko's, were in on this together from the beginning. Archbishop Apuron just didn't expect to be told NO. (He's not used to that.) But he was. 

And then comes the jab at the council for being too stupid to understand Canon Law ("probably due to a lack of knowledge of Canon Law, it was erroneously understood..."). Really?? After diligently performing their duties under Canon Law cumulatively for the better part of 50 years these four extremely astute members of the council, including two much respected and proficient lay financial professionals, suddenly don't know their duties under Canon Law?

But this just shows you how far Archbishop Apuron is willing to go in obeying his foreign masters versus not only the good of our local church but versus the wise counsel of men and women whom he personally chose and who have advised him for more than a decade. 

But then comes the real shocker, so let's copy it here again:
The matter is clearly not “alienation,” but simply an assigning of the title of a property that is transferred and renamed from one public juridic person subject to the Ordinary to another public juridic person subject to the same Ordinary. The Title holder then doesn’t change at all because it remains the same Ordinary…
Let's carefully examine the words: "transferred and renamed from one public juridic person subject to the Ordinary to another public juridic person subject to the same Ordinary. The Title holder then doesn't change at all because it remains the same Ordinary..."

This is either a staggering if not dangerous display of gross incompetence on the part of our chief shepherd or simply a bold face lie. But there is another possibility. He could be just repeating what he was told to say. Let's look. 

The first "juridic person subject to the Ordinary" is the person of the archbishop, incorporated under Guam law as a "corporation sole". The Yona property is owned (or at least we hope so) by the first juridic person, according to the provisions and strictures for a corporation sole under Guam law (which we will address later). 

Archbishop Apuron, as the first juridic person wishes to "assign" the title of the Yona property to a second juridic person, another corporation, which he says is "subject to the same Ordinary", himself. But is it?

The Articles of Incorporation for the Redemptoris Mater House of Formation, the second juridic person to which the title is to be “assigned”, state the following:
These Articles certify that the undersigned, Anthony S. Apuron, OFM CAP., D.D., Incumbent, Archbishop of Agana, a Corporation Sole, being over the age of eighteen (18) years, does hereby form a nonprofit corporation under and by virtue of the provisions of the Guam Nonprofit Corporation Act., 18 G.C.A. §10101…”
It is clear that Redemptoris Mater is NOT a second Corporation Sole, which would have made it fully "subject to the same Ordinary", but a completely separate, stand alone, non-profit corporation. The Archdiocese of Agana does NOT have a board of directors. The RMS corporation does. This fact already compromises the autonomy of the Archbishop regarding direction of the corporation, but the real issue is the strange insertion of a Board of Guarantors.

Here is what the Articles say about the Board of Guarantors:
The Board of Guarantors will be constituted by five (5) sages who will have the sake of guaranteeing that the corporation pursues only the purposes for which it has been constituted. 
Remember now that Article III declared that RMS was constituted to serve the Neocatechumenal Way. But now watch this:
The Board of Guarantors has a veto or approval power for the most important affairs of the Corporation. 
Read that again and read it slowly. This is NOT a power normally given to guarantors. Who are these "guarantors" and why do they have this power?

Check back tomorrow. 

*The four fired members of the Archdiocesan Finance Council:

  • Richard J. Untalan
  • Joseph E. Rivera
  • Sister Mary Stephen Torres, RSM
  • Monsignor James L.G. Benavente
**The Yona property is the old Accion Hotel property in Yona currently occupied by the Redemptoris Mater Seminary and the Blessed Diego Institute. 





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