We know this because of a letter dated September 8, 2011, addressed to Fr. Pablo Ponce Rodriguez, Rector, The Redemptoris Mater House of Formation, from Richard J. Untalan, then-president of the Archdiocesan Finance Council (AFC). In the letter, Mr. Untalan writes:
The matter of the transfer of the title to the property on which the Seminary is located and situated has come before the Archdiocesan Finance Council, as it involves the alienation of the patrimony of the Archdiocese of Agana. The request before us is that title of the property be conveyed and transferred to the Redemptoris Mater House of Formation, Archdiocese of Agana, a Guam non-profit corporation. Upon review and consideration, the Archdiocesan Finance Council has denied the request that the title be conveyed to the Redemptoris Mater House of Formation.
After having consulted with the Reverend Monsignor David C. Quitugua, Vicar General and Judicial Vicar of the Archdiocese of Agana, regarding the matter presented to the Archdiocesan Finance Council regarding the supposed "alienation" of the property where the Redemptoris Mater Seminary and the Theological Institute "Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores" affiliated to the Pontifical Lateran University have their See, 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, whereas the assignment qualifies the subject regarding its use and, consequently, renders the property subject to rights, duties and obligations, including maintenance.
In addition, canons 1256, 1257 and 1276 remove any doubt that the supreme authority of the said juridic person is the Archbishop.
Furthermore, the Seminary is canonically a public juridic person (canon 238) subject in toto to the jurisdiction of the Ordinary. Also, from a civil point of view, the Seminary is a Corporation-Sole in which the Sole-member is the Ordinary with absolute powers who remains, in any case, the exclusive hold of the Title to the Property.
Read your letter and that of the archbishop. As you well know, "alienation" and "assignment" are words of distinction without a difference. Any documents containing these words would place a huge cloud on title to real property which would result in a protracted litigation and prohibitive cost to remove such cloud. Do you really want to risk title to the property conservatively valued at 75 million dollars? I have other serious concerns raised in the letter, and if you wish, would like to discuss in private with you and other members of the finance council.
To deny the Archbishop this right, on the one hand, breaks communion with him and, on the other hand, represents a "vulnus" towards the Archbishop insinuating a form of disrespect towards his person.
The term or your appointment has expired and I believe that it is time for me to engage new members in the council...This letter marks the official termination of your membership.
Your five year term has already lapsed since your appointment in January 25, 2000 in the archdiocesan finance council.
The establishment of a finance council, diocesan and parish, is required by the Code of Canon Law…(the finance council) has a deliberative vote…when the diocesan finance council is asked to give its consent, the diocesan bishop is to receive the consent of an absolute majority of those present, and if he acts against this consent he does so invalidly. Regarding the matter at hand…consent is required not only from the finance council but also from the college of consultors. If these do not give their consent, the diocesan bishop is not free to do as he pleases.
Actually, he wouldn't even have to assign "the title", he could simply assign the control of the property to RMS and it would be of the same effect.
Can. 1291 The permission of the authority competent according to the norm of law is required for the valid alienation of goods which constitute by legitimate designation the stable patrimony of a public juridic person and whose value exceeds the sum defined by law.
Can. 1292 §1. Without prejudice to the prescript of ⇒ can. 638, §3, when the value of the goods whose alienation is proposed falls within the minimum and maximum amounts to be defined by the conference of bishops for its own region, the competent authority is determined by the statutes of juridic persons if they are not subject to the diocesan bishop; otherwise, the competent authority is the diocesan bishop with the consent of the finance council, the college of consultors, and those concerned. The diocesan bishop himself also needs their consent to alienate the goods of the diocese.
§2. The permission of the Holy See is also required for the valid alienation of goods whose value exceeds the maximum amount, goods given to the Church by vow, or goods precious for artistic or historical reasons.
Can. 1293 §1. The alienation of goods whose value exceeds the defined minimum amount also requires the following:
1/ a just cause, such as urgent necessity, evident advantage, piety, charity, or some other grave pastoral reason;
2/ a written appraisal by experts of the asset to be alienated.
§2. Other precautions prescribed by legitimate authority are also to be observed to avoid harm to the Church.
Can. 1294 §1. An asset ordinarily must not be alienated for a price less than that indicated in the appraisal.
§2. The money received from the alienation is either to be invested carefully for the advantage of the Church or to be expended prudently according to the purposes of the alienation.
Can. 1295 The requirements of ⇒ cann. 1291-1294, to which the statutes of juridic persons must also conform, must be observed not only in alienation but also in any transaction which can worsen the patrimonial condition of a juridic person.