Concerned Catholics React to Decision about Seminary

By Isa Baza
November 16, 2016

After controversy in Guam's Catholic church stretched on for years over the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona, the head of the Concerned Catholics of Guam group says he's cautious, but relieved, that the multimillion dollar property has finally been restored to the Archdiocese of Agana.

"Cautionary elation," said Dave Sablan of his feelings after yesterday's announcement at the Hagatna Cathedral. "I'm happy that Archbishop Byrnes has done what he did." However, Sablan, the head of the Concerned Catholics of Guam, says it's not over yet. He adds his organization will not rest until the documents are reviewed to ensure that two key aspects have been resolved - one of which is to remove the provision tying the seminary to the Neocatechumenal Way.

"And if he removed that provision, great. Secondly, I wanted to see how he removed the board of directors," he said.

Meanwhile on Tuesday Mother Superior Dawn Marie of the Carmelite Nuns in Guam also spoke out revealing that her order was asked to lie for Archbishop Anthony Apuron in an attempt to cover-up the misuse of the RMS. Mother Dawn told local media that she was able to secure the $2 million that was used to pay off a loan to purchase the Yona property.

"Mother Dawn Marie, a very courageous person to come out, and speak the truth of what was asked of her of her order of Carmelites to do," said Sablan.

Sablan adds prior to this announcement, the CCOG and Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai had tried, but failed multiple times to work with the former board of guarantors to return the property to the archdiocese voluntarily. He says despite what appears to be good news for the church, the CCOG may seek further court action to ensure the issue is fully resolved. He says if the seminary continues to operate, it should function as a diocesan seminary.

He stated, "What the CCOG would like to see now is for Archbishop Byrnes to have the Neocatechumenal Way follow their statutes and the direction of the Vatican or you're outside of the church and you must then remove yourselves from all the parishes that you're involved in.

"Get out of that seminary in Yona and go form your own church - the way other religions in Guam have formed their own churches."








Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.