Archdiocesan Finance Council reports archdiocesan properties as essential and non-essential
By John Michael D. Pineda
Umatuna Si Yu’os
Members of the Archdiocesan Finance Council (AFC) held a press conference on July 13 at the St. John Paul the Great Center for Evangelization at the Chancery Office in Hagatña to report about archdiocesan essential properties and non-essential properties.
AFC Chairman Richard Untalan, with AFC members Joe Rivera and Chris Felix presented the reports at the press conference after “thousands of hours of work” in compiling the information and inspecting the properties.
“The Guam Catholic church essential properties is defined as such,” Untalan said, “Simply, the church buildings and surrounding grounds, the schools and the surrounding grounds, Kamalen Karidåt, Catholic Social Service and surrounding grounds, and four leasehold properties that we consider essential to maintaining the operation of the chancery and archdiocese.”
Untalan continued to state that “everything else falls under non-essential.”
The first of this non-essential properties list is the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yoña, also known as the former Accion Hotel. Second on this list is the chancery complex. “They’re on the block,” Untalan said, “In other words, they are available for whatever is necessary to do for the settlement process that is currently going on now.
“We’ve put this together, again, as a show of accountability and transparency,” Untalan stated, “We’re not hiding anything.”
Rivera explained the process in compiling this list, “It came in two huge folders that we had to go through.
“It’s difficult, but it’s divided in what’s necessary for the church, what’s necessary for the schools, and what’s necessary to help fund the operations… and other than that, everything else is considered non-essential,” Rivera said.
Felix clarified that, “We’re still researching probably another 30 or 40 properties. We started with hundreds of them.” He continued to state that while this research was going on, some properties were sold, traded, and “swapped off.” Each property was tracked to find out if indeed the archdiocese still owned them, and if not, where they went and why.
Untalan stated, “When we define essential versus non-essential, of course we had the approval of the Archbishop, the AFC, as well as the College of Consultors… much effort went into defining what is essential, what is non-essential.”
The properties are not for sale but any offers will be entertained. Although essential properties are “untouchable,” the non-essential properties, however, will be available when necessary for the ongoing settlement process.