Apostolic Delegate visits Guam to build bridges

A controversy has arisen regarding an alleged attempt to transfer ownership of property owed by Archdiocese Hagåtña to an organisation connected to the Neocatechumenal Way.

Last week, while on a visit to to Guam, the apostolic delegate archbishop Martin Krebs said he had come help build bridges and help those who want to build bridges.

Krebs met with people from Neocatechumenal Way, local religious, clergy and archbishop Anthony Apuron.

A group calling itself Concerned Catholics of Guam recently published a notice in the Pacific Daily News, calling on the Archdiocese of Hagåtña to publish audited financial statements annually on the Internet.

Guam Catholic Tim Rohr, whose blog Jungle Watch discusses controversial issues, said the archdiocese’s leadership has yet to publicly answer questions about one of the local church’s biggest assets — the former Accion Hotel which is now being used as a seminary.

There’s growing concern among local parishioners, Rohr said, because of an alleged attempt to transfer title of the property from the archdiocese to a group that’s in part controlled by New Jersey-based U.S. representatives of Neocatechumenal Way.

Krebs said his visit was intended to encourage bridges to be built, not torn down.

“There are many discussions going on in the archdiocese in Guam and of course I want to see the reality of the archdiocese,” he said.

“I see these discussions and I met with the priests and religious and the people of the Neocatechumenal Way in order to see what I can do in these discussions.”

“As an Apostolic Delegate I’m not called to solve the problems but to be helpful in order to encourage and empower the people who are here … and so that’s what I have been doing in my talks and the talks were very fruitful, putting on the table which are the problems and then trying to build bridges.”

Although a local blog reported the meeting was heated, according to the chancellor for the archdiocese of  Hagåtña, Father Adrian Cristobal, overall it was a very positive visit.

He says that Apuron will be addressing the needs of the priests over a period of time and that Archbishop Krebs has instructed them to build bridges with open dialogue and reconciliation.

According to Rohr, the property could be worth $35 million in today’s market,.

He said the archdiocese bought the former hotel for $2 million in 2002 after the $57 million hotel project failed.




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News category: Asia Pacific.

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