Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Former AFC's Press Release

We have already heard CCOG questioning the integrity of the Seminary, calling it a sham.  We already know that CCOG did not visit the RM Seminary to conduct their research.  They did not interview any of the professors or visiting professors who teach at the institution.  They did not review or gather any data from the seminary.  In the Patti Arroyo talk show, Andrew Camacho would not say how their independent research was conducted or who was involved. Therefore, their report is extremely questionable.  

According to KUAM news, the former Archdiocesan Finance Council said that: 
The property was not intended to be limited to exclusive groups, but to benefit all local Catholics. 
The Yona property was purchased in 2002.  However, it was in 1999 when Father Pius, Pat Cottman, and Javier Santaballa presented to Archbishop Apuron a petition to open a Redemptoris Mater Seminary on Guam.  The Archbishop agreed and a letter was drafted on February 2, 1999.  The letter was blessed by Archbishop Apuron and is on record.  The petition was approved in September 8, 1999 by the International Team of the Way (Kiko Arguello, Carmen Hernandez, and Father Mario).  A decree was then signed by Archbishop Apuron in that same year. This information can be found in the records of the Guam Legislature (the bold is mine):
WHEREAS, Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD, Pat Cottman and Javier Santaballa, met with Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron, OFM, Cap., D.D., Archbishop of Hagatna, Fr. David C. Quitugua, Vicar general of the Archdiocese, and Fr. Adrian Cristobal, Chancellor of the Archdiocese, Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD, Pat Cottman and Javier Santaballa, the Catechists, and presented to the Archbishop the possibility of requesting a Redemptoris Mater Seminary to the initiators of the Neo-Catechumenal Way for Guam for the New Evangelization of the vast region of the Pacific; and 
WHEREAS, Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron O.F.M., Cap., D.D., Archbishop of Hagatna and President of CEP AC, decided to accept the recommendation to create the first ever major seminary in the three hundred plus year Catholic history in the area, to form presbyters for the new evangelization believing in the vision of the Pope and witnessing the serious challenges Micronesia is facing today because of secularization and the growing shortage of priests; and 
WHEREAS, Guam's catechist team led by Fr. David C. Quitugua and Fr. Adrian Cristobal, drafted a letter, blessed by the Archbishop, to the initiators of the Neo-Catechumenal Way requesting for a Redemptoris Mater Seminary for Guam on February 2, 1999. Archbishop Apuron made a presentation to the Archdiocesan Priest Council regarding the petitioning in early September, 1999. Archbishop Apuron made a formal request for the Seminary in Porto S. Giorgio, Italy, at a convivence of the initiators of the Neo-Catechumenal Way with aspirant seminarians from all over the world at which time there was also petition from Dallas, Texas, thus reducing the chances to open one in Guam; and 
WHEREAS, Kiko Arguello, Carmen Hernandez and Fr. Mario Pezzi, initiators and international responsible team of the Way, granted the petition of Archbishop Apuron on September 8, 1999, to the amazement of many, of opening a Redemptons Mater Seminary in Guam............  
 Therefore, a petition was made and granted for the opening of a Redemptoris Mater Seminary on Guam in 1999. That petition was approved in the same year. That was THE reason for the purchase of the Accion Hotel in 2002. It was the NCW who went looking for a location for a Redemptoris Mater Seminary to be opened on Guam.  And it was the NCW who found that property. The traditional Latin Mass Catholics never went out looking for any property nor did they ever petition for a seminary.   

As for the letter from the donor that Mr. Untalan quoted, that quote came from the jungle.  Tim Rohr never printed any letter from the donor.  He only quoted from what he said was a letter from the donor.  Tim also said that Archbishop Apuron wrote a letter to the donor asking for his/her support for his/her donation in purchasing the property for a seminary.  Tim also never published the letter of the Archbishop with the Archdiocese letterhead.  He only quoted what he said came from the Archbishop's letter.  

That is as far as I know.  Father Pius and whoever was there involved from 1999-2003 would have more information regarding the rest of Mr. Untalan's statements.     

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

CCOG's Press Release

According to the press release by CCOG, vice president Andrew Camacho stated that the RM Seminary should be shut down.  

First of all, CCOG does not have the expertise nor the credentials to determine the authentication of a seminary.  They are not even an accreditation team.  Therefore, what is being said in this press release is simply more propaganda against RMS.

For three years, Tim Rohr has been spreading propaganda against the RM Seminary and its priests. In fact, Mr. Rohr has even accused the seminary of money-laundering (See the screen shot below dated July 21, 2014).  This accusation of money-laundering in the RM seminary continues on even until the present day, and no one has filed a police report.  So, now the question is……why all the propaganda against the RM Seminary for three years? 


Secondly, Mr. Camacho compared other RM Seminaries in the United States (such as the one in Boston) and cited them as being better than Guam’s RM Seminary.  And what criteria did CCOG use to make this comparison?  According to CCOG vice president Andrew Camacho, the RMS in Boston is better than Guam because the seminarians attend ANOTHER seminary for their education rather than study at RMS.  What Mr. Camacho is actually saying without realizing it…. is that even the RMS in Boston is inadequate. If these seminarians in Boston held their studies in RMS, then it would be labeled in the same category as Guam’s RMS, which Mr. Camacho believes should be shut down.

So, how did CCOG come up with their findings without visiting the RM seminary, without interviewing the faculty and staff, and without reviewing and collecting any data from the seminary?  The answer is found in the jungle.  The source of CCOG's findings are found here , here, and here.  All three jungle posts were published by Frenchie who does not even reside on Guam.  CCOG did not even bother to do any leg work. Therefore, the claims made by CCOG are invalid and unreliable and serves only as propaganda.  

If CCOG had simply bothered to visit the RM seminary, they would have found the truth.  According to KUAM news:
It's not just the ownership of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary that's under fire, but the institution itself. On Monday, the Concerned Catholics of Guam called the seminary a "sham", alleging the priests in training had no background checks, no psychological screenings, and no records to prove they were high school graduates. The CCOG also alleged the faculty were few and unqualified.
Today, we heard from the rector of the seminary himself, Father Pius Sammut, and he's out to debunk what he's calling "misgivings" from the CCOG.
Sham or seminary? Father Sammut is defending the institute which he says has produced 17 priests for the archdiocese. In an emailed response to KUAM News, Father Pius responds to recent statements made by the Concerned Catholics of Guam.
"This is another myth propagated by the enemies of Archbishop Anthony Apuron," the priest wrote.
One by one, he tackles the CCOG's issues, from admissions to faculty and the high cost of running the rms. The CCOG contends the Archdiocese of Agana funds $200,000 for the RMS. Father Pius, however, says their calculations are wrong.
"Last fiscal year, June 2015-2016, the total RM expenses were $531,353. The subsidy of the archdiocese was $73,800, less than $3,000 per head per year!" he maintained.
While the CCOG argues it'd be cheaper for Guam to send priests-in-training to seminaries abroad, Father Pius compares Guam's seminary to those stateside.
"To form a seminarian in Mount Angel Seminary in Oregon or in Saint Patrick's in California costs more than $42,000 annually, while in Guam it costs less than $14,000. We can train three seminarians in Guam at the cost of one seminarian in the mainland. Facts are facts!"
When it comes to admissions, Father Pius states it's a three-tiered process which considers the candidates' moral life, maturity, their studies and their health as well as screenings by a national team of catechists, a retreat, and further screenings by rectors of other seminaries. The faculty, meanwhile consists of eight permanent professors and five adjuncts, all of whom are assessed and ratified by the Lateran in Rome.
As for the formation of strictly Neocatechumenal priests, Father Pius discerns fact from fiction. "Our sole focus at the seminary is the formation of diocesan priests," he stated.
Instead, he says Archbishop Apuron needed the assistance of the Neocatechumenal Way to start up the major seminary. "He asked the help of the Neocatechumenal Way because he realized that we do not have the necessary resources on island. Thanks be to God, the initiators of the Neocatechumenal Way, seeing the grave situation, pastorally, of the islands of the Pacific, namely the serious shortage of priests, accepted," he said.
"The role of the Neocatechumenal Way is to provide a solid Christian formation to the seminarians. It also facilitates their insertion into the local parish."

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Latin Word Presbyter

The thread under my last post deviated away from the OP.  There was a discussion as to whether the word "Presbyter" was Latin or Greek.  According to the anonymous person:  

Dear Diana, the etymology of "presbyter":

In my previous comment, I stated that the Latin word for priest is "presbyter" and the Greek word is "presbyterous"  Anonymous then gave me the etymology of presbyter according to wikipedia.  So, according to Wikipedia (the bold is mine): 


The word presbyter etymologically derives from Greek πρεσβύτερος (presbyteros), the comparative form of πρέσβυς (presbys), "old man".[3] However, while the English word priest has presbyter as the etymological origin,[4]  the distinctive Greek word for "priest" is never used for presbyteros/episkopos in the New Testament, except as being part of the general priesthood of all believers,[5] with the first Christians making a distinction between sacerdotal Jewish and pagan priests and New Testament pastors.[6]

The word "presbyter" was derived from the Greek word "presbyteros" but it is NOT Greek.  The Greek word is presbyteros meaning "elder.", but the English word priest has presbyter as the etymological origin.   

Now, let us take a look at what Wikipedia has to say about the English word "priest" (bold is mine):


The word "priest", is ultimately derived from Greek, via Latin presbyter,[1] the term for "elder", especially elders of Jewish or Christian communities in Late Antiquity.

As anyone can clearly see, even Wikipedia recognize that the word "presbyter" is Latin. As I pointed out in the discussion thread, the word "Presybter" is the Latin word for priest and I provided as my evidence.  Wikipedia did not contradict but only verified it.

The language of the Roman Catholic Church is Latin.  If you search for the word "presbyteros" in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, you will not find it.  But if you search for the word "presbyters" it is found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  The Catechism lists "presbyters" 11 times and 0 times for "presbyteros." 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Interview With Father Pius

Image result for Father Pius, Guam,This is my two cents is obvious that a small group of people who never had anything to do with finding, developing, and maintaining a seminary on Guam becomes suddenly interested in it after it was obtain especially at no cost to the Archdiocese.  Archbishop Hon already said that the seminary belongs to the Archdiocese of Agana, but these small group of critics continue to contradict him.  You would think they would be relieved to hear that the seminary still belongs to the Archdiocese even with the Deed Restriction in place.  Therefore, one has to wonder whether it really is the ownership they are concern about. The Deed Restriction has nothing to do with the ownership, but with lifting the use of the seminary to the Redemptoris Mater Seminary.  By lifting the Deed Restriction, the RMS can no longer use it.  In fact, even the name "Redemptoris Mater Seminary" would no longer be in use.  The following questions were submitted by KUAM to Father Pius.  His responses are those in blue: 

Father Pius, what is your reaction to a recent statement made by Apostolic Administrator Savio Hon Tai Fai that the RMS is no longer owned by the Archdiocese of Agana?

First of all,  Mons. Hon himself said repeatedly that the owner of the property where the RMS and the blessed.... are located is the archdiocese. This is not in discussion. If you refer to the declaration regarding the deed of restriction.

Archbishop Apuron put the decree of restriction to protect the seminary and the Theological Institute and to give them permanence and stability  and also to defend these property for the Church, which otherwise –as you can see by the enormous interest in them– would have already been sold out. Actually the previous Finance Council in 2011 wanted to sell it, but the Archbishop said: “Over my dead Body”.

Have you been in communication with Archbishop Anthony Apuron? If so, when was your last talk? Where is he located presently?

I do not know where he is located. I talked to him about two weeks ago.

Were you aware that the Holy See had instructed Archbishop Apuron to rescind and annul the Deed of Restriction a year ago?

Archbishop Apuron put the decree of restriction to defend the property from greed and to protect the seminary and the institute, which are forming priests for Guam and the whole pacific. Already 17 priests have been ordained and four deacons and of them 14 priests and all the deacons are serving on island. If he had not put this restriction the property would have been sold in 2011.

Archbishop Apuron never defied the Pope since the Pope never said to lift the deed of restriction. If you refer to the indication of a Congregation of the Holy See, I must remind you that in the Catholic Church every Archbishop answers only to the Holy Father directly and the opinions of Congregations are consultative. 

Are you a Neocatechumenal Priest? What's the difference and how would you address the contentions made by those the Concerned Catholics of Guam?

No I am not a neocatechumenal priest. I am a discalced Carmelite since 40 years and I have been a provincial of the Carmelites in Malta.  The Neocatechumenal way is not a congregation or an order, but it has been recognized by the Holy See as an itinerary of Christian formation to help people rediscover their baptism. Neocatechumenal priests do not exist. 

Will the guarantors listed on the Deed Restriction for the RMS be obedient to the Pope's directive to give back the Yona property? If not, will the new owners be seeking legal action? If so, on what grounds?

The Board of Guarantors has no power whatsoever on the deed of restriction. The title of the property is in the name of the archdiocese and the deed of restriction in the name of the archbishop of Agatna and only the archbishop or his successor can lift it.  The Board of Guarantors is only a consultative board regarding the mission of the seminary, inch is that of preparing priest and not, for example, preparing scuba divers. In the statutes and bylaws of the corporation is very well specified that the board of guarantors has no authority in administering the temporal goods, only the archbishop has such powers and authority.  They have no administrative power. Control upon all temporal goods is in the hands of the Archbishop, as the statutes and bylaws of the Seminary say. The Archbishop is the sole member of the non-profit sole corporation of the RM Seminary.

The Pope never gave any directive. It was a Congregation of the Holy See, which gave this indication and, as I said, an archbishop answers only to the Holy Father.

The Redemptoris Mater Seminary is a duly erected public juridic person in the Archdiocese of Agana (cf. c. 238, cf. cc. 113-123), and therefore it is a permanent institution –until the archbishop wants it- which need the “means which are foreseen to be sufficient to achieve their designated purpose” (c. 114 §3) to exist and to continue its mission of forming priest. Among them one of the most urgent, obviously, is a permanent see to host five classrooms, a library with thirty thousand volumens, rooms for 40 seminarians and for formators and professor, computer room, dining room etc.

The Deed restriction is simply an act according to canon law that allows the Archdiocesan RM Seminary to use that Yona property.
It seems that actually most cause of dissension and tumult is this deed of restriction so that by lifting the restriction the building, hosting the seminary and the theological institute, may be sold and then everything will be ok. It is really perplexing to see how much some people are interested in selling this ecclesial good.

Clearly there are many people who would like to cash in the 50-75 millions dollars involved. But one cannot but wonder: what deep interest may be in destroying a seminary and a theological Institute? Someone wants to fill his pocket? Or there are some people who wants to build a Casino? Imagine that in nearby Saipan the powerful Chinese consortium Imperial Pacific, headed by Mark Brown (former CEO of Trump Casinos and then of Sheldon Casinos) invested seven billions dollars to develop a Casino there! Imagine the interests! People may kill for much less that that.

But Saipan was just a detour, because they wanted to invest in Guam with its enticing two millions tourists every year. But in Guam all has been blocked until now by archbishop Apuron, who always fought against establishing casinos and bringing more mafia, prostitution, crime, drugs.  So clearly, if there are interests of this kind, the first thing is to destroy the Archbishop.

One day, when all this has passed, they will rediscover the valor of this Archbishop and the historians will add a chapter to the evangelization of this Island, an important chapter which will be added to the chapter written by Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores.

Going back to your question: what will the Board of directors and the Board of Guarantors do? The building is not ours, we have permission to use it until the Archbishop wants, and only the Archbishop or his successor can decide on this building. If the building will be sold, the Gospel says: if they send you out of one city, go to the next. If it is necessary, we will, and we will be honored to share in the sufferings and persecutions of Christ.

But Guam will lose one of the most powerful instruments to fight the devil who wants to destroy our youth and the families: priests who through the sacraments can transmit the grace of God.

Are priests that are formed at the RMS only that of the Neo-catechumenal Way? Can you detail how many seminarians there are at the RMS and how soon they'd become priests?

The RMS is open to anyone who is called to become priests. In fact we have various seminarians who are not from a Neocatechumenal Community. There are 40 seminarians and each one of them has his own itinerary to follow; that will determine the number of years left to be ordained a priest.

Lastly, how much does it cost the Archdiocese of Agana to fund the RMS annually? 

The archdiocese through the annual appeal gives the RMS about 80  thousand dollarsk which corresponds to roughly 20 percent of our budget. All the rest comes form small private donations. We are also very proud to be able to receive seminarians from very poor dioceses of the Pacific and, in some cases, we have almost completely forfeited their costs to help them. We are Catholic and every catholic is concerned for all the world.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Origin Of RMS, Guam

An anonymous person listed some very good questions.  His comment can be found here.  His/Her questions are: 

1. Has anyone asked why this RMS building was purchased in the first place?
2. Who's money was used to purchase it? 
3. What will CCOG have the church do with this building if RMS moves out of it? 

Let us go back to the the time when the RM Seminary on Guam had its beginnings.  You can find the following article here.  As anyone can see, it had always been the RMS seminarians and the NCW communities who contributed in developing and maintaining the seminary.  It was never the TLM Catholics or the members of CCOG. 

The beginnings of the seminary were small, like a small seed, yet memorable. The pioneers arrived on Guam without having an established place to stay; everything was precarious. Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD, a Carmelite priest from Malta, was the temporary rector who took care of the seminary in its first months. Then the first appointed rector was Fr. Raymond Labranche of the Archdiocese of Newark, N.J. He arrived in 1999 along with the first group of ten seminarians. The first mission was to find a place to establish the seminary. God heard our prayers and we were able to find a temporary location in an abandoned building, which used to be a minor seminary, next to Father Duenas High School in Tai. The building was not in a good shape, but with the help of the people from the community immediately it was transformed into the first formation center. It had the space needed for our formation, namely, a chapel, an office for the rector, a small library, a classroom, kitchen and dining room. However, the building did not have enough space for the seminarians to live, so the seminarians were housed by families who generously opened their homes to them.

Living in family houses was a beautiful experience since it gave us the opportunity to begin to know the people of Guam and eventually to become part of the family. The generosity and kindness of the families was outstanding, with no limits they offered everything they could to us ‘strangers’ and ‘foreigners’ who had just arrived. There is no doubt that this first period of our formation gave us a clear picture of the mission the Lord was preparing for us.

Our daily schedule included a constant traveling back and forth between the Formation Center, the homes and the parishes. Yes, we had our formation at the temporary house in Tai all day long, but also we had to go back home to have our meals and to rest at night. This presupposed a lot of time which could have been used to build up communion among us. So, beginning in May, 2002, all the seminarians moved to the house of formation. This was an act of faith because the building had physically no room for so many. We were 14 people in the house and we needed a miracle to fit this crowd into such a small house. This meant that the small rector’s bedroom and library were transformed in order to accommodate everyone. The house became packed with people sleeping in bunk beds, with two bathrooms and literally no space to walk about. The rector was the only one by himself, however his room was the former sacristy which had no windows and was barely larger than a closet. At that point the seminary could not fit more seminarians.

This situation impelled us to search resolutely for a new facility. There were some options, but none seemed to be appropriate. 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!

Yes, the Lord provided the place and the benefactors to make the purchase possible. Seek and you will find! Thus the new facility gave lots of room to accommodate more seminarians and to create new liturgical spaces needed in our formation. Ah! Remember the little house in Tai? Well, God had everything planned, because just two weeks after we moved into the new building Guam was hit by Super Typhoon Ponsogna which caused severe damage throughout the island including the house in Tai which was razed to the ground by the winds. The ten thousand books we had acquired up to that point, from the generosity of many people from around the world were also destroyed. Most likely we would have been killed if we remained there.

Since the house had not been used for a while many repairs had to be done. Walls needed to be knocked down to create larger rooms for a chapel and classrooms and also for a new library. Existing rooms had to be painted and rearranged. Fortunately we had the help of many people from the community who with their experience in different fields and good will gave us a hand to transform a hotel into a house of formation for priests.

Alongside the miracles worked in the physical structures of the seminary many other kinds of miracles happened. At first we had the problem of not having a school on Guam, neither of theology nor of philosophy, which is fundamental for us. Nevertheless, since the beginning the Lord provided us with teachers from all over the world for our academic formation, and I should say, not just teachers, but good ones!

Besides that, many volunteers, leaving behind family and homeland, have come throughout the years to serve us in different ways, namely, food preparation and nutrition, administration, logistics, maintenance, and many other humble and hidden tasks.

The fruits of such a tremendous work began by Archbishop Apuron through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, began to be seen. In March, 2005, the first seminarian was ordained to the priesthood, Fr. Jose Alberto Rodriguez Salamanca originally from Spain. Then on November 8, 2008, three more were ordained, Fr. Fabio (Italy), Fr. Jason (Philippines) and Fr. Antonino (Italy). And just a few months ago on November 7, 2009, four more became priests for the service of the Archdiocese of Agana, Fr. Aurelio (Austria), Fr. Edivaldo (Brazil), Fr. Julio Cesar (Colombia) and Fr. Miguel Angel (Spain). And, trusting in God, the fruits will continue.

The Other Side Of The Story

I guess Archbishop Apuron continues to monitor Guam from where ever he is. After hearing of Archbishop Hon accusing him of disobeying the Holy See, he was able to get out a press release to KUAM news.  Archbishop Apuron's press release can be found in the KUAM news article.  According to KUAM news:


It's become a great debate - and we're not talking about the upcoming election. We've heard from the Concerned Catholics of Guam, apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, and even rector to the Redemptoris Mater Seminary Father Pius Sammut, all of whom have different opinions on who owns the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona. And now, we hear from Archbishop Anthony Apuron himself who maintains the controversial deed restriction doesn't hand over the property, but protects it.
After months of being attacked for a deed of restriction on the multi-million dollar Yona seminary, Archbishop Apuron is looking to clear his name, not only here at home but with the Holy See.
In a statement issued to KUAM News on Friday sent through his legal counsel attorney Jacque Terlaje, Apuron states the pope has granted his request for a canonical trial. In his defense, Apuron states past claims made by Archbishop Hon and other critics of the Yona property are causing "real, grave, and immediate damage to the church in Guam and to my good name, spreading scandal and confusion among the faithful."
While the deed of restriction is believed to hand over the RMS to the non-profit RM Corporation and parties affiliated with the Neocatechumenal Way, Apuron contends the restriction merely blocks the sale and that if it wasn't for him, those looking to cash in would've converted the RMS from a seminary into a casino.
"I have always defended the moral life of the island opposing establishments which would bring money to few and moral misery and degradation to many," Apuron wrote."It would be irresponsible for a father to forfeit the future of his children, that is, to cash in on the property and destroy the possibility to form priests for the future."
Although Archbishop Hon previously stated Apuron disobeyed the Holy See, Apuron maintains that's not the case. "I have always obeyed the Holy Father and it is my firm intention to continue to do so," his statement read.
Apuron adds that only he has the power to lift the restriction. "I am convinced in conscience that I cannot lift the restriction of this property," he continued.
No information was provided on Apuron's whereabouts.
Concerned Catholics of Guam president Dave Sablan suspects the declaration provided by Archbishop Apuron on the RMS property is a fake. "It's very surprising that Apuron would even write this declaration," he explained. "He's not even supposed to be involved in any of these issues that Archbishop Hon is involved in because Archbishop Hon is now the apostolic administrator. I also noticed that this declaration of Apuron's wasn't even signed by him so truly did he write this or did he give somebody permission to say these things using his name? So it's very suspect in that regard."
KUAM News spoke with Apuron's attorney, Jacque Terlaje, who maintains the declaration is authentic and the document provided to media was not an original, but a PDF. The original, she states, was signed and sent directly to apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai.
In response to the CCOG's suspicions, she adds, "This is exactly the tactic they're constantly bringing. no substantiation and wild allegations."

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Baptism: The Sacrament Of Faith

An anonymous person made the following comment under the thread, A Comparison.  His/Her comment can be found here. 

Diana, you've shown how Chuck twisted everything around. But Chuck gets his teachings from Tim. Is Tim correct about faith coming mainly from the Eucharist? The Eucharist is always the main focal point of the TLM Catholics.

TimAugust 24, 2016 at 11:51 AM
It is Guile who is the protestant/neocat here, intimating that the Eucharist is just one of many channels of a faith. This is exactly neocat teaching. We receive Faith through our parents, but our parents are not God. We receive Faith through the Gospel, but the Gospel is not God. We receive Faith through our pastors, but our pastors are not God. And we receive Faith through the Eucharist and the Eucharist IS God. It is how Jesus desires to feed us: with himself, with his own flesh and blood. Only neocats and Mr. Guile see the Eucharist as only one "channel" of faith among many.

Apparently, this comment from Tim Rohr started with a post from Glaucon Jr. who stated: The Eucharist is the source of our Faith (whether by “Eucharist” you mean the Real Presence or the rite that makes it so, it really makes no difference).  Glaucon Jr.'s post can be found here.  Tim Rohr, who did not correct this error, apparently endorsed the error. The seed of faith was not planted in us at the Eucharist.  It was planted in us in our baptism.   

My comments below is what we believe about the source of faith, and it is aligned with Catholic teaching:  

Faith is a free gift from God, and we received this free gift at our baptism.   Baptism is seen as connected with faith (CCC 1226) and is even called the "sacrament of faith" (CCC 1236 and CCC 1253). On our baptism, the Holy Spirit planted the seed of faith in us.  But this seed needs to be nurtured so that our faith would grow into maturity (CCC 1248).  According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (the bold is mine): 

CCC 1253    Baptism is the sacrament of faith. But faith needs the community of believers. It is only within the faith of the Church that each of the faithful can believe. The faith required for Baptism is not a perfect and mature faith, but a beginning that is called to develop. The catechumen or the godparent is asked: "What do you ask of God's Church?" The response is: "Faith!" 

CCC 1254 For all the baptized, children or adults, faith must grow after Baptism. For this reason the Church celebrates each year at the Easter Vigil the renewal of baptismal promises. Preparation for Baptism leads only to the threshold of new life. Baptism is the source of that new life in Christ from which the entire Christian life springs forth.

How can the seed of faith be nurtured so that it would grow after Baptism?  It is through the proclaiming of the word of God and in the Eucharist that our faith is nourished. Mother Church sustains, strengthens and nourishes us through the Holy Mass, which contains the liturgy of the word and the liturgy of the Eucharist. His word strengthened and nourished our faith so we would come closer to knowing God.  And through the Eucharist, we become one and united with Christ. Christ shared in our humanity through the mystery of the Incarnation, and Christ instituted the Eucharist so that we can be united with Christ's humanity and divinity and have eternal life (John 6:51). This was the Lord's desire when He prayed to His Father in the Garden of Gethsamane: 
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for  who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:20-23)
By consuming the Body and Blood of Christ, we truly become one and united with Christ's humanity and divinity in the most intimate way.  The Blood of Christ flows in our veins, and His flesh is one with our flesh. Christ also said that he who eats His Body will have eternal life (John 6:51). 

If the seed of faith in us does not grow, it becomes a dead faith.  Living faith works through charity (CCC 1814). For many of us, our faith is still at the infantile stage, but the Apostle Paul encouraged us to always persevere and grow in the faith otherwise this priceless gift can be lost (see 1 Timothy 1:18-19 and CCC 162).   

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Deed Restriction Still In Place

As I pointed out earlier, I do not think the Pope gave Archbishop Hon the authority to touch any of the assets of the Archdiocese of Agana.  In regards to the Redemptoris Mater Seminary, the deed restriction has not been rescinded at all.  Only Archbishop Apuron and his successors have the power to rescind the deed restriction.  Also, it was pointed out by Father Pius and Archbishop Hon that the RM Seminary still belongs to the Archdiocese of Agana. A deed restriction is not the same as a deed.  Furthermore, we now learned the truth.  Pope Francis never told Archbishop Apuron to rescind or annul the Deed Restriction, and that explains why there were no documents from Pope Francis.  Archbishop Hon was not referring to the Pope, but the media misinterpreted his statements.  According to the Pacific Daily News:

Seminary rector: Only Apuron can lift deed of restriction on church property

The rector of a seminary in Yona said Tuesday only Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron or his successor can lift the deed of restriction that gives the seminary and a theological institute the legal right to use the local Catholic church’s property.
The Rev. Pius Sammut, rector of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona, said the sole owner of the Yona property is the Archdiocese of Agana. Sammut said the archbishop who currently oversees the local archdiocese, Savio Hon Tai Fai, has said this repeatedly.
The deed restriction allows the Archdiocesan Redemptoris Mater Seminary to use the Yona property, Sammut said.
“The only one who can lift the deed of restriction is the ordained Archbishop of Agana, Mons. Apuron or, eventually, his successor,” Sammut told Pacific Daily News.
Proper legal action must be done in order for the Archdiocese of Agana to again take control of the property, said attorney and former island Sen. Robert Klitzkie.
Klitzkie has been a supporter of the causes of the Concerned Catholics of Guam Inc., a group that wants the archdiocese to again take full control of the Yona property. Klitzkie doesn’t identify himself as a member of the group.
Proper legal action, Klitzkie explained, includes having the RMS corporation’s board of directors adopt a resolution authorizing the lifting of the deed of restriction and the board of guarantors has to abide by that resolution.
Klitzkie said the four guarantors are Apuron and New Jersey-based high-level members of the Neocatechumenal Way — Giuseppe Gennarini, Claudia Gennarini and the Rev. Angelo Pochetti.
Hon has told the media he doesn’t know where Apuron is.
Apuron last made a visual public statement in early June in a recorded video message to members of the Guam community. In the video, Apuron appeared to be at the Vatican in Rome.
The Vatican placed Apuron on leave after former altar boys started publicly accusing him of sexual abuse. Apuron hasn’t been charged with any crime.
Pope Francis sent Hon to Guam in early June to temporarily administer the local Catholic church.
Hon issued a statement last week requesting the Redemptoris Mater Seminary and the community that controls it to voluntarily return the Yona property, instead of having the matter go to court.
Hon said while the Archdiocese of Agana acquired the property, its use has been conceded in perpetuity, meaning forever, to the Redemptoris Mater Seminary and The Blessed Diego Theological Institute in an unusual way.
The Concerned Catholics of Guam, which has repeatedly called for Apuron’s removal, said on Monday the Neocatechumenal Way actually owns and controls the seminary and property in Yona.
Sammut said the Neocatechumenal Way “has no authority or any say in this matter.”
The Neocatechumenal Way is a group within the Catholic church whose worship style differs from traditional Church practices. Other Catholics, including church members on island, have been critical of people part of the Way.
Sammut said per its own statutes, “the Neocatechumenal Way, being an itinerary of Catholic formation that is implemented in the dioceses through services freely given, has no material goods of its own.”
Sammut and Apuron are members of the Neocatechumenal Way.
He said he wasn’t consulted before Hon issued a statement on Thursday about the seminary and the property. Sammut said he hopes he will be able to do that in the future.
The Yona property, which used to be the former 100-room, oceanside Accion Hotel, is the local Catholic church’s largest asset, estimated anywhere between $40 million and $75 million.
The Archdiocese of Agana bought the property for $2 million more than a decade ago.
David Sablan, the newly elected president of the Concerned Catholics of Guam, said it’s preparing a lawsuit to help ensure that the Archdiocese of Agana takes back control of the Yona property.
Sablan said the lawsuit is an option on the table if the Redemptoris Mater Seminary Corp. does not do the right thing which is sign the deed to return the property back to the archdiocese.
Sammut said “the property cannot be returned because, as Mons. Hon said, it belongs to the archdiocese.”
“If you refer to the restriction of use, it was decided by Mons. Apuron to protect the seminary, a public juridic entity of the Church, which is carrying on the most important mission in a diocese, that of forming priests,” Sammut said. “For this very purpose, that of forming a seminary, the Archdiocese bought this property and the archdiocese did not pay a cent for it.”
A public juridic person is a legal entity under canon law that allows the Catholic church's ministries to function in the name of the Catholic church.
Sammut said from this institution or seminary, 17 priests and four deacons have been ordained.
Of them, 14 priests and four deacons are serving Guam, he added.
“As mentioned before, the Archbishop of Agana and his successors, being both the Sole Member of the RM Seminary and of the Archdiocese of Agana, is the only individual that can make this determination. I have no authority whatsoever to do this decision,” Sammut added

‘Never defied the pope’

Hon, in his statement last week, said the Holy See’s instruction for Apuron to rescind and annul the deed of restriction on the Yona property “has not been carried out accordingly.”
“Thus, I hereby sincerely ask the collaboration of all the faithful to act with obedience to the directive of the Holy See,” the archbishop said.
Sammut said members of the Neocatechumenal Way never defied the pope because they do not own anything.
“Archbishop Apuron never defied the Pope either, since the pope never said to the Archbishop to lift the deed of restriction,” Sammut said. “If you refer to the indication or request of a Congregation of the Holy See, I can only say that in the Catholic Church every Diocesan Bishop in the diocese entrusted to him has all ordinary, proper and immediate power, and that indications or requests of the Holy See need to be evaluated by the Bishop in the exercise of his pastoral function.”