- Pacific American Title confirmed that the lots on which the RM seminary sits identified the owner as the Archbishop of Agana,
- The law firm of Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP in Denver, Colorado showed that the Archbishop of Agana retains substantial authority over the RM seminary, and most significantly.....
- The Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, which has the highest authority in the Catholic Church for interpreting the laws of the Church concluded that there was no alienation of the property even if the Archbishop transferred the title of the property to the RMS Corporation.
According to Tim Rohr:
The AFC is an advisory body and if they did recommend the sale of the property then they were doing exactly what the were canonically constituted to do: advise the bishop of the highest and best use of an asset.
The archdiocese may have gotten a two million dollar donation to pay off the original loan from the Bank of Guam to purchase the property, but many hundreds of thousands of dollars over several years have been required from Guam Catholics to turn the former hotel into a seminary.
If the AFC did advise the archbishop to sell the property, valued at $75 million dollars by the archbishop's legal counsel, then that would have been a very smart advice.
$75 million dollars, or even half that, could have wiped out the entire debt of the archdiocese, which is estimated to be nearly $20 million *, with plenty of money left over not only to build a brand new seminary, but create an endowment that could have paid for the education of seminarians for years to come, eliminating the need for the annual archdiocesan appeal.
* $20 million is the figure estimated by the former AFC. Note that the remainder of the debt incurred by the renovation of the Cathedral and the Cemeteries, a project overseen by Msgr. James, is only 1.7 million. That means the archbishop himself owes another 18 million. Yet we only hear about the debt supposedly incurred by Msgr. James - which as we have already explained, is another debt which Archbishop Apuron himself incurred, not Msgr. James.
The problem with this estimation is that at the time, we did not know how much debt Monsignor James incurred until he was removed. After his removal, it was discovered that the credit card in the name of The Catholic Cemeteries was specifically used by Monsignor James for restaurants, airfare, the Shangri-La Hotel in Manila and other five star hotels.
Of course, the jungle comes in to say that the hotel expense charged by Monsignor James was also for the Archbishop. Nevermind the fact that the jungle also stated that the Archbishop travels and dines only with "Neo priests". Such a contradiction in statement. One then has to wonder how did Monsignor James pay for the Archbishop's hotel accommodation if he only travels with "Neo priests?" In addition, it was also discovered that $13,000 of cemetery funds were used to pay for Benavente's anniversary reception and family crypts valued at $380,000 were freely given to his close friends and family.