Police presence expected at seminary protest
By Jasmine Stole
Pacific Daily News
April 28, 2016
|The Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Guam in Yona.|
Police plan to check on protesters expected at the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona Thursday, after two protests occurred in the past week.
Following a heated protest at the A.B. Won Pat International Airport last Thursday, the Guam Police Department was called to another protest at the seminary Tuesday.
Police will be making occasional checks at the seminary Thursday in anticipation of the protest, according to Capt. Kim Santos, GPD spokeswoman.
After dozens of silent protests in front of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica in Hagåtña for the past year or so, the protests in the past week have not been as silent.
Police have not been present at the silent protests, hand billing or prayer demonstrations hosted by the Laity Forward Movement or the Concerned Catholics of Guam at various local churches, according to Robert Klitzkie, former senator.
Robert Klitzkie and members of Concerned Catholics of Guam and Laity Forward have been calling attention to Archbishop Anthony Apuron, some calling for his resignation, consistently over the past two years. Apuron’s ties with the Neocatechumenal Way have angered some local Catholics.
Lou Klitzkie, a member of Laity Forward, was one of about 30 people present at the protest on Tuesday. She said several ladies who were part of the protest walked into the seminary and were met by another woman who told them “to leave or else she was going to call the cops.”
The women said they wanted to see the archbishop and a few minutes later, the police arrived, according to Lou Klitzkie.
“The cops went inside and then they came out and told the ladies, ‘The rector and the attorney for the archdiocese said for the ladies to leave,’” Lou Klitzkie said. “The ladies wanted to find out from the archbishop that if the seminary belongs to the archdiocese then why couldn’t we, Catholics, members of the archdiocese, be there.”
The archbishop never met with the women, so they left, according to Lou Klitzkie. No arrests were made on Tuesday. “The cops were there and said they were just doing their job,” she said. “It was a peaceful protest. I feel we didn’t do anything wrong by going in and trying to talk to the archbishop.”
The Pacific Daily News sought comment from the Rev. Jose Alberto Rodriguez, vice chancellor, about the protests, but messages were not returned as of press time.
Catholics protested at the airport last Thursday upon the arrival of Giuseppe Gennarini, Claudia Gennarini and Angelo Pochetti, who are U.S.-based representatives of the Neocatechumenal Way. The Gennarinis and Pochetti are listed as board of guarantor members in the seminary’s articles of incorporation, according to the documents.
The seminary in Yona is a registered nonprofit corporation, and who controls the property has been a controversial subject among local Catholics. Apuron has said in official statements that he controls the property, but critics, like Robert Klitzkie and Catholic blogger Tim Rohr, and one local lawyer have publicly opposed this. They have said Apuron is not in control and that the seminary is not property of Archdiocese of Agana.