The Archdiocese of Agana has taken full control of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary (RMS) property in Yona and abolished the RMS boards, capping the mission of interim administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai.
“I am pleased to announce that the Archdiocese of Agana… has acted to transfer complete and unrestricted control and possession of the Yona property back to the Archdiocese of Agaña,” Fr. Jeff C. San Nicolas, delegate general of Coadjutor Archbishop, said at a press conference held Tuesday at the cathedral in Hagatna.
The property transfer was facilitated by virtue of a decree issued on Nov. 9 by newly appointed Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes, rescinding his predecessor’s deed of restriction that gave the RMS a permanent right to the property.
The deed of restriction was issued Nov. 22, 2011 by former Archbishop Anthony Apuron, designating the property for permanent use by the RMS, run by the Neocathecumenical Way.
“As you know, Archbishop Apuron was relieved of his pastoral governance on June 6, 2016 and is no longer in a position to civilly and ecclesiastically exercise the authority of the Archbishop of Agaña,” San Nicolas said.
San Nicolas said Byrnes has signed all the legal documents upon the instructions of the Vatican. “These documents have been filed and recorded with the appropriate Government of Guam agencies, to effectuate the reversion of the Yona property back to the full control and governance of the Archdiocese of Agaña,” he added.
Byrnes’s decree was concurred by Hon, with advice and support of both the Archdiocesan Finance Council and Presbyteral Council, San Nicolas said.
Hon first asked RMS to return the property to the Archdiocese on Aug. 18, noting that Apuron’s deed of restriction was issued “without due process in conformity with the Church law,” consequently creating “great ambiguities” and “grave dispute and division in our Church.”
At yesterday’s press conference, San Nicolas also announced that the Archdiocese abolished the RMS board of guarantors and the board of directors. In lieu of the board of directors, Byrnes took over as the sole director, as well as designated him as the chairman, president and secretary of the RMS corporation.
“While expressing thanks to the two above-mentioned Boards for their care and work for the RMS, Archbishop Byrnes endeavors to regain greater freedom and flexibility to restore unity of the Church by undoing the above-mentioned deed which was the source of division and conflict in the Archdiocese,” San Nicolas said.
Hon will head back to the Vatican when Byrnes arrives on Guam by the end of this month.