Concern Over Catholic Church of Guam’s Plan to Sell Land

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The archdiocese will celebrate the Masses in place of the local March for Life rally. (PNC file photo)

A family rose concerns over the Catholic Church of Guam’s recent move to sell land in order to help pay the costs for the sexual assault cases against them.

Here’s the Report

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A land dispute has arisen between the Catholic Church of Guam and 2 families — the Pangelinan’s and the Sgambelluris.

Mona Sgambelluri came on the line with Newstalk K57’s Patti Arroyo to discuss the dispute in which she stated, “We got paperwork from New York attorneys for the Church, saying this is what we intend to do with this property.”

She explained that the Church intends to liquidate the land asset in order to help pay the $37 to $107M reparations to more than 270 survivors of clergy sexual assaults.

Rich added, “Our families immediately said, ‘No, this is not what it was intended for.'”

Sgambelluri admits that the scandal between the Church and the victims is unfortunate but stressed that the land was deeded with a specific purpose

She shared that, according to the deed, the land is to be used for a retirement home for retired nuns and priests or a church.

Sgambelluri’s parents donated the land to the Church in the mid-70s she adds, “But I remember way back when my parents handled all that, I was too young I was in school.”

Sgambelluri expressed that she and her family were aware of the land her family donated to the church. “We knew, every time we passed by, we go, ‘That’s the Church’s. That’s the Camacho’s. That’s the Zuillos. You know, that’s the lots that the nuns purchased.”

However, she further shared that she did not think the bankruptcy issues with the Church would affect their land.

The Sgambelluri and Pangelinan families have written letters to the Bankruptcy Court, expressing that if the land is not going to be used for the purpose in the deed, it should be returned to them.

Sgambelluri encourages other beneficiaries whose families who donated land to the church to write letters in protest of the Church’s intentions. “Maybe it’s time that they also spoke up and wrote letters so that the Church doesn’t do this, you know, because it does belong to the families if they’re not going to use it.”

A hearing on the disclosure statement and reorganization plan is set for July 13th before District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood.

For the Pacific News Center
I’m Devin Eligio

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