Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Public Law 33-187

The sad thing in our society is that scammers and opportunists do exist. Public law 33-187 is being challenged by the Archdiocese of Agana.  This law may be unconstitutional, but it also opens the door for scammers to target the Catholic Church.  According to The Media Report:  
In 2010, Vincent Carroll at the Denver Post fearlessly noted, "[F]raudulent or highly dubious accusations are more common than is acknowledged in coverage of the church scandals — although they should not be surprising, given the monumental settlements various dioceses have paid out over the years."
In 2005, Dorothy Rabinowitz of the Wall Street Journal, writing about abuse lawsuits against the Church, asserted, "People have to come to understand that there is a large scam going on with personal injury attorneys, and what began as a serious effort [to help genuine victims] has now expanded to become a huge money-making proposition."
In addition, in 2001 (!), an East Coast attorney wrote, "I have some contacts in the prison system, having been an attorney for some time, and it has been made known to me that [accusing a Catholic priest of abuse] is a current and popular scam."
Who knows how many more such scams are being perpetrated today while the mainstream media sleeps? 
Public law 33-187, which was passed by the Governor and Guam Legislature, is an open door for scammers to walk in and target the Catholic Church.  In the United States, the U.S. bishops' have also expressed their opposition to these kind of bills and laws, which is a good sign that they have finally caught on to the relationship between accusations against priests and the enticement of guaranteed financial settlements.


This law targets mainly the Catholic Church.  In prison, the ones who face claims of sexual abuse that are decades old are only Catholic priests.  Among the thousands of men who have passed through prison for sexual abuse charges, there is no other case of a man facing charges that were many years or decades old, going back to 20 to 50 years ago. This happens solely to Catholic priests, and it is because of the enticement of money.  The law made it easy for scammers to scam the Catholic Church out of millions of dollars.  According to one news report:
The Catholic Church told police it was duped into paying $188,000 to a woman who claimed she was injured when raped by a priest. 
The police only became aware of the woman's claims that she was raped by a Palmerston North Catholic priest - who abused her with a knife and a broken bottle - when the church learned it had been duped out of the payments. 
The woman, who has name suppression, appeared at the Morrinsville District Court on Wednesday, June 8, to be sentenced on one charge of obtaining by deception $188,190.17 from the Catholic Church, which paid for various medical operations and psychological tests in relation to the abuse claim. 
The woman supplied fake medical reports to the church to support the claim. 
The fraud was discovered only when the church queried one of the reports with a health provider.  

Saturday, April 22, 2017

3rd Annual Gala Dinner Video Presentation 2015

This video is very interesting.  Thank you to the poster who sent it to me through my blog despite that he/she does not want his/her comment posted.


 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Renewing Baptismal Promises



I found this article on the internet about the NCW of the Sacred Heart Cathedral of Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia renewing their baptismal promises during the Easter Vigil.  According to the article:

KOTA KINABALU:  The second Neocatechumenal community at Sacred Heart Cathedral here made their solemn renewal of Baptismal promises at the Easter Vigil Mass on 2017. 

The 41 brothers and sisters of the community dressed in white robes, had celebrated the Election Stage of their catechumenal journey during the season of Lent.

Before the final prayers and blessings, Archbishop John Wong, who is also rector of SHC parish, led the congregation in congratulating the community on reaching the final stage of their journey in faith with warm applause.

There are three priests in this community: Fr Tony Mojiwat, assistant parish priest at Holy Trinity Church, Inobong; Fr Simon Williams, who is on mission in Iraq; and Fr Ernesto Lagan, who is serving a parish in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

The first community of the Neocatechumenal Way in SHC, with about 25 brothers and sisters celebrated the same stage in 2011.

These two communities have been brought through the various stages of the Way by an itinerant catechists team, led by Fr Giuseppe (Pippo), Lauria, together with Fernando Valdes and Kathryn McGarr. 

During Easter, the communities celebrate the daily Eucharist together at the parish wearing the white robe.  

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Hope And Healing Program

Image result for Attorney Michael W. CaspinoThe Hope and Healing Program offered by the Archdiocese of Agana offers a better alternative to years of court litigation.  The main thing that sex abuse victims are in dire need of would be counseling and/or psychiatric help.  If they are a substance abuser due to the traumatic event of child abuse, they would also need to enroll in a rehab program to deal with their substance abuse.  According to the news article:

The program is two-pronged: 

  • Professional counseling has started for those who have already called the Hope and Healing Guam hotline: 1-888-649-5288.  This will be followed by rehabilitation and long-term treatment as needed, and guidance from a spiritual director. 
  • Individual review of each claim for compensation, along with referral for investigation, once an independent board is formed as early as next week.
Counseling, psychiatric care, and even rehabilitation should always come first when treating a victim of sex abuse. This is where healing begins, and many times, the victims cannot afford to pay for it.  However, the program will be paying for the treatments.   

The Hope and Healing Guam hotline is 1-888-649-5288 and is available 24 hours everyday.  All calls are confidential.  You can also read the interview with Attorney Michael W. Caspino, the Executive Director of the Hope and Healing Guam Program in the following weblink: 


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Responding to Anonymous

This post is in response to the anonymous poster who made a comment in the last thread.  His/Her comment can be found here.  His/Her comment are in blue while mine are in black.  The red comments are quotes from the Statutes of the Neocatechumenal Way.  


Dear Diana, when the NCW wanted to go around Archbishop Hon about the RMS land, you had to be corrected in a painful way. Your boards were declared illegitimate and were disbanded. Now, the NCW wants to go around Archbishop Byrnes about evangelizing. Is this the right thing to do, Diana?

First of all, we never went around Archbishop Hon about the RMS property.  Since the very beginning, we have been saying that ONLY Archbishop Apuron and his successor has the authority to rescind the Deed Restriction. Since the very beginning, we have been saying that ONLY Archbishop Apuron and his successor has the authority.

The jungle, on the other hand, have been claiming that Archbishop Apuron and his successor have absolutely no authority.  They claimed that ONLY the NCW has the authority to rescind the Deed Restriction.  And lo and behold, past events only showed that we were correct.  Who was the one who rescinded the Deed Restriction?  Who removed the Board of Directors and the Board of Guarantors? So, who had authority all along? If the NCW was REALLY in control as the jungle claimed, then how was it that Archbishop Byrnes was able to rescind the Deed Restriction and remove the two boards of RMS?  Did we not say all along that only Archbishop Apuron and his successor are in control and only he and his successor have the authority to rescind the Deed Restriction and remove the boards? To this day, the jungle has not given any explanation as to how Archbishop Byrnes was able to rescind the Deed Restriction and remove the Board of Directors and Board of Guarantors. 

Furthermore, we are not going around Archbishop Byrnes.  He said not to build any new communities.  To build new communities, there must be an invitation to a catechesis.  The NCW is not holding any catechesis nor giving out any invitations.  We are spreading the good news that Christ has risen and conquered death. We are going door to door spreading this good news and asking people if there is anyone they would like us to pray for.  

The issue raised is the qualification of your catechists. They are not supposed to teach just "something" that is not in conflict with the teaching, rather they should teach what is laid down by the church and requested by the local bishop! 

The NCW is not in conflict with what the Church teaches.  The problem is YOUR interpretation.  For example, it was brought out in the jungle that the catechists teaches that we are not Christians.  If you look up the word "Christian" in Dictionary.com, it gives you 11 different definitions.  So, the question begs...which definition is the catechists using?

The second definition of "Christian" is defined as "pertaining to, believing in, or belonging to the religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ."  An example of this definition would be "Spain is a Christian country" or "There are three Christian religions: Catholicism, Orthodox, and Protestantism". 

Most of the time, the catechists do not use the second definition.  They often use the fourth definition, which stated "exhibiting a spirit proper to a follower of Jesus Christ; Christlike". You can call yourself a "Christian" (second definition) simply because you are Catholic, but can you say that you are "like Christ" (fourth definition of Christian)?    

RCIA catechists are certified under the aegis of RCIA to teach of faith. Your catechists, on the contrary, stun the rules of RCIA, despise RCIA catechism and teach things apart from the RCIA material. Would it not be better to collaborate with RCIA to provide a consistent knowledge base about Christ and our Catholic faith to all believers?

The NCW is NOT an RCIA program. The RCIA program is only for those who are not baptized or who lack the sacraments of Holy Eucharist or Confirmation.  We follow the adopted Statutes of the Neocatechumenal Way. According to Title II, Chapter 1, Article 5, Section 1 of the Statutes (the bold is mine): 
§ 1. The Neocatechumenate is an instrument at the service of the bishops for the rediscovery of Christian initiation by baptized adults. Among these adults, the following may be identified:10 1st. those who have drifted away from the Church; 2nd. those who have not been sufficiently evangelized and catechized; 3rd. those who desire to deepen and mature their faith; 4th. those who come from Christian denominations not in full communion with the Catholic Church. 
As you can see, the NCW is for those who are already baptized adults while the RCIA is a program for those who are not baptized or who lack some of the sacraments such as Holy Communion or Confirmation.  We follow the approved Statutes of the Way.  If we are to follow the RCIA program, then what was the purpose of the Vatican approving the Statutes and the Catechetical Directory? The Statutes and Catechetical Directory were approved by the Holy See and given to the NCW to follow.  Where is it written in the Statutes that the NCW must follow the RCIA program? 

When you go out to evangelize, you defy the spirit of the moratorium. The concern is that acting as a loose cannon and defying decency may result in even more conflicts and even more need of correction. Please, allow discussion of this matter, because this is relevant issue and valid concern. 

You say "spirit of the moratorium".  The moratorium does not have any spirit.  As I pointed out, there was a "pause" in building new communities for one year. Evangelization has nothing to do with this pause or even with building new communities.  We do not recruit anyone going door to door.  We simply spread the Gospel of Christ.  That is what evangelization means.     

Monday, April 17, 2017

He Is Risen! Alleluia!!!

Christ is risen!!! He is risen indeed, Alleluia!!!! Now that Christ has risen from the dead, the NCW communities will be going out evangelizing in the villages from door to door spreading the Gospel of Christ just as Christ commanded us to do. Spread the Gospel brothers and sisters so that all can be brought to our Lord Jesus Christ. 




Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Archdiocese Claims Law Unconstitutional

According to The Pacific Daily News:

Image result for Archdiocese of Hagatna
The Archdiocese of Agana says a 2016 Guam law that retroactively lifted the statute of limitations on childhood sexual abuse cases is not only unconstitutional but would apply only to the alleged perpetrators, and not institutions such as the church.
Dozens of former altar boys have sued priests, the archdiocese, and in some cases the Boy Scouts of America in federal court, asking for millions of dollars in damages for sexual abuse they said happened decades ago, when they were children.
The Archdiocese late Monday for the first time provided the federal court with the specific reasons it believes the lawsuits should be dismissed. Its attorneys challenged the idea that the statute of limitations can be lifted retroactively and also the idea that institutions such as the church could be retroactively held liable, in addition to the alleged perpetrators.
The archdiocese’s attorneys said while not every retrospective law violates the due process clause of the island's Organic Act, extending an expired civil limitations period can unconstitutionally infringe upon a vested right.
The archdiocese, in its court filing, also stated the 2016 law could allow institutions such as the church to be sued centuries after the alleged abuse, long after witnesses have died, memories have faded and evidence has been lost.
The alleged sexual abuse by priests on Guam happened from the 1950s to late 1980s. Before the law was changed in 2016, the statute of limitations to sue for that alleged abuse was only one or two years.
“Both as a matter of statutory interpretation and constitutional imperative, the 2016 bill did not revive expired civil claims against third parties such as the archdiocese,” attorneys for the archdiocese said in a memorandum filed in the U.S. District Court of Guam.
“The 2016 Bill attempted to revive expired claims only as to alleged perpetrators, not third parties,” wrote the archdiocese’s attorneys, U.S.-based Mary McNamara, Britt Evangelist, Paul Gaspari, Daniel Zamora, and Guam-based John C. Terlaje.
So far, the archdiocese faces 47 clergy sex abuse lawsuits. Of those cases, 40 are in federal court. Sevencases are in the Superior Court of Guam, but have not moved forward because trial court judges continue to recuse themselves, citing a conflict of interest.
Gov. Eddie B. Calvo last September signed Sen. Frank Blas’ bill into Public Law 33-187 , allowing victims of child sex abuse to sue their abusers and the institutions with which they are associated, at any time.
Although he signed it into law, Calvo said he was concerned about whether it is unconstitutional to retroactively lift the statue of limitations on lawsuits.
The archdiocese's attorneys said Blas' original version of the bill attempted to allow non-perpetrators to be sued, but that section was deleted from the final bill.
As a result, the attorneys stated, the 2016 law allows only perpetrators to be sued retroactively, but institutions can only be sued moving forward.

‘Bishop Camacho’

Retired Saipan Bishop Tomas A. Camacho also is asking the federal court to dismiss the childhood sex abuse lawsuit against him, stating the 2016 law is invalid.
A former altar boy, Melvin Duenas, alleged that Camacho raped and sexually abused him multiple times in the early 1970s when Camacho was a priest on Guam under the Archdiocese of Agana.
Camacho, through his attorney William Fitzgerald, said statute of limitations has expired, and it was not retroactively revived by the 2016 law. He also said the attempt to revive a case more than 30 years after the statute of limitations expired violates the Organic Act of Guam.
Meanwhile, Laity Forward Movement president Lou Klitzkie on Tuesday said the group will take a break from its weekly picket in front of the cathedral on Easter Sunday. The weekly picket calls for Archbishop Anthony Apuron’s removal as archbishop and defrocking. Apuron is undergoing a Vatican canonical penal trial and faces least four clergy sex abuse cases filed by former altar boys in Agat.
Apuron's attorney, Jacqueline Terlaje, also asked the federal court to dismiss the lawsuits against Apuron, citing reasons similar to those raised by the archdiocese.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Humility

It is said that humility is the only weapon that can destroy the Devil.  And this is true.  Christ humbled Himself to the cross, and death was destroyed.  We are called to be true Christians like Christ.  We are called to the cross.  Christ said to take up our cross and come follow Him.  And where did Christ go?  He died on the cross.  This is what it means to be a disciple of Christ......to be a "Christian."

The Christians of the Early Centuries were often misunderstood by their persecutors. They were often feared and hated.  People usually fear and hate what they do not understand.  Unlike the others who worshiped their gods in the temples, the Early Christians had no temples because they understood that their bodies were the temple of the Holy Spirit. When people got to know the Christians, then their fear and hatred dissipated.    

We saw through Sacred Scripture that the first place the Apostles preached were in the synagogues.  The Apostles were Jewish. The good news was spread in the synagogues first, but the Jews didn't like the Apostles preaching to them, so they were kicked out of the synagogues.  

Then they preached to the Gentiles. The first people who called themselves "Christians" were the converts in Antioch. Christianity grew among the Gentiles like wildfire. So, brothers be humble.  Our mission is to spread the Gospel of Christ to the entire world.  Our mission is to be the light of the world so that those who see the light of Christ in us can also praise God our Father.  Our mission is to be the salt of the earth.  This salt dies so that others may live. 


Image result for crucifixion

John 15:13-19  Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other. “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.