Father Jeff called a press conference to speak about Bill 326. Instead, he used most of the time in that press conference bashing the Neocatechumenal Way rather than speaking about Bill 326. He was the leader of the ad hoc committee who was supposed to visit the seminary. After hearing his press conference, I knew right away that the report was biased. According to PNC news:
President of 'Catholic Families for Apuron' says RMS report is biased
Dr. Ricardo Eusebio also sits on the board of directors for the Redemptoris Mater Seminary.
Guam - Redemptoris Mater Seminary Board of Directors member Dr. Ricardo Eusebio says he does not trust the ad hoc committee report on the RMS issued by Father Jeff San Nicolas yesterday. Dr. Eusebio says the report was prepared by a committee that is biased.
Dr. Ricardo Eusebio is a surgeon, a member of the neocatechumenal way, a member of the group I Familian Mangatoliku Siha Para Si Apuron or Catholic Families for Apuron and a board member of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary.
We met with him today to get his reaction to Father Jeff San Nicolas' statement yesterday in which Father San Nicolas connected for the first time Archbishop Anthony Apuron to the neocatechumenal way. Dr. Eusebio says he has no response for such allegations from Father San Nicolas. But he does have a few words to say about an ad hoc committee report Father San Nicolas released to the media yesterday despite orders from his superiors not to do so.
The report is on the RMS and is 141 pages long. It confirms some of the suspicions many have had about the Yona seminary's practices and its strict ties to the neocatechumenal way.
"I don't think the people in that committee have in their best interest the Redemptoris Mater Seminary. I think their interest is to close the seminary and I think their interest is to make the seminary look bad. So why would I listen to a report in which the members forming an opinion in the report are biased?"
Although Dr. Eusebio admits he has not had a chance to read the full report, he responds to some of the allegations contained in it. For example, the report states that the RMS purports to follow on paper the Program for Priestly Formation when considering incoming seminarians, but by practice, they don't follow the PPF guidelines. As a result, “A major consequence of an inadequate evaluation process calls into question the quality, accuracy and overall integrity of any evaluation decisions which subsequently may lead to the progression of candidates to ordination who are not ready and do not meet the standards and expectations articulated in the PPF, nor have the concurrence of the faithful."
"The seminary has ordained 17 priests. Are you telling me that the 17 priests are not worthy of being priests? Are you telling me that Father Miguel who is completing his Ph.D in Rome is not an adequate priest? Are you telling me that Father Alberto who sits in the chancery, who is appointed by Archbishop Hon to be there is not an adequate priest?" questioned Dr. Eusebio.
Dr. Eusebio also points out that the seminary is accredited differently and therefore their educational standards will be different.
"The seminary here in Guam is one that is accredited by the Lateran University and so follows a different sort of path than somebody who is accredited by a university in the United States," he pointed out. "It's not like somebody enters the seminary at one stage and then four years, five years, six years, eight years later are ordained. For some it's 10 years, for some it's 15 years. It depends. It depends on their maturation. It depends on their spiritual formation."
Meanwhile, Dr. Eusebio also defended Archbishop Anthony Apuron, noting that proclaiming Apuron guilty is premature at this point in time.
"Even a criminal who has committed a crime, is accused of a crime in the court system is deemed innocent until proven guilty. Yet here we have the presbyteral council, Father Jeff assuming that Archbishop Apuron is already guilty and that he should be removed? I think it's a shame," he said.
PNC: "Do you have an opinion yourself on the innocence or guilt of Archbishop Apuron?"
"I think he's innocent until he's proven guilty. That's the right thing to think."