4. REGARDING FINANCES
The Report concludes that the RMS costs too much for the Archdiocese and that this therefore the RMS “may need to be closed for the good of the Archdiocese of Agana”. Also here facts are completely distorted:
Report (Conclusion): excessive cost of the RMS for the Archdiocese
ANSWER: On the Financial Year 2016, the Archdiocese of Agana listed a subsidy for the RMS of $92,450. Of these $64,800 was "Remuneration to the Clergy”, which every diocese is obliged to pay (CIC 281). Therefore the real subsidy for the RMS was only $26,100, ". During the FY 2016 the priests related to the RMS donated to this Institution $46,150 out of their salary.
The real amount of archdiocesan support to the RMS on FY 2016 was therefore only 5% of the total budget. During the last five years, the Archdiocese has contributed to priests' formation in the RMS with an annual average of 5%-8% of the total budget. Thanks to our benefactors (who, contrary to what the Report writes, have continued to donate generously), thanks to voluntary workers and especially thanks to the Divine Providence, the RMS can grant formation and lodging to our seminarias for $10,000 per year, less than one-fourth of the cost of a seminarian in U.S. mainland ($40,000 average per year). So that, since the archdiocese contributes 5 to 8% of this cost, the real cost of one seminarian studying in Guam for the Archdiocese is about $500-800 a year vs. $40,000 on the mainland.
However, in response to the misleading report which claims an excessive cost of the RMS for the Archdiocese, since the aim of the seminary is to form priest who may totally rely on the Providence of God, the Seminary and the Institute will feel honored from now on not to receive any support from the Archdiocese and to depend totally on God's Providence.
1. Contrary to the statement of the report, the RMS is a diocesan seminary duly erected by the Ordinary of the Archdiocese. Questioning the Statutes of an Institution approved by the Holy Father and by more than one hundred cardinals, archbishops and bishops shows the confusion of the Report.
2. Formation given at the RMS is of high quality. Admission, seminary life, evaluation, intellectual formation and pastoral formation have always been regulated and strictly monitored by the Lateran University of Rome, the University of the Pope, by the Congregation for Catholic Education in the Vatican.
3. Subsidy from the Archdiocese to the RMS and the Theological Institute has been an average of only 5% of the total budget, in the last Fiscal Year. Even though this amount is minimal and the Archdiocese saves about $39,000 per year if a seminarian were to study on the mainland, the RMS and the Institute will be honored to rely from now on totally on the Divine Providence.
4. The majority of the priests formed in the RMS – as everybody in good faith knows - are serving in the parishes of the Archdiocese of Agana performing daily Masses, baptisms, weddings, funerals and performing many other pastoral duties, also in parishes where no other priest wants to go.
It must be clearly stated and understood that these findings do not lend validity to the Visitation Committee Report; furthermore, the composition of the Visitation Committee, their experience, and qualifications in evaluating any seminary is questionable. This report was composed with preconceived ideas and they wrote what they wanted to find. In fact, the report starts with a point which has nothing to do with a visitation Report, presenting the opinion of an obscure law firm about the decree of use, thus showing its bias and true intention: not to evaluate the RMS and the Theological Institute but to discredit them, so that they may be terminated and the land be sold for other uses. Consequently exposing its propagandistic aim and its ideological nature, the Report was delivered – contrary to canonical requirements – first to the media and later to the Seminary.
This Report, recommending the elimination of the RMS and of the Theological Institute, is highly damaging for our Archdiocese and for the spiritual and economic capability of forming priests not only for Guam but for all the Pacific: if believed and implemented, it will jeopardize the future of the Church in our island and whoever is responsible for it will have to give full account for such consequences not to us but to the Lord. Our task is to serve the truth.
Msgr. David C. Quitugua, Acting Rector
Fr. Julio Cesar Sanchez Malagon, Vice-rector
Ricardo B. Eusebio, M.D., FACS
Mr. David Atienza de Frutos, PhD
Mr. Shawn Leon Guerrero
Mr. Joseph T. Terlaje
Mr. Danny Quichocho (Treasurer)
Ms. Susanna J. Jayasuriya (Secretary)