Guam: Church explains how donations are spent

The Archdiocese of Agana, [Guam] has  responded to concerns of Toto parishioners who wanted more clarity in how money collected from annual donations are spent.

According to John Taitano, a council member of the Toto parish, the church only collected $150 of its more than $5,000 goal.

Taitano previously stated parishioners “overwhelmingly” opposed to giving donations to the appeal this year because of transparency concerns.

He said many Catholics on island don’t agree with the Neocatechumenal Way, a global movement within the Catholic Church, and believe the teachings of the Redemptoris Mater are in line with the Neocatechumenal Way.

Father Adrian Cristobal, spokesman of the Chancery office, explained in the Archdiocese newspaper how funds from the Archdiocesan Annual Appeal (AAA) were divvied up between July 2014 and May of this year.

“The Redemptoris Mater Seminary relies mostly on donations and fundraising,” Cristobal wrote. “It is false to say that all the monies collected by the AAA goes to the Redemptoris Mater Seminary.”

“Only 26 percent” went to the Redemptoris Mater Seminary, according to Cristobal. The St. John Paul the Great Archdiocesan Seminary received 36 percent while 20 percent went to chaplain’s expenses.

Taitano said he doesn’t agree with the Chancery’s breakdown of the funds from the appeal.

He said there’s still a lack of transparency and the archdiocese should publicize the documents that show how the finances were spent.

“If in fact these are the figures you’re providing, then show it to us,” Taitano said. “Show us how much is being spent. … Show us those documents.”

There are currently 37 diocesan seminarians studying at the Redemptoris Mater, with 26 of them studying for the Archdiocese of Agana, Cristobal said.

The remaining 11 seminarians came from other dioceses such as the Diocese of American Samoa and Archdiocese of Apia, which pay for their respective seminarians.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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