Members of the Concerned Catholics of Guam conducted a "checkpoint" yesterday at the front gate going into the Redemptoris Mater Seminary to monitor everyone going in and out of the property, insisting that people using the seminary should pay rent to the Church.
The project called "Occupy RMS" involved volunteers of the Concerned Catholics working in shifts at the entrance of the Yona property.
Concerned Catholics stated in an earlier interview that people affiliated with the Neocatechumenal Way movement are living there, rent-free, while the archdiocese is strapped for cash.
Around 2:30 p.m., Lila Gombar, her husband Louie and other organization members have set up camp as they begin their wait.
“I am here because I am really concerned about the things that are going on in our island – in our Catholic Church,” she said.
Gombar said she hopes her affiliation with the Concerned Catholics, her participation in the protests at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral -Basilica would eventually bring some kind of change, similar to a commitment between the Archdiocese of Agana and the Catholics of Guam.
“I feel that a little bit of my time here would be a good input to what the Concerned Catholics of Guam is doing,” she said, adding, “We can pray all the time. But in the time of our Lord here, it was we pray, we meditate and we act.”
Louie Gombar said, “We are not here to be belligerent. We are just monitoring since there have been rumors of people who are coming in who are not supposed to be there.”
Another member, Emmanuel Cruz, said the volunteers have been keeping track of the comings and goings at the property since Friday, part of Occupy RMS. According to the group, Andrew Camacho, the group's vice president, would be heading the project.
Concerns with liability
The former Accion Hotel is one of the Archdiocese of Agana's high-value real estate assets, once estimated to be worth about $40 million. The hotel project went bust and the property was donated to the church.
The seaside property has been put up for sale by the archdiocese, according to Concerned Catholics.
Proceeds will go toward claims and assistance of clergy sex abuse victims and their families, the organization stated.
Concerned Catholics President David Sablan wrote to the acting rector of the seminary, Monsignor David C. Quitugua, requesting information on who is living at the property.
Sablan said the RMS belongs to the Archdiocese of Agana yet people are being allowed to stay in that building, rent-free.
In a meeting with chancery officials in August, Sablan expressed concern that there are people, who are not affiliated with the Archdiocese of Agana, yet are staying on archdiocesan property for free, exposing the archdiocese to liability risks.