Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Arcdiocesan Missionary Seminary Redemptoris MaterArchdiocese of Agana, Guam:Visitation ad hoc Committee Report


Yona missionary seminary

Overlooking Ylig Bay in Yona, one can view the spacious land and facilities that have become the Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Guam. The name is Latin for “Mother of the Redeemer.” It was established on December 8, 1999, by Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron, OFM Cap, DD, Archbishop of Agana, for the purpose of training future priests for missionary work in the New Evangelization called for by the late Pope John Paul II. Recognizing the serious challenges Guam is facing today because of secularization and the serious shortage of priests, Apuron created the seminary – the first ever in Guam’s four-hundred years of Catholic history.

The first site of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary was at the prior Father Duenas Minor Seminary in Tai, which had been closed for some years. In December of 2002, the former Accion Hotel overlooking Ylig Bay became available for sale and the Archdiocese purchased the site for the seminary. Fortunately, the seminary began moving to its present location as, that same month, Supertyphoon Pongsona destroyed the Tai seminary building. The Yona seminary is now home to thirty-three seminarians from thirteen countries. On May 21, 2005, Alberto Salamanca, now pastor in Barrigada, was the first seminarian to be ordained a priest from this seminary.
Theological institute
Redemptoris Mater also houses the Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores Catholic Theological Institute for Oceania named after Fr. San Vitores, a Jesuit priest who established the first Catholic mission on Guam in the seventeenth century. This institute is now an affiliated philosophical and theological institute to the Pontifical Lateran University of Rome. It provides the philosophical and theological formation to seminarians studying for the Archdiocese of Agana and is open to all seminarians from the Pacific. The seminary is run according to the spirituality and methodology of the Neo Catechumenal Way, an itinerary for Catholic formation. It is one of seventy such seminaries staffed by priests of the Neo Catechumenal Way all over the globe.
Promotes world unity in Christ
Students at the seminary come from many nations and will be sent on international mission throughout the world. There are students from Guam and some, when ordained, will also serve on Guam. The seminary has a very international dimension because the seminarians come from different countries, thus overcoming the sole allegiance to a particular nation and visibly promoting the Catholic belief that people are one in Jesus Christ. The seminary now has a sizable specialized theological library, three classrooms, and two conference rooms. A chapel has been built for seminarians to pray and express their faith.

The facilities at the seminary are used for functions of the Neo Catechumenal Way and also for periodic archdiocesan events. The seminary is in the process of establishing a theological institute. Both the seminary and the theological institute operate exclusively on volunteer help.

By Eric Forbes, OFM Cap.

Dr. Eusebio: intention of purchasing the Accion Hotel was to house the Redemptoris Mater Seminary

Most of you know me as Dr. Eusebio, a surgeon who has practiced on Guam for many years. Some perhaps from my childhood going to Sinajana Elementary school, St. Jude Thaddeus School or now known as Bishop Baumgartner Memorial School and graduating from Father Duenas Memorial School, Class of 1972. What perhaps most of you don’t know is that Archbishop Apuron has appointed me to be a member of the Board of Directors of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary since 2002. All the recent speculations in regards to the ownership of the seminary, quality of education, amount of monies spent, etc. has brought sadness and disappointment. As you are well aware there are always two sides to a story and my desire is perhaps to clarify some misconceptions or misunderstandings revealing the truth as I know it.
The Redemptoris Mater Seminary is an Archdiocesan missionary seminary ordaining and educating diocesan priests. There are many orders of priests Capuchin, Carmelite, Benedictine, Jesuit, etc. and Diocesan. (There are no Neocatechumenal Way priests.) These priests belong to the diocese of Guam. They are missionary however and may be sent on missions at the discretion of the Archbishop. Since 1999, our seminary has produced 17 Diocesan priests. From the very beginning, it was the desire of this Archdiocese to find  a place to permanently house the seminary. The availability of the Hotel Accion property made this a reality. It is important to understand the INTENT of the Archdiocese to purchase the property FOR the Redemptoris Mater Seminary. The initial handwritten application for the loan to the Bank of Guam listed the purpose of the loan was to purchase the property for the Redemptoris Mater Seminary. The unanimous approval of the Archdiocesan Finance Council to purchase the property known as the Hotel Accion was in order to permanently house the Redemptoris Mater Seminary. The approval of the Apostolic Delegate for the Pacific, Archbishop Coveney,  to purchase the specified building was to house the Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary. There has never been a question who the Archdiocese acquired the property for and therefore  Archbishop Apuron placing a deed restriction on the property never changed the INTENT of the Archdiocese to permanently house the Redemptoris Mater Seminary on that property.
The Archdiocese of Agana is a Corporation Sole, the Redemptoris Mater House of Formation is a Corporation sole and both list Archbishop Apuron as the only member. You can have as many advisors, committees, directors as you want but only one person makes the decision to approve or deny anything, the Archbishop. This contrasts with a corporation aggregate which has many members who have fiduciary responsibilities, to stockholders for example, and vote to decide whether to approve or deny a motion. This is typical of many business corporations but is NOT the situation with the Archdiocese. Therefore, if for example, the Board of Directors of the Seminary were to decide to sell the property, they could not without the approval of the sole member of the Corporation. A deed of restriction for the use of the property by the Redemptoris Mater Seminary does not change ownership of the property nor the ability of the owner to sell the property. This legal opinion was confirmed by the Lewis Roca Rothgerber law firm from Denver, Colorado whose expertise is on civil and canon law. Additionally, a title search by Pacific American Title company on August of 2014 listed the Archdiocese of Agana as the owner of the Yona property, housing the Redemptoris Mater Seminary.
In regards to the deed of restriction, Archbishop Hon claims that the Holy See directed Archbishop Apuron to lift or rescind this deed but failed to clarify that the office making this “request” was his very own Congregation of Evangelization and he as the Apostolic delegate was the one making the request. The pope, as stated by  Archbishop Apuron, never made the request. This request, however, was sent to the Congregation of Legislative Text (the highest Vatican Body for the Interpretation of legislative act) for an opinion and stated, “ the Archbishop’s act of assignment, therefore, can neither be considered a sale nor alienation, but only a [required] transfer of ownership between two “Corporation Soles” which have only one member who alone enjoys all the powers of extraordinary administration.” Additionally, Bishop Arrieta, the Secretary of the Congregation, stated, “ what seems to emerge from the whole affair is that the Archbishop (Apuron) has limited himself to only fulfilling a required act and truth”. The Vatican, the Holy See, the Pope has many arms or congregations to oversee the Catholic Church and both of these Congregations are “branches” of the Pope. Why Archbishop Hon fails to mention these facts remains to be understood.
The Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Guam and Blessed Diego Institute is accredited by the Lateran University or what many people refer to as the Pope’s University. It is one of the most prestigious universities in Rome. Representatives from the University examined the facility, curriculum and staff, deeming it worthy of affiliation. The seminarians graduate with a degree from the Lateran University. Furthermore, 4 ordained priests have enrolled to graduate education in Rome without any difficulty and one will be completing his doctorate this year. Why would any graduate school accept a student from a seminary that is a “Sham”?
In regards to seminary finances, it was costing the Archdiocese over $40,000.00 per year per seminarian before the Redemptoris Mater Seminary existed and now it is only costing approximately $9000.00 per year per seminarian. This is a significant cost saving!! Most of the seminary income come from private donations and the “subsidy” of the archdiocese is only about 12% of the total income. Last year the subsidized amount was $73,800 for the year and the year before was $83,700.00. Where the reported $200,000.00  amount came from is unclear but these are the reported figures from our Board meeting.
The facts I presented are true to my knowledge and hopefully clarifies the position of the Seminary. Many of the facts have previously been stated but drowned by extracurricular voices. A lot of mud has been thrown with the hope that some of it sticks. I pray that some of these facts I presented washes some of it away so that you may have clarity.  The seminary is a jewel that we do not want to loose. It is critical in our role to evangelize which was given to us when we were baptized as Catholics.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Amal Clooney: Yazidi women, subjected to horrendous sexual and physical abuse after being sold as a Slave

New York City, N.Y., Sep 18, 2016 / 01:50 pm (CNA).- Nadia Murad, a young Yazidi woman who escaped ISIS captivity after her family was slaughtered, has been named a new U.N. Goodwill Ambassador and has been nominated for both a Nobel Peace Prize and as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2016.

But despite the global recognition that Murad has garnered for the atrocities she and thousands of women like her have suffered, her lawyer, renowned Lebanese-British human rights advocate, activist and author Amal Clooney said that while the nominations mark progress, little has actually been done to bring justice to those committing genocide.

According to the British paper The Independent, in her speech at Murad’s Sept. 16 induction ceremony as Goodwill Ambassador, Clooney noted that it was her first time speaking in the chamber of the U.N. headquarters in New York, and stressed that “I wish I could say I'm proud to be here but I am not.”

“I am ashamed as a supporter of the United Nations that states are failing to prevent or even punish genocide because they find that their own interests get in the way. I am ashamed as a lawyer that there is no justice being done and barely a complaint being made about it,” she said.

Clooney said she is also ashamed as a woman “that girls like Nadia could have their bodies sold and used as battlefields,” and is shamed as a human being “that we ignore their cries for help. We know that what we have before us is genocide, and we know that it is still ongoing.”

Murad, 23, was captured by ISIS militants in 2014 when the group stormed Mt. Sinjar in Iraq, murdering her elderly mother and six brothers alongside hundreds of others. Like thousands of other Yazidi women, Murad was spared death but was taken as a slave and subjected to horrendous sexual and physical abuse after being sold as a slave multiple times.

Having experienced numerous humiliations and violations against her dignity, Murad managed to escape after three months and fled to Germany, where she currently lives.

Her appointment as a U.N. Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking for the U.N.’s drugs and crime body comes just months after she briefed the U.N. Security Council in the first-ever session on human trafficking Dec. 16, 2015.

In her testimony that day, Murad recounted her painful abduction and captivity, describing how she had been rounded up with other Yazidis when ISIS attacked, and watched as the militants shot men and boys in cold blood.

“We found ourselves faced with a true genocide…ISIS had one intention: to destroy the Yazidi identity by force, rape, recruitment of children, and destruction of all of our temples,” she said, noting that six of her brothers were among some 600 men and boys slaughtered by the militants in one day, while her mother was one of 80 elderly women executed and buried in a mass grave.

She stressed that the jihadists “didn’t come to kill the women and girls, but to use us as spoils of war, as objects to be sold … or to be gifted for free. Their cruelty was not merely opportunistic. The ISIS soldiers came with a pre-established policy to commit such crimes.”

“Rape was used to destroy women and girls and to guarantee that these women could never lead a normal life again,” she said, and recounted how on Aug. 15, 2014, ISIS militants came to her school and separated the men and women, killing the men and taking the women by bus to a different region.

“Along the way they humiliated us, they touched us and that violated us,” she said, explaining that they were taken to Mosul and brought to a building with thousands of other Yazidi families and exchanged as “gifts.”

“One of these men came up to me, he wanted to take me. I looked at the floor. I was absolutely petrified. When I looked up I saw a huge man, he was like a monster. I cried out, I said ‘I’m too young and you’re huge!’ He hit me, he kicked me and beat me,” Murad recounted.

She recalled that a few minutes later she was approached by a smaller man, and begged him to take her instead. The man, she said, asked her to change religion, but “I refused.”

He then asked for her hand in marriage, Murad said, and she then told him she was “ill.”

“A few days later he forced me to get dressed and put makeup on,” she said, recalling that after raping her, he forced her to serve as part of his military faction and humiliated her daily by torturing her and forcing her to wear clothes that didn’t fit her body.

On her first attempt to flee, Murad said she was stopped by a guard who then beat her, made her take her clothes off and then put into a room with the other guards, who raped her until she fainted.

After she finally managed to escape three months later, Murad said she was accepted into Germany, where she received the necessary medical attention.

She voiced her thanks to Germany for their welcome, but noted that the suffering she is advocating to end is not just her own, but a “collective suffering” of all women who face the same horrors.

At the Sept. 16 induction ceremony, which was set to coincide with the Sept. 21 U.N. International Day of Peace, Clooney emphasized that “what Nadia has told us about is genocide, and genocide doesn’t happen by accident. You have to plan it.”

“We know exactly who the perpetrators are. They brag. ISIS brags about its crimes online,” she said, explaining that “no one is more blameless” than a young Yazidi woman who has lost everything.

“Yet two years on, two years after the genocide began, 3,200 Yazidi women and children are still held captive by ISIS and not a single member of ISIS has been prosecuted in a court anywhere in the world for crimes committed against the Yazidi,” she observed.

Clooney praised Murad for her courage, saying the young woman’s strength and leadership “astounds me.”

“She has defied all the labels that life has given her: orphan, rape victim, slave, refugee. She has instead created new ones: survivor, Yazidi leader, women’s advocate, Nobel Peace Prize nominee. And now, as of today, Goodwill Ambassador.”

Speaking directly to Murad, Clooney said she was sorry “that we have failed you,” and voiced her hope that Murad’s appointment would be a turning point for all victims of sexual violence in human trafficking.

Murad has already met with various world leaders and heads of state in order to raise awareness of the plight of Yazidis suffering as victims of human trafficking.

Through her ambassadorship, according to the U.N. media advisory, Murad will focus on different advocacy initiatives and will raise awareness of the plight of the countless victims still suffering due to trafficking, particularly refugees, women and girls.

Father Gabriele Amorth Dies at 91:World Famous Exorcist

The renowned exorcist, Pauline Father Gabriele Amorth, has died at the age of 91.

A priest of the diocese of Rome, Father Amorth was admitted to hospital a few weeks ago suffering from pulmonary complications, according to Italian media reports.

His death was announced by the San Paolo group which has published many of his books.

Born in Modena on May 1, 1925, Gabriele Amorth entered the Pauline congregation in Alba in 1947, five years after meeting its founder, Blessed Giacomo Alberione. Ordained in 1951, he was appointed exorcist of the diocese of Rome in 1985 by Cardinal Ugo Poletti.

Often sought out by media around the world for his views on exorcism and understanding the struggle against evil, Father Amorth once confirmed to the Register that he thought Hitler and Stalin were “certainly” possessed by the devil, but denied that that fact removed their own personal responsibility for their actions.

They followed “the promptings of the devil and they have done so willingly,” Father Amorth said in a 2006 interview. “Therefore they are guilty, completely responsible.”

When asked if there were any leaders today who could be similarly possessed, the exorcist said there are “many who listen to the temptations of Satan and follow him.” Because of that, he said, “the world goes bad.” Instead of leading others “towards peace and well-being, the world moves towards war and unease,” he said.

Last year, at a conference in Rome, he said “ISIS is Satan” in reference to the so-called Islamic State which has been brutally murdering Christians and other minorities in the Middle East in an effort to create a worldwide caliphate. Members of the terrorist group have since been trying to spread their atrocities to the West.

Father Amorth said at the time only two spiritual realms exist, “the Holy Spirit and the demonic spirit,” and that the demonic enters in “because evil is disguised in various ways: political, religious, cultural.” The demonic spirit has one source of inspiration: “the devil”, and as a Christian, he said he fights “the beast spiritually.”

He noted that the political world, “which today seems to lack a response in face of the massacre of Christians, will also have to fight ISIS and it will do it in a different way. If it advances as it seems to be doing, we ask ourselves what has the West done over the course of the last decades.”

In one of his last interviews published at the end of last year, Father Amorth told the magazine FaithfulInsight that “today the world does not turn from God because it is idolatrous; rather it pursues pure atheism, so as to put science on the altar.” But by turning away from the Lord, he said its breakthroughs “are put to disastrous use” and that without the Lord, “progress too is misused.”

“We see it in laws that go totally against nature such as divorce, abortion, 'gay marriage',” he said. “We have forgotten God! Therefore, God will soon admonish humanity in a very powerful manner, He knows how to remind us of His presence.”

A firm believer that the Pope still needs to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart, as requested by the Blessed Virgin, in order to usher in a period of world peace, Father Amorth underlined in the same interview the importance of the family.

“Divorce has been a disaster; abortion has been a disaster,” he said. “Each year 50 million children are murdered by abortion. And euthanasia, the broken family, cohabitation ... It is all destruction!”

“The Lord gave us sex for a purpose,” he said. “One thing is sexual fun; another is love. Today there is much talk of love, but there truly is none! Precisely in Fatima did Our Lady say to the young, seven-year old, Jacinta: ‘the sin that brings the most souls to hell is the impure sin,’ the sin of the flesh. She said this to a young girl, who did not even know what it was! We must listen to that which Our Lady says.”

By 2015, Father Amorth had performed over 70,000 exorcisms over 29 years, often repeating the rite on the same persons. In 1990, he founded the International Association of Exorcists and was president until he retired, in 2000. On Sept. 8 this year, he was awarded the "Medal of Liberation" by the prefect of Rome, in the presence of Italy’s Minister of Defense, for the “important role” he played in the partisan struggle against the Nazis in 1943.

As well as an exorcist, Father Amorth also held several positions in the Society of St. Paul, including forming young religious, and serving as a teacher, spiritual director, and journalist. For many years, he was director of Madre di Dio, an Italian monthly, and a longtime contributor to another Italian Catholic monthly, Famiglia Cristiana. He also published a number of books on subjects that included exorcism, good and evil, the power of the media, freemasonry and sects.