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.


  1. Ok, so to recap:

    we should believe Hon when he says the Archdiocese is fully in control of RMS; and,
    we should not believe Hon when he says Apuron disobeyed Rome.

    In for a penny, in for a pound. Let's all get everything to court and then write our commentary.

    1. Dear Anonymous at 7:53 am,

      I believe that Archbishop Hon may have spoken to Archbishop Apuron in January 2015 and indicated to him to annul the Deed Restriction. He may have thought he was speaking for the Pope at that time. But I agree with you. CCOG should bring it to court. In the meantime, Archbishop Apuron is getting his name cleared.

  2. The property was *not* obtained at no cost to the local church. It continues to cost the local church very really monies.

    1. Dear Anonymous at 7:58 am,

      The property WAS obtained at no cost to the local Church. No one in Guam put down any money to purchase the property. A donor outside Guam did that. As for the continued cost, we are not paying the full amount. It only cost the Archdiocese 20% while donors outside provide the 80%. For example, island nations who send their seminarians to be educated at RMS pay the cost.

  3. An anonymous person asked in one of the threads that only the Archbishop can sell the property, so why the Deed Restriction? My answer:

    Archbishop Apuron was already approached by a group of people to convince him to sell the property. His answer to them was no. Archbishop Apuron may have foreseen in the future with his health problems that he may become seriously ill and someone else would take charge of the Archdiocese until a new Archbishop would be installed. In the event that that would happen, the seminary and institute would be left unprotected. The possibility exists that a person in charge of the Archdiocese may sell the seminary and institute before a new Archbishop would be installed.

    What is happening today is a good example. The Archbishop of Guam still exists, but he is on a leave of absence getting his name cleared. In the meantime, someone else is in charge of the Archdiocese. That would be Archbishop Hon, the Apostolic Administrator. And out of the blue, he wants the Deed Restriction lifted, which would then leave the seminary and institute unprotected. And we also know that the jungle have expressed the closing down of the seminary. By lifting the Deed Restriction, it literally means that the RMS can no longer use the building and its facilities for the formation of priests.

  4. Pius indicates there are 40 seminarians....Guam PDN indicated a number less than that due to the Seminarians from Samoa leaving. Which is correct?

    Regarding "Neocatechumenal priests do not exist". So, what do we call the priests that are ordained in the Neocatechumenal Way? I was told "presbyters" is preferred but not sure. RMS prepares priests in the Neocatechumendal Way, how different is that from the other Seminaries' course of study?

    I'm curious about the comment stating that Apuron only answers to the Pope himself. So, the Pope has to communicate personally to ALL bishops around the world? If so, then maybe that's the reason for the many problems occurring all over the world---they're all waiting for the Pope to get back to them! I don't mean to be disrespectful, but that is unrealistic to expect that He would be able to communicate with each one on a regular basis. That's why they created the Congregations.

    1. Dear Anonymous at 8:32 am,

      This interview was taken before 10 seminarians left.

      They are not ordained in the Neocatechumenal Way. They are ordained in the Redemptoris Mater Seminary. We call them RMS priests. In the Way, we use either "presbyter" or "priest." The two words are have exactly the same meaning. The only difference is that one is in Latin and the other is in English. Of course, we can also refer to them as "Pale". It still means the same, but it is only in Spanish.

      The Pope can communicate with his bishops via email or with an audience with them. Communication in our generation is not a problem in that there is email, fax machines, whassap, the mass media, etc. The Pope even use the Internet to register himself online to attend an event. Congregations oversee certain things such as evangelization, divine worship, the laity, etc. But the Pope is the final authority.

      The Pope follows God. The bishops follow the Pope. The priests and deacons follow the Bishops. That is the Catholic Church hierarchy.

    2. Diana,
      You said the interview was taken before the 10 left (in early July), but Pius responded to a question regarding to the Hon declaration that was made in August.

    3. Okay, maybe I (@8:32am) shouldn't have capitalized the W in way....I meant following the Neocatechumenal way of things (for lack of a better term). I understand they are not ordained in the Neocatechumenal Way, they are ordained in the RMS.
      But, there is a difference in being ordained as a diocesan priest and as a Neo priest, am I not correct? So my question is, what is the difference and how different are their course of studies?

    4. Dear Anonymous at 9:08 am,

      First of all, there is no such thing as a Neo priest or a Neocatechumenal Way priest. That does not exist.

      Those ordained in the RM Seminary are diocesan priests just like those ordained in the John Paul II seminary. The only difference between the two diocesan priests is that the RMS priests are taught to be missionaries in foreign countries while those in the John Paul II seminary become missionaries only on Guam. The course of studies for both seminaries are the same.

    5. On Guam they are the same because they are both being operated by the same group.
      But, how different is it from other Seminaries in the U.S., for example. I'm just trying to figure out what all the fuss is about "formation" and "real priests" that I keep hearing.

    6. the pope follows God.the bishops follow the Pope.the Priests and deacons follow the bishops. and the CCOG follow about a Casino, what Tim has to gain and whoever, let the Casinos say in Vegas,there's just too mush Corruptior in the world, Leave the bishop to do his good work in his lsland, not Tim's

    7. Hey, Diana (August 28, 2016 at 8:45 AM),
      "presbyter" is Greek, not Latin; "pale" may be Chamorro, but definitely not Spanish.
      I find the use of the word "presbyter" in English superfluous/redundant since the word "priest" is derived from it through the German "Priester". It would it would be nice to have a separate word for the Latin "sacerdos"...

    8. Dear Anonymous at 11:48 pm,

      The Latin word for priest is "Presbyter". The Greek word is "presbyteros." According to

      "before 900; Middle English prest (e), priest, Old English prēost, ultimately < Late Latin presbyter presbyter"

      And for your information, "Pale" is NOT a Chamorro word. The ancient Chamorros never had any priests. There is no word for priest in Chamorro.

    9. I hate to correct you, but presbyter is not Latin, it's Greek. The Latin word for priest is sacerdote.

    10. at 2:02 PM A Powerful Russian Weapon: The Spread of False Stories....The New York Times. Is that what Tim Rohr doing here in Guam ?? try to get rid of the bishop for his personal gain. maybe a Casino, I bet he got a lot of rich people backing him up.nothing but a conspiracy..... A prayer for the bishop :)

    11. Dear Anonymous at 11:48pm--
      Your endless harping on CCOG followers of Tim and the whole casino tale is just as bad as them insisting that Pius is the leader of all Neos on Guam (including Apuron). Give it up already and let's stick to the real issues being debated. sheesh! It's getting just as bad as JW on this site!

    12. Diana at 8:32am--
      Re: "This interview was taken before 10 seminarians left. "
      @8:59 points out the timeline dispute of this statement. So could it be that Pius was fudging the numbers?? The Samoans left in early July. Pius responded to the question re ..."recent statement made by Apostolic Administrator Savio Hon Tai Fai..." that happened in mid Aug,
      So he was aware of the numbers.
      Another bothersome fact is that, while there were that many ordained, I would venture to say that maybe half are actually practicing on Guam? If I am incorrect, I apologize. Please list the newly ordained and the churches with their local churches to which they are assigned, if I may ask. Or is there a website I can look for this information?

    13. Dear Anonymous at 6:11 am,

      I provided the evidence in The Latin word is "Presbyter."

    14. Dear Anonymous at 8:02 am,

      It was taken sometime after July 18. He might have slipped his mind while he was writing his response to the questions.

    15. Dear Diana, the etymology of "presbyter":

    16. Diana @10:15 AM--
      Just providing this for info:
      Etymology of word "presbyter" indicates: "late 16th century: via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek presbuteros ‘elder’".
      Apparently a Greek term, Latin picked it up to use ecclesiastically. I say you're both correct.

    17. Dear Anonymous at 11:12 am and 11:26 am,

      See my response in the weblink below:

    18. Sheesh! At 7:48 AM I don't think there's nothing worse then the jungle blog, 4 years ago the bishop was approached about a casino on the island, And his response was NO! it seems for the last 3 years, that blog the Junglewatch is trying to get rid of the bishop at any means, 40 years and nothing, and now lies, false statement, the CCOG and Tim hate the NEO, for what? they worship the same God,I don't get it fighting against it's own church!and now the victim suing, 500,000 ea. all that hardworking donation Money, don't get it.


  5. Neocatechumenal priests do not exist?????

    Then, a question ONLY for the the priests who are ordained from RMS and who celebrate the NCW Mass.

    Why do YOU as a priest,who is in awe of Our Lord, personally feel that one should not kneel in adoration before the Lord's True Presence during Consecration during Mass, and why do YOU, thankful for the Lord's Sacrifice on the Cross, personally feel that the communicants should consume the Lamb sitting down as if they were celebrating a "common" banquet. Unacceptable answer is : that's how a NCW Mass is celebrated. Would like a more explicit answer explaining YOUR "why" and not the NCW "why".

    If there are no Neocatechumenal Way priests, then all priests should be taught to celebrate the Mass the same way. But, this doesn't happen. Only the priests who celebrate the Mass for the Neocatechumenal Way are taught the additions and deletions not in the approved Liturgical Books. This makes them Neocatechumenal Way Priests.

    1. Dear Anonymous at 3:41 pm,

      The RMS priests do kneel before the Blessed Sacrament. After the consecration of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, they kneel.

      You ask why we consume the Body of Christ sitting down as though we were celebrating a banquet. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that the Eucharist is both a sacrifice and a banquet. In fact, the Eucharist that Christ had with His Apostles were in a sitting position when they consumed His Body.

      It is false thinking to believe that the Mass is celebrated in exactly the same way. There are 9 liturgical rites in the Latin rite Mass and about 14 liturgical rites in the eastern rite Mass. The Universal Church does not have only one liturgical rite.

  6. Diana how come when the priests were not in your words "obedient" to Archbishop Apuron you made such a big deal of it. Now it appears Pius is not being obedient to Hon and you are encouraging it? Why the difference?

    1. Dear Anonymous at 9:05 am,

      There is a difference between disobedience and correction. Father Pius was correcting Archbishop Hon who thinks a "community" can renounce the Deed Restriction. Only Archbishop Apuron can do that. Apparently, Archbishop Hon was unaware of that information.

    2. Thanks for confirming what Tim said: that Hon must be in way over his head.

    3. Dear Anonymous at 10:50 am,

      I think Tim Rohr is correct in that the Vatican delegation that was here in January 2015, probably did not read any of the reports that were submitted to them.

  7. I guess CCOG wont stop till the 3 R's?
    What did the 3 R's stand for?
    Repent Reconcile Rejoyce?