Saturday, August 13, 2016


 Posted by Frenchie.

Part 2 found here

For those of us that were lucky enough to attend well known colleges, one of the characteristic, of such place of learning is the high quality of their teaching and research staff, as well as the atmosphere which is conducive to study, interact and share with your fellow students and with a Faculty that is available, and proactive.

Seminaries are probably even more in need of such environment, for seminarians to develop and grow positively, and prepare themselves to a life of service.

Since RMS Guam opened its doors back in 1999, and started teaching out of a private residence, until now, when RMS is now located in a place of luxury and surrounding beauty, few things have changed regarding the Faculty and Administration of said seminary.
Having opened over 100 plus seminaries in a relatively short period of slightly over 20 years, the NCW is obviously in dire need to provide sufficient teachers for its establishments. It is also partly why they have agreed in most places to have their seminarians attend the local seminary, for their required studies, while continuing their "formation" in the local RMS. There they can follow lectures and seminars led by what they term "Visiting Professors" which in fact are just lecturers.

On Guam we shall see that the actual crew is skeleton like and cannot in all honesty fulfill its expressed goals. Their major problem is related to the fact that Guam does not have a full fledged real local Diocesan seminary.

RMS Guam Faculty and Administration.
When it was founded in December 9 1999, RMS had just a handful of seminarians as well as a handful of teachers. This was a shoe string organization, which taught its classes from a private home.Seminarians were boarded with families around the island. There was not much need for an organization  or a full time faculty.

Once it became obvious that both the NCW and the Archbishop were having grand plans of expansion, which they could capitalize on for propaganda purpose, the Blessed Diego de San Vitores Catholic Theology Institute for Oceania was created in2005 as a cover to provide the education of the RMS Guam, the stakes were greatly raised. In order for the seminary to be officially recognized, an affiliation became necessary. Never being at a loss for grand standing, it was decided that an affiliation to the Lateran University would be pursued. Pius, was the architect of this move, and he was helped by the NCW leadership, in approaching the Lateran University.

A subsequent affiliation was granted in 2007, as a trial period. for 5 years.  (sounds familiar?)

Umatuna made a big deal about it. Apuron was feted by the likes of Zenit News, and the Neo propaganda machine. but I digress. I shall come back to this in another Part.

Here is the official  Administration and Faculty list for the Redemptoris Mater and the  Blessed Diego Luis de  San Vitores.

Redemptoris Mater Seminary of Guam:
  • RECTOR: Rev. Pablo Ponce Rodriguez
  • VICE-RECTOR: Rev Julio Cesar Sanchez Malagon
  • SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR: Rev Juan Alfredo Sanchez Leandro
Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores Catholic Theological Institute for Oceania
  • ACADEMIC DEAN: Rev Msgr David C Quitagua, JCD
  • SECRETARY: Rev Pius Sammut, OCD
  • ASSOCIATE SECRETARY: Dr. David Atienza, Ph.D 
 NOTES:  the following two titles will be redacted as they are on the website of the Institute for the past several weeks. This is not a typo on my part. But it raises questions on the quality of the teaching given.



(obviously the academic dean has not done his job well)

Atienza de Frutos, David
Philosophy and History
doctorate in Anthropology at the Complutense University Madrid, 2006

Ferrarese, Gianfranco
Dogmatic Theology
doctorate in Sacred Theology at the Pontifical Lateran University Rome 2002

Gallo, Lorenzo
Philosophy, Social Science and History
doctorate in Social Science Pontifical Gregorian University Rome 1973

Gennarini, Giuseppe
History of the Church and Patrology
PhD candidate in History of the Church Pontifical Gregorian University Rome 
licentiate  Church History Pontifical Gregorian University Rome 1992

O'Donoghue, Neil Xavier
Sacraments and Liturgy
PhD Doctorate in Liturgy St Patrick Royal Catholic College Pontifical University Maymooth

Ponce Rodriguez, Pablo
Sacred Scripture and Languages
S T D candidate in Biblical Theology Gregorian University Rome
licentiate Sacred Scripture  Pontifical Biblical Institute of Rome, 2005

Quitagua, David C
Canon Law
doctorate Canon Law, at the Angelicum University Rome 1995

Sammut, Edwin Pius
Pastoral Theology
O.C.D, PhD candidate in Theology (spirituality) at Teresanium Rome 
Diploma in Catechetics at Lumen Vitae, Bruxelles 1973
Licentiate in Theology with specialisation in Spirituality at Teresanium Rome 1972

Walsh, Francis M
Moral Theology
Doctorate in Sacred Theology Pontifical John Paul II institute of the Lateran University Rome 2001

Following this, you have a list of visiting professors (spelled properly this time)of 35 individuals
I shall come back  to this category a little later.

In theory, the Catholic Theological Institute for Oceania , has 9 professors for around 30 plus students. It would appear at first glance that this is a very good ratio of professors to students, specially if you have visiting professors as well. The problem is that when you look a little more in detail at the Faculty list, you find some important discrepancies.

Mr David Atienza, who is teaching History and Philosophy, happens to be an Anthropologist by training, and while he has written and co-written a couple of "historical essays", their quality and conclusions, are to say the least controversial.

At the same time Mr Atienza is also an Associate professor at the University of Guam, and the Assistant Secretary of the Catholic Theological Institute.

You can hardly say, with so many activities that Dr, Atienza can be a full time, fully fledged professor of Philosophy, for which he has not been trained, and of History.

Mr Ferrarese, Gianfranco, is teaching Dogmatic Theology, he has a degree of Theology, so apparently no conflict here.

Mr Gallo, Lorenzo, is teaching Social Studies, as well as History and Philosophy, while he has a degree in Social Studies, he certainly has not been trained in History and Philosophy. Plus Mr Gallo is well in his seventies. While age is not a disqualifier, one can question such a schedule.

Mr Gennarini, Giuseppe, is teaching History of the Church and Patrology.
Now this is quite a jump of faith. Since Mr Gennarini never spend more than two weeks in July, and that during these two weeks he is very busy as the responsible of the Way in the United States. Without forgetting that he is also a PhD candidate in Rome. This is impressive.

But you can hardly qualify this gentleman as a full time professor since he is only here for two weeks a year. Heck that does not even qualifies him for a visiting professor title.

O'Donoghue, Neil Xavier,  supposedly teaching Sacraments and liturgy. Here again, we have a huge leap of faith for having this individual as a full time Faculty, since he is teaching in Ireland, and until recently was still a PhD candidate, working hard on his thesis also in Ireland. Furthermore Fr O'Donoghue is a writer and he has administrative duties at the RMS in Ireland and here on Guam. Yet we have not seen him here on island for quite a while. Again at best a visiting professor.

Fr Ponce Rodriguez, Pablo:  Fr Rodriguez is also officialy the Rector of RMS Guam. We are told he teaches Sacred Scriptures and Languages. Here we have a major problem, since Fr Pablo left about a year ago, and has not been seen since.

Msgr David C Quitagua: the Rector of the Cathedral, director of the Catholic cemiteries, and until recently one of the top officials of the Archdiocese is a full time professor of Canon law, on top of his responsibilities as Dean of Studies for the Institute. Beside the obvious conflict of schedules and his less than stellar trail of Canon law pronouncements, it is obvious that teaching Canon law is a serious issue. One cannot imagine anybody less charismatic and interesting as the man surnamed Lurch.

Sammut, Edwin Pius:  teaches Pastoral Theology. Now this is quite hilarious, since we know there is nothing pastoral about the dear Pius. We also know that he was the Rector at one time, even if he is officially the Secretary of the Institute. We know he is the head Catechist of the Way for the Pacific Region, and that he travels extensively the world over as an itinerant. What is interesting is that he is a PhD candidate like Gennarini, for the last 10 years and that he has a Diploma in Catechetics from
Lumen Vitae in Brussels. The reason for this interest is the institution itself: Lumen Vitae. About the time when Pius Studied there, the Center was in the midst of a large controversy with the Vatican, specially in regards to the Theology of liberation, which it was a center for. One professor, Fr Girardi was suspended for being too Marxist, which opened a crisis, and the center was itself closed for a year from 1975-76.

Again, it appears Pius is leaving again on a trip as I write this, so we can hardly call him a full time faculty.

Fr Walsh; is teaching moral theology. Fr Walsh hails from Washington DC where he was a priest for many years. He arrived on Guam after a major nervous breakdown and has been on staff at the Institute ever since. He was the author of many letters attributed to Apuron. He wrote the disastrous opinion on gays and the call for their stoning, he has written about several initiatives in the legislature. Like Lorenzo Gallo he is in his seventies.

The visiting professors.  As I mentioned earlier, the Institute has a list of around 35 visiting professor. Many of those have not been seen for a very long period of time. There are individuals listed there that have not set foot on this island in more than 7 years.

In order to clarify what a visiting professor is supposed to be, let me give you the official definition.
" A professor from another institution, who is invited to teach at a University or College  for a limited period. Usually for a semester or an Academic year."

What we have here, is what is called in the use car business as a bait and switch.

While on paper, things look quite serious, in reality we only have 3 professors out of 9 that could be considered as full time Faculty.
  • We have people listed that are no longer here.
  • We have people listed that only stop by once a year for a short period.

As for the visiting professors, at best most could be considered as lecturers or seminar givers, but certainly not visiting professors since many of them do not even teach in another place of learning.

What was sold to the faithful of Guam as a place of higher learning, is basically a FRAUD.
The Institute list on their site six departments: Philosophy, Languages, Sacred Scriptures, Dogmatics,
Moral Theology, Church History and Patrology, Sacraments and Liturgy, Pastoral theology and Canon law.

How can this Institute claim to have six departments when they only have three full time professors, that are qualified to teach, two of them in their late 70s, and a cabal of part timers,who are teaching on subject they are not trained for?

Dear Fr Jeff, Dear Archbishop Hon, this is what is behind door #1 and it is not pretty. This is where a large part of the funds of our diocese go to. In any normal society, this would be call a FRAUD.  

Continued on Part 3B


  1. WOW! What an eye-opener! Thank you Frenchie.

  2. Thank you, Frenchie. Shortly after his ordination, our erudite and eloquent Fr. Michael Jucutan, when asked about his interests, told the Hawaii Catholic Herald, “my favorite philosopher is Rene Girard.”

    And that's because our anthropologist Dr. David Atienza teaches the thought of Renee Girard as "philosophy" at our Redemptoris Mater Seminary. Our Lord's death was not a sacrifice, the Faith has been contaminated, Chamorro prayers for the dead are superstitious, yada, yada, yada. Read more, or more, or more.

    Oh yeah, and don't forget Atienza's assertion, as a supposed expert, that Chamorros keep the casket open throughout the funeral Mass.

    The Redemptoris Mater Seminary on Guam is a sham, Archbishop Hon, and you know it.

    1. Yes Chuck, you are right on Target. Mr Atienza seems to be a jack of all trade, anthropologist, philosopher, historian, all in all more of a plagiarist than a specialist in any thing.
      His so called studies about the Chamorro culture stink of colonialism and paternalism, to the point that he himself rewrite some of the conclusions he made in Spanish, to make them more palatable for his local public.
      In fact I am quite surprise that the UOG has not cross reference some of his work more closely, before adding him to their staff.

  3. Too bad JPII seminary education is coming from this sham. Fr. Jeff see to it that Hon sends these men to mainland or PI for training/education. It may take longer; but it is necessary. Frenchie: thanks for details. We have had a good idea of this for a while now. Pius, take all your dirty clothes with you. Poor persecuted Pius. To whom will you run? kiko? Or your Order of Carmel? Filthy fraud. Oh, one more thing, Hon. Don't even think of making that arrogant Julio the Rector.

  4. Indeed Anon at 8.32 JPII is also a sham. They have to go to class to the same Institute, and therefore do not get the Education required.
    I will cover this very soon.
    If Archbishop Hon is a little bit honest, he will have no choice but to close this fake seminary.
    There is of course the issue of the affiliation to the Lateran.
    It was requested by Apuron in 2005, and granted on a trial basis for 5 years. We have the copy of the 2012 renewal, which the Archbishop and the neos celebrated. The problem being, that the renewal was conditional to some standards being met.
    It is obvious that they were not.
    If you remember in November of 2014 the Rector of the Lateran University came to visit the seminary.
    According to Apuron and Pius, it was a resounding success. Yet all evidence points to the fact, that the affiliation was removed.

    Of course we have seen many times how Apuron and Pius transformed a negative into something they requested and which (according to them) vindicated them.
    On very interesting point is the copy of the Affiliation document posted on the web page of the Institute for Oceania.
    That page has had the two most important part of the decree blurred.
    One is the number of the decree, without which you cannot follow the chronology.
    The other is the last part of the letter in which the decree is going into details of the conditions of the decree and who signed it on what day.
    With these two essential parts missing, it is impossible to confirm or deny the veracity of said decree.
    In view of the past shenanigans of Pius and Apuron regarding official documents, one can be very skeptical about the reality of such document.
    The removal of the Affiliation is probably the best explanation of why Fr. Pablo left, not to return.

    1. Is it correct that Samoa is recalling or has recalled its seminarians. If it is, praise the Lord, and hope the other Oceania bishops follow their example. Spn2

    2. It appears so. While most of these seminarians came through the pipeline of the NCW, they seemed quite desenchanted once here. It looks like they reached out to their bishop who pulled them out. They will probably integrate the seminary in Fiji which is the official "Oceania" seminary. I am sure that more info will surface sooner than later.

  5. Rose de los Reyes (Seattle, WA)August 19, 2016 at 4:50 AM

    Frenchie, thank you so much for your series on the Guam seminaries. I have been living away from the island for over three decades so I have gotten only bits and pieces of why, for a place with a small population, there are two seminaries on the island --- and one with a grand building! On its face because of such a small population it didn’t make sense to me that there are two seminaries. “How are they sustained?” were my thoughts to myself the couple of times I visited Guam and would see the RMS in my line of vision. Your series has provided a background and wholly answered my questions about the seminaries.

    I don’t make it a habit to knock grand visionaries, innovators and, as you wrote “trail blazers,” but Fr. Apuron, in being at the helm of and the founding of these seminary facilities and programs, made an obviously poor leadership, financial, educational, and administrative move. First, it appears that the long terms costs (financial and otherwise) to acquire, build and/or to maintain the facilities and programs were not heavily considered. What will the continued source of funding once the programs and facilities were in place? Second, what percentage of the population will the seminaries serve and educate? Guam is an island of 160K residents an estimated 85% or 130K of whom are Roman Catholics. For 130K residents, two seminary programs are going to be established? Indeed there was vision of off-island seminarians possibly coming to Guam to attend these seminaries, but why would they if there were competitive seminaries nearby such as in the west coast of the U.S. mainland or even in the Philippines and Australia. It was such a dumb move.

    With that said, Fr. Apuron appeared to be thinking only of his own notoriety were these seminaries to be successful programs. He failed to consider that, as Archbishop of Agana, he
    had the Catholic faithful of Guam (his flock) to include as part of his consideration when he entered into an agreement (whether formal or informal, explicit or implied) with the NCW to build these seminaries (especially when the Diocese is dragged into fully fund them!). For mothers, fathers, and other heads-of-household, don’t you take into consideration how your decision will affect your family when you are about to enter into a huge financial decision? For those who serve in business leadership, in government bodies, and volunteer organizations, don’t you automatically take into consideration how your decisions will positively or adversely affect your organization? Leaders are, after all, stewards of the resources of an organization or a group. Fr. Apuron obviously is a poor steward. And an absolutely poor leader (I am being mild with my words!).

  6. Rose de los Reyes (Seattle, WA)August 19, 2016 at 4:52 AM

    Sell those seminaries! The seminary programs and facilities are financial albatrosses around the Archdiocese’s neck and a reminder of a not-so-good period of the Catholic history of Guam. The Archdiocese of Agana should instead send its future seminarians to existing, established seminaries off island. They will receive a more solid education, pastoral experience and rounded formation if educated not at either of the Guam seminaries.

    Good things can happen when seminary facilities are sold. I live in Seattle and here is a nice story about seminaries that once upon a time existed in our Archdiocese. In 1930, St. Edward Seminary was constructed just north of Seattle. By 1957, St. Edward’s was bursting at the seams and a new seminary, St. Thomas, was built nearby. From that point on, St. Edward’s was strictly a minor seminary, and students moved to St. Thomas for their major seminary studies. But dramatic changes were ahead. In the 1960s and 1970s, attendance began to decline, and the seminaries struggled to keep pace with Church renewal. Both St. Thomas and St. Edward’s closed in the late 1970s in large part because they couldn’t financially sustain themselves. St. Thomas Seminary is now home to Bastyr University (a naturopathic, holistic medical school) and St. Edward’s is a state park. The Archdiocese of Seattle gave the State of Washington first dibs on buying the land and/or the properties in 1976. The State took that opportunity. The magnificent buildings still stand and are well worth a visit—they are an important part of the history of the Catholic Church in the Pacific Northwest. I am hopeful that the same can be said of the RMS facilities some years down the line.


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