Friday, November 18, 2016

Repeat Post

The following was posted in my blog on August, 2014.  I am reposting it again as a reminder.

INTERVIEW OF FATHER PIUS TO Pacific Daily News(Integral version)

This is the entire text of the interview given by Father Pius to PDN. PDN has taken it upon itself to filter or simply discard anything in favor of the Neocatechumenal Way. Even this interview was truncated by the PDN Editorial staff.  

What is your response to those who say that theNeocatechumenal Way controls/has a major influence on Archbishop Apuron?

Sincerely I believe that these comments demean Archbishop as if he does not have a mind of his own. I am confident that Archbishop takes his own decisions and he does it after long moments of prayer and consultation with his various organizations.

Many times the media refer to the fact that he did not sell the seminary building in Yona. This seems to be the moot point in many journalistic articles. I think that he did not sell the seminary building, not due to any external influence, but due to the simple fact that a Seminary and a Theological Institute are an immense spiritual wealth for the Archdiocese and Canon Law (the Law of the Church) enjoins all Bishops to open a seminary to form priests. The Archbishop has opened two seminaries, one missionary inYona and one specifically for the archdiocese in Maloloj, and this was possible because the first Pontifical Theological Institute of Oceania was opened in Guam.

There are some people in the Guam Catholic Community who believe that there's a rift between those who are and aren't part of the NeocatechumenalWay, and examples of this divide include the recent removal of Msgr. James Benavente and FatherGofigan. What are your thoughts on this?

The removal of Fr. Gofigan and Mons. Benavente have nothing to do with the Neocatechumenal Way. In the first case the motivation, as far as I know, was that he was harboring a convicted sex offender. Father Gofigan, I believe, made an appeal to Rome and we have to wait for their decision.

In the case of Mgr. Benavente, I believe, it was a matter of putting in order a situation of improper accounting as the recent documents released by the Archdiocese show.

To attribute these decisions to the Neocatechumenal Way seems to me that it is an effort to try to find a scapegoat and not deal with the reality of the problems; to second guess the decisions of the Archbishop is not the way to answer to these problems which seem serious and in need of an answer, especially by the authority who has the responsibility of the Archdiocese.

Going back to the “rift”, we need to keep in mind that many of the people in the communities are people who were not going to Church, or who were in crisis and youth: these people are coming back to the Church. I like the image of Pope Francis where he compares the Church to a field hospital: in a hospital there are many units but there must be a ward also for those who are very seriously wounded or need an emergency room.

If you do not mind me saying this, recent discussions regarding the Neo-catechumenal Way smells of racism, xenophobia and hatred of non-islanders as if they should not be here: curiously enough, those most vocal in this “debate” are people not born in the island! Catholic means universal and I believe that this petty parochialism is not the spirit of Guamanian Catholics.

To the lay people’s understanding, what is theNeocatechumenal Way, and how does its practicesdiffer from Catholic traditions on Guam, including how Guam families pay respect to the dead?

The Neocatechumenal Way has been recognized by Pope Paul VI, Saint John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Pope Francis as a "gift of the Holy Spirit " for the Church. Saint John Paul defined the Neocatechumenal Way as an “itinerary of catholic formation valid for our times and our society". TheNeo Catechumenal Way is an instrument to reach out especially to the people who have left the Church and the youth.

The Holy See has allowed a few concessions in the liturgical celebrations to help especially those who are returning to religious practice after years of being away so that they can participate more actively to the sacraments. 

Regarding the respect of the dead the NeocatechumenalWay teaches the traditional Catholic doctrine and the importance of honoring our dead ones and praying for them.

Did the Neocatechumenal Way attempt to influence the transfer of title to the former Accion Hotel property inYona from the Archdiocese of Guam to an entity whose officers are members of the Neocatechumenal Way?

Actually it is the other way around. The purchase of theAccion Hotel was proposed by the Neocatechumenal Way to the Archbishopbecause in order to start the Seminary and an Institute there was a need for rooms for 30-40 seminarians, 10 Faculty Professors, four classrooms, a library for twenty thousand volumes, a chapel. The money for the purchase of the Hotel was donated to the Archdiocese by an off island benefactor who offered it withthe explicit intention of erecting the Seminary and the Theological Institute. The previous owner of the hotel sold it for just 1.9 millions with the proviso that the building be used as an educational facility. Actually the Archdiocese did not put down a penny.

Regarding the transfer of the title, the legal advisor of the Archdiocese, five years ago, asked that the title be transferred to the Redemptoris Mater Corporation to respect the intention of the donor and to safeguard the property. This Corporation is a corporation sole where there is only one member, namely the Archbishop who hasall power.  He is assisted by a Board of Directors whooverviews the daily administration. The only member, namely the Archbishop, chooses all Directors. Then there is a Board of Guarantors that guarantees that the Corporation follows the original purpose for which it was createdTheArchbishop chooses, confirms or dismisses freely these guarantors.

So the Neocatechumenal Way does not and cannot (by reason of its Statutes) possess the seminary but simply ensures the formation.

The Neocatechumenal Way has helped in fact form one hundred seminaries worldwide, the most recent being in Seoul by Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-Jung, Primate of Korea. This means that around 30 cardinals and 70 bishops consider the formation in these seminaries excellent. In the past there were many seminaries conducted by Jesuits orSulpicians and nobody ever thought that entrusting a seminary to a religious order would violate the diocesan nature of the seminary.

The whole discussion on the property of the Accion Hotel began two-three years ago because certain individuals wanted to sell the building to pay their debts. Actually the Archdiocese is only supporting 3 or 4 percent of the seminary’s budget, while the rest is supported by Catholics from all over the world including different foundations and Propaganda Fide.

What message would you like to send to Guam as a community of diverse faiths?

I think that this campaign of disinformation is detrimental to everybody. Hate speech is always bad and does not help. The fact that in Guam has arisen a Seminary, which is helping the formation of priests for Guam and for the entire Pacific, is a sign of the importance of this island in the plan of God.

Father Manuel Solorzano, a Jesuit priest who who was killed in 1684 in Hagatna while preaching the Gospel,wrote to his father who tried to convince him to abandon the mission,“cielo son las marianas” “paradise are the Marianas”.  By this he meant that giving his life to announce the Gospel and being killed for it, was his paradise.

We all need to go back to this spirituality: to save one soul is worth my life. We should help each other in this because our youth and the families are all suffering today in an environment, which preaches relativism and hedonism.Saint Pope John XXIII died sayingsouls, souls, ut unumsint,  that they may one”.


  1. Are you reposting it as a reminder of the same lies?

    1. Dear Anonymous at 5:14 am,

      I am posting it to show what you the truth. In the interview, Father Pius said that it is the Archbishop who can remove the Board of Directors and the Board of Guarantors. Archbishop Byrnes already demonstrated that since he is the successor of Archbishop Apuron. He had just demonstrated that it was the Archbishop who was in control all that time. The NCW and RMS never had control. This interview was in 2014. We never changed our song and dance.

    2. Diana, this was exactly the problem. That Archbishop Apuron had the control! Because he had to yield. The keyword here is: yield. Yielding to the demand of others. Archbishop Byrnes does not have to yield to the demand of others. This makes a big difference! Don't you agree?

    3. No problem here! The problem is at the jungle: there is an unavoidable split of opinion. Some people just realized that. Rohr is working for the liberal-secular media by giving them reason and ideology to destroy the Catholic Church! He is very skilled and very smart to disguise himself and his ugly desires.

      After this discovery, Rohr was questioned of what he is doing! He swept the question aside and accuses the people of Guam for not doing anything. He claims he alone had to do everything to destroy Apuron and the Church and now he wants his fair share of the loot coming from the cash-cow lawsuits. He won't let the goose hatching the golden egg go! See here:

      AnonymousNovember 19, 2016 at 9:34 AM

      Let's reasonably take care of victims and put a leash on the lawyers, who unlike us, don't really give a damn about the Church we love and want to cleanse. There are those who are claiming to be advocates for the victims who are in fact using the victims as cover to hide their real intent: destroy the Catholic Faith!

      TimNovember 19, 2016 at 9:42 AM

      It's a little late for that. God permitted Jerusalem to be overrun by Babylon and for the Temple to fall to the Romans because of the evil of religious leaders like Apuron, but also because the people did nothing.

      AnonymousNovember 19, 2016 at 1:15 PM

      No Tim it's never too late. Let's cleanse the Church not destroy it. There are those who are riding the coattails of this Movement to Cleanse for their own personal and hidden agenda, one of which is to destroy the Catholic Church! Please consider how we should proceed from here. Thank you.

      TimNovember 19, 2016 at 1:39 PM

      That's exactly what God did to the ancient Israelites. He cleansed it. Ever heard of the faithful remnant?

  2. Q: Did the Neocatechumenal Way attempt to influence the transfer of title to the former Accion Hotel property in Yona from the Archdiocese of Guam to an entity whose officers are members of the Neocatechumenal Way?

    A: Actually it is the other way around. The purchase of the Accion Hotel was proposed by the Neocatechumenal Way to the archbishop, because in order to start the seminary and an institute, there was a need for rooms for 30 to 40 seminarians, 10 faculty professors, four classrooms, a library for 20,000 volumes, a chapel. The money for the purchase of the hotel was donated to the archdiocese by an off-island benefactor who offered it with the explicit intention of erecting the seminary and the theological institute. The previous owner of the hotel sold it for just $1.9 million with the proviso that the building be used as an educational facility. Actually, the archdiocese did not put down a penny.

  3. Diana, some of the things we read here from Fr. Pius sounds outdated.
    1. Fr. Gofigan did not "harbor" a sexual offender.
    2. Mgr. Benavente was exonerated of improper accounting.
    3. There was no explicit intention of the donor to erect an RMS seminary operated by the NCW.
    4. The Japanese firm did not set condition for selling the Accion Hotel.
    5. The faithful of the Archdiocese significantly contributed to the purchase/ upkeep of the Seminary and provided financial support.

    Do you think, Diana, the statements made in this interview by Fr. Pius still sound true? Please, give responses beyond your usual one-sentence treatment of things that would deserve much more. People are listening.

    1. Dear Anonymous at 8:28 am.

      Yes, they are still true today.

      1. There is no doubt that Joseph Lastimosa was a convicted rapist and murderer and continued to work in the Dededo parish.

      2. There is substantial evidence that Monsignor James misused funds inappropriately. Even Tim Rohr admitted that it was wrong of Monsignor James to use cemetery funds for his anniversary dinner.

      3. There was explicit intention of the donor to pay of the Bank of Guam to erect the RMS Seminary.

      4. The Accion hotel was sold to the Archdiocese when a loan was approved by the Bank of Guam.

      5. The 2 million dollars did not come from the people of Guam. And the members of the NCW have maintained the Seminary. Most of the seminarians at RMS also came from the NCW.

    2. Diana, members of the NCW are not from Guam??

    3. Dear Anonymous at 9:41 am,

      Okay. Let me rephrase what I said. The NCW members from Guam have maintained the Seminary free of charge.

    4. Lastimosa was not harbored. He worked for the community of Dededo. Benavente was cleared of what you say. The donor did not know about that sentence hidden is the bank paperwork you are talking about. The donor clarified that she did not even know about the NCW. It couldn't have been her intention to use her money exclusively for NCW purposes. Diana, be real.

    5. NCW members are also the people of Guam. People of Guam provided every means for the RMS to go.

    6. Dear Anonymous at 10:00 am,

      The NCW members here are also the people of Guam, BUT the people of Guam are NOT the NCW. Do not try to twist it around to give credit to people who did nothing.

    7. Diana, who did nothing? Who are the people you blame for doing nothing?

    8. Wow Diana, did you even read what you wrote before you posted it? You just made a blanket statement that implied that "the people of Guam not in the NCW did nothing for the RMS".

      So how many years did the RMS receive funding from the archdiocese? And how is that not doing anything for the RMS?

      Don't confuse the hatred of the NCW and the RMS of Tim Rohr and company with the people of Guam not in the NCW. Some of us had no problem supporting and accepting you.

    9. Dear Anonymous at 2:10 pm,

      It would be the people who is trying to take credit for what the NCW.

    10. Dear Anonymous at 2:15 pm,

      Read my comment again. I never said anything about the finance. I said the NCW members took charge of the upkeep of the Seminary for free. That means they cleaned and maintained the facilities for free without charging the Seminary.

    11. I was referring to your 10:45 comment where you say you do not want to give credit to those who did nothing for the RMS. Well, if we did nothing what was given wouldn't have been part of the 3-4% needed to operate the RMS.

      That is why I said don't make a blanket statement that confuses the hatred of Tim Rohr and co with everyone not in the NCW. Not all of us have a problem with the NCW.

    12. Dear Anonymous at 3:29 pm,

      I apologized that you misunderstood my comment in 10:45.

  4. Father Pius Sammut, of the Neocatechumenal Way, in a response to questions from the Pacific Daily News, said """even with a title transfer""", the archbishop would still have all the power over the property.

  5. """I think that he did not sell the seminary building""", not due to any external influence, """but due to the simple fact that a seminary and a theological institute are an immense spiritual wealth for the Archdiocese and Canon Law (the Law of the Church) enjoins all bishops to open a seminary to form priests""" ...

  6. The money for the purchase of the hotel was donated to the archdiocese by an off-island benefactor """who offered it with the explicit intention of erecting the seminary""" and the theological institute.

  7. Regarding the transfer of the title, the legal adviser of the archdiocese, five years ago, """asked that the title be transferred""" to the Redemptoris Mater Corp. """to respect the intention of the donor and to safeguard the property""".

  8. Actually the archdiocese is only supporting 3 or 4 percent of the seminary's budget, while the rest is supported by Catholics from all over the world including different foundations and Propaganda Fide.

  9. 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.

  10. According to the mother superior, her wish to remain anonymous was not respected. And the conditions for which she understood the property was to be used for were not followed. "We knew that it would be for the education of priests we knew that - we never said anything, anything, anything about the Redemptoris Mater Seminary.
    So you can only imagine her reaction when she just happened to be visiting the very Carmelite community that donated the $2 million - which Mother Superior called her over to her computer - to let her know she just received an e-mail message from Archbishop Anthony Apuron. "Archbishop Anthony Apuron had asked the sisters who had given the gift to say that they had purposely earmarked that gift for the Redemportis Mater Seminary and for the San Vitores Theological Institute of Oceania. That was completely untrue," she stated.

    Mother Dawn said they refused to participate in this alleged cover-up

    1. Dear Anonymous at 9:43 am,

      Her identity was revealed a long time ago by the jungle blog. The Archbishop and Father Pius never revealed her identity. Also, the fact that Mother Dawn does not know that RMS is a seminary only shows her ignorance or prejudice.

    2. Where was she revealed. I read both blogs I never knew of her.

    3. Dear Anonymous at 11:03 am,

      It was revealed by Tim Rohr on August 6, 2014, which was three years ago. He wrote it in his blog. See the weblink below:

      The only way he could get this information was from Mother Dawn herself. She revealed the donor to Tim, and Tim revealed it to the world, by blaming that we revealed the donor. The donor was never revealed in the news or in my blog. It was FIRST revealed by Tim, who turned around and blamed us for what he and Mother Dawn did three years ago.

  11. 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.

    1. It was not the Lord who provided. The donor was not properly informed. She was kept in dark about the purpose of the $2million.

    2. Dear Anonymous at 10:02 am,

      The Lord provided through the donor. It is not our fault that Mother Dawn is ignorant. Even the Pope is aware that RMS is a seminary. After all, the Pope ordained about 16 men from the RMS in Rome.

  12. 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.

    Our seminary has already reached its tenth anniversary of life and, as in the beginning, the prophetic words of Isaiah still resound: … announce the Good News to the distant coasts and islands which have not yet experience the glory of the Lord. (Isaiah 66:19).

  13. According to Father Pius, Apuron was protecting the seminary and the theological institute to give them permanence and stability to defend the RMS for the church. He wrote, "The deed restriction is simply an act according to canon law that allows the archdiocesan RM seminary to use that Yona property. 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."

  14. Sole use

    Untalan said that contrary to statements that the Yona land was purchased for the sole use of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary (RMS), it was actually purchased with the intention that it be used for “the benefit of all Catholics in Guam.”

    “Because of its size, it will allow the archdiocese to build other buildings for use by parishioners, without interrupting the operation of the seminary,” he said.

    1. Dear Anonymous at 9:59 am,

      Mr. Untalan and the finance council signed and approved the purchase of the property, which stated that the property is to PERMANENTLY house RMS. They have the document, but they never published it in the jungle. Why? Because at the top of the document, it clearly stated that the purpose of the purchase is to permanently house RMS.

    2. Diana please post a copy of the document!

    3. Dear Anonymous at 2:13 pm,

      Ask Mr. Untalan to show you the document. If he refuses to show you, then you know why.

    4. Why do you refuse to show us?

    5. Dear Anonymous at 10:11 pm,

      Because that is one of the documents that will be used in court.

  15. Lastly, Untalan responded to the claim made by Apuron in a statement released to the media last week that the then-AFC had tried to sell the Yona property.

    “The AFC denied the request of the RMS to transfer the title of the property to the RMS. Archbishop Apuron agreed and directed us to directly transmit the decision of the Archdiocese to the RMS,” Untalan said.

    Unbeknownst to the AFC, Untalan said that Apuron later, and in secret, made the transfer and recorded the deed restriction without any consultation following ecclesiastical law on Nov. 22, 2011.

    Untalan speculated that the reason council members were fired was to prevent them from accidentally discovering Apuron’s actions before the documents were finalized.

    “We were fired to hide the fact that the archbishop and others secretly and in violation of canon law, and perhaps civil law as well, not to mention their fiduciary responsibility to the Catholic faithful, gave away the Yona property to the RMS, a separate entity controlled by the NCW, for free.”

    1. Dear Anonymous at 10:01 am,

      Again, the fact that Archbishop Byrnes was able to rescind the deed restriction and disbanded the two boards only goes to show that Archbishop Apuron never gave away the ownership, authority, and control of the property.

      The former finance board was fired because they suggested to sell the Seminary in order to pay off the debts of the Archdiocese. They were fired because they were not looking out for the welfare and future of the Archdiocese.

    2. Abp Byrnes rescinded the deed restriction before the statute of limitations ran out on he being able to do that. After, he would not have been able to rescind it.

    3. Dear Jose,

      As I said, he was misled by an angry bishop who wanted to get back at the people who announced the name of the new bishop he did. 😄🙄

    4. I find it amusing that Hon is so angry. Why? He was not informed from Vatican because he is a loser. Period! Everybody knows. Should he listened to Pope Francis, he would have been properly informed. But he went against Francis because the devil tempted him to do stupid things. And he did! Was not Hon who fired Fr. Adrian and Msgr David? Why, tell me, why?!

      He also did not like Fr. Pius as the rector of RMS. Why, tell me why?! Did he have a problem with that? That was a big mistake, because it showed that Hon was on the devil's side. What a blunder! Hon did not want to show his true colors, but eventually we exposed him by our letters to Vatican. Vatican knows better than Hon and we won, he is the loser.

      Now, Hon takes revenge on innocent people studying in the seminary. They did not do anything! But Hon wants to close down RMS and send the seminarians back home. He has no clue about evangelization. He is the arm of the devil on Guam. Archbishop Byrnes will need to know this. Even if Hon misled Byrnes for a short time, the truth will come out very soon. I mean very soon! Ha-ha.

    5. The whole car analogy isn't very clear...So you're saying:

      1. The car is the property of the hotel owned by the Archdiocese.

      2. The licensed driver is the RMS.

      3. The RMS is led/managed by the Archbishop.

      Therefore, the RMS is under the direction and control of the Archdiocese through the Archbishop. And it could only be controlled/managed by the Archbishop. Is that correct?

    6. Wow, this is a scary mindset anon.

    7. I admit I'm a little or a lot crazy. But, I was trying to understand the logic of:

      "The fact that Archbishop Byrnes was able to rescind the deed restriction and disbanded the two boards only goes to show that Archbishop Apuron never gave away the ownership, authority, and control of the property."

      And that's what I came up with.

    8. The whole deed was wrong from the get go and now everything is fine and dandy now that the neocatechumenal way is out of the picture.

    9. AB Byrnes doesn't know the full story. As an Archbishop who favors the new evangelization, wait till he finds out what the Way is all about. He will learn that many of those seminarians came from the Way. Some of them are the sons of mission families.

    10. Dear Anonymous at 4:08 pm,

      Now that the deed restriction has been rescinded, what is the jungle saying now about the property? Do you not know that they are now making plans for that property? Do you not know that they are now talking about shutting it down and sending the seminarians back to their countries or to what they feel is a real Seminary in the US?

      As Father Pius said, you can close down the Seminary and sell it. But the NCW will continue on. RMS is separate from the NCW. Our celebrations have not stopped despite that you replaced the priests in our parishes. In fact, the priests in the parishes of Agana, Barrigada, Yigo, and Chalan Pago allow the NCW to continue their word and Eucharist celebrations. Youth scrutacio and the monthly convivience are still going on. We continue to evangelize and bring in new people into the celebrations.

    11. How true. Look at Japan. The RM Seminary in Japan was closed down, but the NCW there is still very active in missionary work.

    12. 4:08pm:

      Why was the deed restriction wrong?

      What is so wrong with entrusting the formation of men to an itinerary of formation approved by the pope?

      If you do not trust the pope, then who do you trust?

  16. Right on Diana, may ''God'' be with you!!!

  17. I encourage all Catholics on Guam to watch You Tube Free EWTN 'a new presentation A sheep in wolfs clothing it is excellent and explains the that we in Guam are in Battle with Satan the great liar. It runs 1:25 minutes and EWTN doesn't lie.

    Tim , CCOG and other groups use Saul Alinsky Rulles for Radicals to push their agenda . Even the Democratic Party now Obama and Hilary Clinton used it in their organizing days.
    Really know who we are up against .

    This is wonderful and an eye openerGod save us pray to our mother Mary and for our Church and our Country ,. My catechist always has told me the truth

  18. Sorry on You Tube ewtn aWolf in Sheeps Clothing

    1. Couldn't even get it right the first time.

  19. Diana Why does the Umatuna Si Yuus have a front page article CORRECTING STORY ON SEMINARY PROPERTY PRINTED NOV. 29, 2015 IN UMATUNA.
    Looks like the article "provided to the UMATUNA" is backtracking the claim from the article that The Archbishop of Agana is the legal and sole owner of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary of Guam in Yona
    Today's article also says The Umatuna apologizes for the error
    What the heck is going on here???