The Concerned Catholics of Guam say they want to give Archbishop Anthony Apuron an opportunity to “set things right” first before taking him to court.
Guam – The Concerned Catholics of Guam is preparing to take legal action against Archbishop Anthony Apuron if he maintains status quo on the controversial deeding of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona. Before taking him to court, however, CCOG says they want to give the Archbishop a chance to”set things right.”
The controversy surrounding the Redemptoris Mater Seminary has been brewing for several years with little to no response from the Archdiocese of Agana and as a result, the Concerned Catholics of Guam is now planning to take legal action against Archbishop Anthony Apuron for allegedly deeding over a multimillion dollar property to a third party illegally. Tim Rohr, a Catholic insider, spoke on behalf of the group today.
“They have two courses of action, one would be civil court, and the other would be through a church court,” says Rohr.
Taking legal action, either in canonical or civil court, is more of a last resort for the CCOG, but it may be necessary in order to get back the RMS that they believe was given away to a third party that is in no way a part of the Archdiocese of Agana. The group says they first want to give Archbishop Apuron an opportunity to set things right.
“In conversations with their attorneys, they realized that there was a certain number of steps they had to go through and one of those steps was giving the archbishop the opportunity to set things right on his own. Deeding the property back to the Archdiocese of Agana,” notes Rohr.
The CCOG and many Catholics on Guam have voiced their concern about the RMS as they believe that Archbishop Apuron conveyed the property, reportedly worth between $45 to $70 million dollars, to an organization outside of the Archdiocese. There are a number of steps the Archbishop must take, but, essentially, it all comes down to the execution of a Grant Deed.
“So in order for the property to be returned, those docutments need to be drawn up by an attorney to be recorded at [Department of] Land Management,” Rohr explains.
Rohr says it would first take passing a board resolution since Archbishop Apuron is the chairman of the board for the RMS.
“So we have to start with somebody and he is chairman of the board of RMS so we’re presenting those documents to him in his capacity as chairman of the board, then to for the board to then act on the resolutions that are required to authorize the deed,” says Rohr.
CCOG President Greg Perez tells PNC that this has been months in the making and they’ve done their due diligence to ensure they are also taking all the right steps in what must be done to get back the property they believe was illegally given away.
In April this year, the Archdiocese responded to these very concerns, publishing online answers to questions regarding the RMS. They backed their answers using three documents they say proved the RMS still belonged to the Archdiocese of Agana, however they did not publish the actual documents and although they allowed for public viewing of the documents, they would not allow the documents to be photocopied or photographed.
Archdiocese Spokesperson Father Adrian Cristobal could not respond to our request for comment, noting that he is currently off-island. He referred us to Archdiocese Administrative Assistant Kristina Perez. However, she did not respond to our request for comment as of news time.
Perez returned our request for comment. She says the Archdiocese has no comment on the matter at this time.