Neocats say they have no authority to return seminary to archdiocese

Father Pius Sammut, rector of the neocatechumenal Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona, Guam, says they have no authority to lift the deed of restriction that gives the seminary and a theological institute the legal right to use the archdiocese’s property.

“The only one who can lift the deed of restriction is the ordained Archbishop of Agãna, Archbishop Apuron or, eventually, his successor,” Sammut told Pacific Daily News.

He said the Archbishop is “both the sole member of the RM Seminary and of the Corporation Sole that is the Archdiocese of Agana, who owns the property, following the due canonical steps of consultation and deliberation.”

Sammut and Apuron are both members of the Neocatechumenal Way.

Neocats did not defy Pope

Sammut said members of the Neocatechumenal Way never defied the pope because they do not own anything.

“Archbishop Apuron never defied the Pope either, since the pope never said to the Archbishop to lift the deed of restriction,” Sammut said.

“If you refer to the indication or request of a Congregation of the Holy See, I can only say that in the Catholic Church every Diocesan Bishop in the diocese entrusted to him has all ordinary, proper and immediate power, and that indications or requests of the Holy See need to be evaluated by the Bishop in the exercise of his pastoral function.”

The Vatican placed Apuron on leave after former altar boys started publicly accusing him of sexual abuse. Apuron hasn’t been charged with any crime.

Hon has told the media he doesn’t know where Apuron is.

Apuron last made a visual public statement in early June in a recorded video message to members of the Guam community. In the video, Apuron appeared to be at the Vatican in Rome.

Pope Francis sent Hon to Guam in early June to temporarily administer the local Catholic church.

Hon issued a statement last week requesting the Redemptoris Mater Seminary and the community that controls it to voluntarily return the Yona property, instead of having the matter go to court.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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