Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Read This Before Leaving The Church Over An Abuse Scandal

The following article was written by Father Gordon MacRae and can be found here
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Most of what you know about Catholic scandal is from the news media, the one institution that polls lower in public trust than Congress. Is there more to this story?
While writing about the Senate Judiciary hearings over the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, I spent a lot of time with the whole sordid affair on the three major cable news stations. After we posted “Justice Brett Kavanaugh Is Guilty for Being Accused,” a media watchdog site published a report on average daily viewers. FOX News had a daily average viewership higher than CNN and MSNBC combined and more than twice that of the network news at ABC, CBS, or NBC.
This is not an advertisement for FOX News, at least not an intentional one. The good people at FOX have their infuriating moments too. But I have to admit that I spent longer on FOX News than the others, though I did make an effort to give each a fair shot at my news consumption. It was just that my own life experience has left “me painfully aware of how very much politics can influence our view of justice.” The panels and pundits of the left-leaning news media seemed to accept without question the “guilty-for-being-accused” dogma and spin it as justice.
But the FOX News panels and pundits did something only slightly less irritating. They treated as entirely new something that they claim to be aware of only now from the Judge Kavanaugh Senate hearings: the idea that some who are accused can be summarily condemned for reasons more connected to identity politics than evidence or corroboration.
Even as the FOX News pundits feigned being aghast at this during the Kavanaugh hearings, their news ticker at the bottom of my screen ran stories of the various state justice systems around the country demanding new investigations of Catholic priests going back decades, not because there is evidence, but because they are priests. I wrote of this in a comment when The Wall Street Journalpublished its lead editorial of Sep. 24, 2018:
“I hope the Journal editors are not just catching on to this. A precedent to what is happening to Judge Kavanaugh and other targets of the #MeToo movement can be found in the Catholic scandals of the last two decades. Beginning in the early 1990s, the news media aided and abetted a push by activists and tort lawyers to treat every claim of decades-old abuse as true until proven false. The bias that the media helped create was built on easily quoted but false mantras such as ‘children never lie about sexual abuse’ which entirely disregarded the fact that 70% of the accusing ‘children’ were adults in their forties and fifties. The Wall Street Journal once boldly exposed the moral panic when its targets were innocent daycare workers in the 1980s.” Gordon J. MacRae, WSJ Sep. 24, 2018
But even here at These Stone Walls, where the concept of due process has been front and center, one faithful reader abandoned it in a comment declaring Judge Kavanaugh to be “a rapist and a drunk.” We did not post it, but not because we are opposed to contrary points of view. We did not post it because it would be spreading a slander with no real evidence to support it.
THE RISKS OF A VICTIM CULTURE
During the Kavanaugh hearings, The Wall Street Journal ran a full page ad containing only two words in huge block letters “BELIEVE WOMEN.” Presumably other newspapers ran the same persuasive ad. Think about this, please. It suggests that corroboration can and should be replaced in identity politics as gender loyalty takes precedence over the discovery of facts and truth.
During the day care sex abuse scare of the 1980s, a similar mantra, “Believe the Children” replaced due process, and in the 1990s it was The Wall Street Journal’s Dorothy Rabinowitz whose Pulitzer prizewinning Journalism unmasked the panic and exposed it in the Journal and in her chilling bestseller, “No Crueler Tyrannies: Accusation, False Witness, and Other Terrors of Our Time” (Wall Street Journal Books 2003).
I was most impressed during the Kavanaugh hearings by some of the Letters to the Editor in The Wall Street Journal written by women who see the great risk to justice posed by identity and gender politics. I’ll cite a few here:
“The Kavanaugh hearings painfully reminded me of the time I was drugged and assaulted during college in the 1970s. My disgust for my assaulter is equal to my abhorrence of the ‘believe survivors’ diktat of the left which dangerously seeks to negate due process.” Margaret Bowen, WSJ Oct. 10, 2018
“I don’t think Brett Kavanaugh owes anybody an apology for expressing emotion in a hearing where his good name… was at stake. The only ones owing anyone an apology are the particular senators who ambushed him to increase their own political power while not caring if they destroyed his or Prof. Ford’s lives in the process.” Heather Jones, WSJ Oct. 10, 2018
“Am I the only mother of a teenage son who is terrified by the Kavanaugh circus? I have taught my 17-year-old to be respectful of everyone… but what if in 10, 20, or 30 years some woman accuses my son of sexually assaulting her? Of course he will deny it, but will anyone believe him? Melanie Prieger, WSJ Oct 10, 2018
“I want to thank Senator Susan Collins as the mother of a son who I pray is never wrongly accused and considered guilty until proven innocent… and as a citizen who is scared for our nation after watching the Kavanaugh hearings Sen. Collins’ speech was a master class in how politics is supposed to work and why it didn’t in this case.” Carla Albers, WSJ Oct 10, 2018
“I have been both sexually assaulted and falsely accused. I am hard pressed today to say which was worse.” Name Withheld, WSJ Sep 24
“The letters of Sept 21 included one from the honest 81-year-old woman who told of the attempted sexual assault she so unfortunately endured when she was 11. She states, ‘It is as clear to me now as the night it happened.’ She makes the point that victims of such horrible, unwanted sexual advances have vivid, specific memories while, according to her attorney, Christine Blasey-Ford did not.” Mary DuCoin, WSJ Oct 3, 2018
In 2005, Dorothy Rabinowitz at The Wall Street Journal wrote her first installment in a series of expository articles about my charges and trial. Her opening article in her series was published with a descriptive subheading: “Some claims of abuse in the Catholic Church turn out to be untrue.”
In 2013, Ms. Rabinowitz wrote a third installment about my trial entitled, “The Trials of Father MacRae” which was summarized in an often cited quote: “Those aware of the facts of this case find it hard to imagine that any court today would ignore the perversion of justice it represents.”
Unlike the claims and charges themselves, these articles were well researched and heavily investigated. They also alarmed a number of people whose investment in the business of accusation and settlement was well known. The WSJ received hundreds of letters and comments from readers who were aghast at the story of fraud and greed masked as victimhood that Ms. Rabinowitz had uncovered.
“A RAPIST AND A DRUNK”

 

But one letter that was not published by the WSJ came from an angry New Hampshire woman who did not know me or anyone who was a party to the claims against me. Her two-page letter accused the WSJ editors of orchestrating a “right-wing conspiracy” to undermine “the cause of survivors.”
It felt almost surreal for me when a TSW reader tried to post a comment declaring Brett Kavanaugh, without evidence, to be “a rapist and a drunk.” The same phrase was applied to me. When I wrote “Justice Brett Kavanaugh Is Guilty for Being Accused” for These Stone Walls recently, I recalled a painful chapter in my own experience of being “guilty for being accused.”
I wrote of how the same activist mentioned above did a Google search of my name and came up with a false media report that I am an alcoholic. She then ran with that story, spreading it everywhere. It showed up on social media and in letters to the editor of local New Hampshire newspapers. And she got away with citing the fake story as “evidence” that I may have abused others but simply don’t remember it.
I always wondered where this woman had obtained her information, so, as I wrote in the above post, some friends who had known me for some time went in search of a source and found it. Then a real investigator a former and highly decorated FBI Special Agent, took up a real investigation of the story and also went in search of the evidence not only for that claim, but for others.
And he also found it. As I mentioned in my post about Justice Kavanaugh above, it was in a published interview with actress Meredith MacRae who wrote of her late father, the 1950s and 1960s Broadway and Hollywood star of Carousel, Oklahoma and other plays and films. “My father, Gordon MacRae, was an alcoholic,” she asserted in the interview. Intentionally or not, the line taken out of context easily fit the New Hampshire woman’s narrative in her SNAP-sponsored crusade.
Her persecution did a lot of damage to me, to my reputation and my efforts at self-defense, and to my family. Her purpose for spinning it was an attempt to halt the rising tide of people who had come to believe that I just might be innocent of the charges that put me in her state’s prison. Just like Brett Kavanaugh in the eyes of the left, there was no corroboration to justify the claims against me other than the conclusion now formally adopted for the #MeToo era.
It’s a new category of justice that has a precedent. Our bishops had already adopted it to apply to all priests accused since the bishops themselves began to be smeared in the news media. It is a category of justice called “guilty for being accused.” When the newly radicalized left tried to apply it to Judge Kavanaugh, however, the nation simply wasn’t having it.
Back to the New Hampshire crusader: For her efforts at persecution, she was given a “survivors support” award from SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, and she was publicly honored by the Catholic reform group, Voice of the Faithful.
Just at the time that I recalled and wrote about the New Hampshire woman’s alcoholism claim, I learned that she had died on September 5, 2018, the same day I posted “That Grand Jury Report on Abusive Catholic Priests.” I learned of her death by accident, and in so doing I also learned that her son is a New Hampshire priest. It made me wonder about the woman who wrote in The Wall Street Journal that the Kavanaugh affair makes her fear for her 17-year-old son.
I have spent many days now praying for the New Hampshire woman, and have approached the altar at which I know I must forgive her. Thanks to the Amish, to Pornchai Moontri, and to Malcolm Farr who wrote “The Pain of Suffering and the Power of Forgiveness.” I had living daily reminders that I must forgive this women for her blind persecution. I am grateful that, in writing the above account, I have not identified her. I have a long-standing desire not to speak ill of the dead who are no longer here to defend themselves.
Think about that, too, please, as we peruse the long lists of long-dead priests thrown under the bus by accusers and contingency lawyers looking to score a windfall, by politically ambitious prosecutors on a career-building mission, and by bishops looking for relevance and hero status for their zero tolerance which is starting to sound far more Calvinist than Catholic.
ZERO TOLERANCE

The leaders of the Church are not brain dead. Of course there should be zero tolerance for sexual abuse. But to apply it to an 80-year-old priest accused from 50 years ago with zero evidence or corroboration is the stuff of witch hunts. When U.S. bishops settled on the term “credible” to settle claims, it means only that a claim “could have happened.” I profiled one such case in “When Night Befalls Your Father You Don’t Discard Him. You Just Don’t!” But we do discard them – by the hundreds – merely for being accused.
I am amazed and alarmed at the extent to which Catholics are willing to let others do their thinking for them on this issue. Not many of you reading this have any first hand experience of abuse by Catholic priests that so many now accept so blindly as having been rampant in the Church. Beyond the accusations themselves – most of which are decades old and subject to lucrative financial rewards – there is little evidence to support this.
But even when the claims are true – and sadly, some are true – why should we believe that the evil that has come into our world in the age of relativism should exempt Catholic priests from its affliction? On the contrary, we are its primary targets. Do you think that any priest ever woke up one day and said to himself, “I think I will sexually abuse someone today?” The very fact that such a thing is so contrary to priesthood is what makes them targets for the Satanic attack underway both against and within our Church.
And some of the self-proclaimed heroes of this war also need a second look. After igniting a whole new chapter in the moral panic about Catholic priests, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has declared it to be a strangely personal affair. A TSW reader in Indiana recently sent him “That Grand Jury Report on Abusive Catholic Priests. He wrote in response defending his crusade in very personal terms:
“My office works to protect children throughout Pennsylvania every single day. As Attorney General, I am dedicated to rooting out child predators no matter where they hide. Whether it’s a pediatrician in Johnstown, a deputy coroner in Schulkill County, a firefighter in Carbon County, a former National Guard officer in Dauphin County, or a predator priest in one of these dioceses, I will not tolerate anyone who victimizes Pennsylvania’s children.”
I read recently that there have been some 80,000 sexual abuse complaints lodged against public school personnel in America in the last decade, but they are curiously omitted from the list of people Attorney General Shapiro will not tolerate. Powerful teacher unions make that politically unfeasible for upwardly mobile prosecutors.
The Brett Kavanaugh story has emphasized the difference between being guilty and being merely accused. There is also a difference between actual cases and mere claims. The vast majority of claims in Pennsylvania and across the nation were not brought by children, but by adults with an expectation of virtually unquestioned settlement. The truth is that the Catholic Church in America is the sole institution to have virtually eradicated contemporary sexual abuse.
If you or someone you know is citing the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report as a cause for losing faith, it seems that Fred Thieman, former U.S. Attorney for Pennsylvania agrees with my assessment, not only of its value, but of its Constitutionality:
“The grand jury report focuses on what happened decades ago rather than in changes of practice that I have seen and been involved in over two decades. I question the wisdom of the entire process in Constitutional terms. I don’t think the grand jury report provides ample basis for anyone to draw conclusions from older evidence and state them as current fact until the evidence has been examined and tested.” (Former Pennsylvania U.S. Attorney Fred Thieman).

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Archdiocese Plans To File For Bankruptcy

Recently, the Archdiocese of Agana have stated that they will be filing for bankruptcy because mediation have failed.  The Archdiocese wanted a global settlement, which was rejected by some of the alleged victims.  Some of the alleged victims felt that not everyone should get the same settlement payment because some suffered more than others.  For example, Ramon de Plata filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Agana for 5 million dollars; however, he was never sexually abused or molested.  He claimed to be a WITNESS.  According to Pacific Daily News:


“During the night at the rectory, Ramon witnessed Cruz sexually molest and abuse an altar boy, together with a seminarian named Anthony Sablan Apuron, who would later become an ordained priest on Guam and ultimately serve as the archbishop of the Agana archdiocese,” the complaint states.
De Plata is represented by attorney David Lujan. Lujan filed the lawsuit at 4:56 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22. It's the 14th clergy sex abuse lawsuit that Lujan and Wolff has filed this year.
Therefore, it is not a surprise that some will complain about the global settlement in which everyone will be paid equally the same amount.  Also, the lawyers and many of the alleged victims who are in their 60s and 70s want to be paid as soon as possible.  As the Guam Daily Post pointed out (the bold is mine):
“If there’s one reason I didn’t hesitate going into the mediation, it’s because it allows for a quick resolution especially with a portion of my clients who want a resolution,” Lujan told The Guam Daily Post. 
With many clients in their 60s and 70s and several of them ill, Lujan said he believes his clients would want to get “something” for their families before they pass away.
Because mediation has failed, Archbishop Byrnes have decided to file for bankruptcy.  After filing for bankruptcy, the bankruptcy judge will set a "bar date period" for additional clergy claims abuse to be filed.  After the "bar date period" no lawsuits can be filed against the Archdiocese.  Nevertheless, more lawsuits are now coming in faster than before.  Archbishop Byrnes made known his plans to file for bankruptcy on November 7th.  See the story here.  

After the announcement of bankruptcy, two days later TWO lawsuits was filed against the Archdiocese.  On November 9th, a lawsuit was filed by M.C.A. against two dead priests: Monsignor Jose Ada Leon Guerrero and Raymond Techaira who both served as priests in the Asan parish.  M.C.A. is a client of Attorney David Lujan. See the story here dated November 9, 2018.  

On the same day, another news report came out about another lawsuit filed against the Archdiocese. E.F.G. filed a lawsuit against a former teacher of St. Anthony Catholic School and the Archdiocese. Her lawyer is also Attorney David Lujan.  The interesting thing about this last lawsuit was that the name of the accused was protected.  According to the Pacific Daily News (the bold is mine):
A former student at St. Anthony Catholic School in Tamuning filed on Friday a $5 million lawsuit accusing her former teacher of sexually abusing her for about a year when she was 13 around 2012 to 2013. 
The plaintiff is identified in Superior Court of Guam documents only as E.F.G. to protect her privacy. The lawsuit also identified the teacher only by his initials, H.J. 
E.F.G., represented by Attorney David Lujan, said in her lawsuit that H.J. was her teacher at the Catholic school between late 2012 through mid-2014.
2013 was only five years ago.  Why did she not report it to her parents and to the police?  Surely, one cannot claim that the parents would not believe her. The Boston sex scandal occurred in 2002 and SNAP was in Guam in 2011.  Therefore, after 2011 priests were no longer placed on pedestals, and people were already aware of the sex scandal among the clergy.  Another interesting thing is why hide the name of the accused?  All the people previously accused of child sexual abuse have been named. 

What do the Catholics of Guam expect to see after the filing of bankruptcy?  According to news report (the bold is mine):


Perez said just because the archdiocese is filing for bankruptcy does not mean it will go out of business.
“In my discussions with attorneys from my team with extensive experience in these types of bankruptcies, this filing will allow the archdiocese to reorganize and still be operational after the claims are paid and the bankruptcy is closed,” he said.
James said the archdiocese’s bankruptcy filing will automatically stop any further action in the lawsuits that have been filed, and it will create a deadline for all Guam clergy abuse victims to file claims.
“It will be important for those who have not come forward to do so and file their claim,” said James, who, along with Vernon, has extensive experience in Catholic church bankruptcies.
There are important deadlines in a bankruptcy that must be met. All claims against the archdiocese must be filed prior to the “claims bar date,” which will be set by the bankruptcy judge, the attorneys said.

Yes, the filing of bankruptcy will allow the Archdiocese to reorganize and still be operational.  How do you think it will be reorganize?  Just as we have learned from the Churches in the United States who filed for bankruptcy, parishes were closed down.  Guam is a small island with a parish in every village and not every parish is filled to capacity.  Any bankruptcy judge can see that parishes can be closed down while members join the other nearby parishes.  An example are the parishes of Yona, Chalan Pago, Barrigada, and Mangilao.  These parishes are within driving distance of each other.  Agana Heights and Sinajana can also be shut down and join the Masses held in the Cathedral. 

Once they start closing the parishes and selling it, you can start thanking the JungleWatch Nation for destroying our parishes. . As Archbishop Byrnes stated in the news media (the bold is mine):

Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes is calling on Catholics to embrace the planned bankruptcy filing, which he said is an opportunity to reorganize the Archdiocese of Agana and become a better church amid nearly 200 clergy sex abuse lawsuits filed since 2016........

"This is an opportunity to reorganize ourselves, to become a better church — the best we can be," Byrnes wrote.........

Yes, a better church.  Once they start closing down the parishes and selling it, you can start thanking the Junglewatch Nation for destroying our parishes.  Remember that it was the Junglewatch Nation, Silent No More, CCOG, and LFM who introduced, supported, and worked for the passage of a bill that lifted the statutes of limitations.....a bill that would eventually take away many Church assets and close down our parishes.....a bill that left no investigative measure of determining who are the real victims of abuse and who are the fake ones.  And if you think that people cannot come out, fabricating stories of child sexual abuse, see my last post on More on Judge Kavanaugh.  

Thursday, November 8, 2018

More On Judge Kavanaugh

A Kavanaugh accuser came out and admitted that she lied about being raped by Judge Kavanaugh.  According to news report:
One of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s accusers admitted this week that she made up her lurid tale of a backseat car rape, saying it “was a tactic” to try to derail the judge’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.
Sen. Charles E. Grassley, chairman of the Judiciary Committee revealed the fraud in a letter to the FBI and Justice Department Friday, asking them to prosecute Judy Munro-Leighton for lying to and obstructing Congress........
She admitted to the false allegation, and said she has actually never met Justice Kavanaugh.
Ms. Judy Munro-Leighton lied about being raped because she did not want Judge Kavanaugh to be confirmed to the Supreme Court.  By bringing a false allegation of rape, she had hoped to derail his confirmation.  She had an agenda.  To bring a false accusation against a person is heinous for two reasons.: 1) it sought to destroy the person's name and reputation and 2) it undermines the REAL victims who were raped and abused.  


  

   

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

From Skepticism to Gratitude

The following article was brought to my attention by two anonymous posters.  It is worth reading.  It was written by Archbishop Aquila from Denver.  You can find the following article here.
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From skepticism to gratitude: My experience of The Way


Archbishop Aquila
Archbishop Aquila
On Sunday, Oct. 14, I had the privilege of celebrating the Eucharist in Greeley with over 500 catechists from the Neocatechumenal Way. As The Way celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year, my heart was again filled with gratitude to the Father for the gift that this Itinerary of Christian Initiation has been for the local Church in Colorado and in the Universal Church.
Since its founding in Spain under the pontificate of St. Paul VI in the 1960s, every Pope has encouraged The Way, seeing the great fruit that it bears. Pope Francis, on their 50th Anniversary, stated, “Your charism is a great gift of God for the Church of our time. Let us thank the Lord for these 50 years.”
I was first introduced to The Way in Lent of 1988 by a priest friend when I was doing graduate studies in Rome. Although I hadn’t heard about them, I was curious, as my friend had spoken highly of them and shared stories of conversions that he had witnessed through The Way.
I decided that I wanted to know more about The Way, so we went to a Lenten service. During the service, many young people got up and gave testimonies of how The Way had led them to encounter Jesus Christ, which radically changed their lives. Some were former drug addicts, others lived promiscuous lives with both men and women, others were involved in violence and still others were in abusive situations. Their encounter with Jesus Christ through The Way led them away from hopelessness and the patterns of sin they had entered and into an encounter with the mercy and truth of Jesus Christ. They firmly believed in the healing power and authority of Jesus Christ and that with God all things are possible (Mt 19:26).
I remember being filled with awe and some disbelief at their testimony. Speaking with my friend on the way home, I asked if I heard everything correctly. He assured me that I had. I had to confront my own skepticism and lack of faith in Jesus Christ, and it gave me much to meditate on. I asked myself the question, “Who do I believe, the world or Jesus Christ?” The young people there had a fire and zeal in them that only the Holy Spirit could bring about.
Through the efforts of then-Archbishop Stafford, he invited The Way to Denver, and then after World Youth Day 1993 requested a Redemptoris Mater Seminary be established in Denver. The Way responded and a seminary was established in 1996, later receiving permanent approval from Archbishop Chaput. We have been blessed with 28 priests from The Way who help staff our parishes, work in the seminary and promote the formation of The Way in our parishes.
The Way has also borne missionary fruit. We have two priests from our archdiocese who serve as missionaries in other countries, and 16 young men from the archdiocese who have participated in The Way as teenagers are discerning a calling to the priesthood at other Redemptoris Mater seminaries around the world.
During the Mass on Oct. 14, I again listened to the testimonies given by the catechists, some who have walked in The Way in our parishes over 20 years. There was no skepticism in my heart, but only gratitude for the fruit that The Way has borne in the archdiocese. The words of Jesus came to my heart, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (Jn. 15:5). As Pope Francis taught in his encyclical The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Guadium), precisely through inviting people to encounter Jesus and by accompanying them in the communities and steps of The Way, an abundant harvest is found in our parishes. People come to know the vine, Jesus Christ, abide in him by putting their faith in him as he transforms their lives, and then they bear much fruit as they go out to invite others to come to know Jesus.
My prayer is for The Way to continue to grow in our archdiocese and in all our parishes as a part of the new evangelization. The Way has demonstrated by its fruit that it is of the Holy Spirit and the Church has confirmed its charism. In the times in which we live, The Way is one of the signs of hope in our archdiocese. It joins other fruitful movements of the Holy Spirit, such as our archdiocesan initiative More Than You Realize, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), Christ in the City, Amazing Parish, Families of Character, ENDOW, the Augustine Institute, ChristLife and so many others. In the universal call to holiness, and most especially in the times we are living through as a Church, we must always “keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of our faith” (Heb 12:2).

Saturday, October 27, 2018

The Synod On Youth

There was an interesting intervention at the Synod of Bishops on Youth by Father Hilaire K. Kouaho, the rector of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Madagascar.  He took part as an auditor representing the Neocatechumenal Way.  Below is a translation from the Spanish edition of Zenit:

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Synod: “Young people discover how God is present in their concrete history”

Intervention of the Auditor from the Neocatechumenal Way

(ZENIT - Oct. 19, 2018)

At the Synod of Bishops celebrated in Rome on the theme of Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment, Fr Hilaire K Kouaho, Rector of the Redemptoris Mater Diocesan International Seminary of Madagascar, participated as an Auditor from part of the Neocatechumenal Way.

The priest read a speech before the synodal assembly on October 16, 2018, in which he noted that the theme of listening is “crucial to understanding our young people” and added that it is also “necessary” to educate them to “listen to the voice” who truly loves them as they are: Christ”.
Here we publish the intervention that the priest read before Pope Francis and the rest of the synodal assembly on the afternoon of Tuesday, October 16:


Speech by Hilaire K. Kouaho

Image result for Father Hilaire K. Kouaho1. Most Holy Father, Reverend Synodal Fathers, dear young friends. My name is Hilaire. I'm from the Ivory Coast.

2. I thank His Holiness, who is also my bishop, that I am able to participate in this great ecclesial moment as a representative of all the communities of the Neocatechumenal Way.

3. When I was 18 years old, the Lord made me begin an experience of the Neocatechumenal Way. I come from a family far from the Church and with them I have come to know the faith and the Church through a small community. Today my whole family is living this experience of faith in the Ivory Coast. In 1992 I entered the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Rome, and after a period of formation I was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Rome. For 12 years I have been the rector of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Madagascar.

4. The theme of listening is crucial to understand our young people. In every situation throughout its growth, especially in times of crisis, we must listen to them. It is also necessary to educate them to listen to the voice of who truly loves them such as they are: Christ. At the centre of the Revelation is God himself who calls his people to listen.

5. The experience that young people make in the Neocatechumenal communities is that of the weekly celebration of the Word of God and of the possibility, in each celebration, of being heard giving their experience. Every Christian is called to put his life under the light of the Word of God. This education to listen and be heard takes place in the first place in the family through a “domestic liturgy” on Sunday, where the parents transmit the faith to their children, according to the custom of the Neocatechumenal Way.

6. The community to which the young people belong helps them to feel taken seriously. Growing up in a community made up of people of all ages, sex and social status helps to destroy generational barriers and to grow together in the faith.

7. Through listening to the Word, young people discover how God is present in their concrete history, also in its most problematic and painful implications. They discover a God who is close and seals their wounds, they discover the mystery of the glorious cross which alone gives a meaning to the existence of man.

8. Within the communities, young people and adults live a gradual education to the faith through a Christian initiation that does not presuppose faith, but over several stages helps them to rediscover all the wealth contained in baptism.

9. This process takes place under the guidance of a team of catechists, composed of lay people (men and women) and priests, who accompany the young people along their catechumenal path. In this phase of the passage from family to community, the Way has discovered the beauty of a post-confirmation pastoral which helps young people to remain in the bosom of the Church and to experience its riches at the critical age of puberty and adolescence.

10. In the small community, they can experience the fraternal warmth that youngsters so desire. The World Youth Days are occasions of great respite for young people enabling them to live moments of evangelization and fraternity with peers from other parts of the world.

11. St. Paul VI, through the Humanae Vitae, has helped many families in the Church to be open to life. This opening to life in the Way has produced as fruits vocations to the consecrated life, to the presbyterate and to marriage. Many young families, after a time of gestation of faith within their community, called by the bishops and sent by the Holy Father, go on mission to the most secularized areas of the world.

12. The Holy Spirit is calling many young people from the communities to the priestly life. 122 international missionary diocesan seminaries have been erected by diocesan bishops. This internationality, which I experienced first during my formation, I am living now again with seminarians and priests trained in our seminary who come from 15 nations of Europe, Africa and America.

13. A young person seeks only one thing in the background: to feel loved and welcomed. The Church, which is a teacher in humanity and possesses the richness of the Gospel, is the only one able to offer this beauty of love.

14. Wherever a young person is on earth, Jesus Christ has also given his life and has shed his blood, for him even if he does not know it. All young people have the right to hear the Good News that it is possible to be happy, not living selfishly for oneself but for others. Young people expect us, as a Church, to go out and find them in the depths of their souls, where their deepest questions reside and where the mark of God has its nest.

Thank you, Holy Father, for the good you want for the young people.

Translated from Zenit.

My Response to the Non-Resident Anonymous

To the anonymous person who wrote that he/she is not from Guam and is using my blog as his/her voice to those whose ears can hear.........

First of all, I would not know that you are from Guam or not simply because you did not choose a username that would distinguish you from the rest of those who go by the same name "Anonymous."  It is only a matter of inventing a username, which some people like "Faithfully yours", "God is one", "Jokers Wild", and "Jane Doe" had done.

Secondly, you are blind to think that following Archbishop Byrnes' instruction will make the jungle hatred go away.  As anyone can plainly see, the NCW followed Archbishop Byrnes' instruction on celebrating the Eucharist inside the Church and in consuming the Body of Christ standing.  Yet, it is clear from the comments in the jungle that they hate us even more.  Therefore, it is YOU who needs to open your eyes.    

In the third place, my blog will not be used to spread propaganda against the Way.  Mine is not the only blog where you can make comments.  You can always post comments in the jungle, which boasts of having over 8 million page viewers.  You can also write your own blog.  No one is stopping you from creating your own blog.  However, your comments were not published because my blog will not be used to spread your propaganda. 

Finally, the NCW in Guam and elsewhere in the world have always followed the Archbishop or Bishop of their country.  When Archbishop Anthony Apuron was in charge, we followed his instructions on how to celebrate the Eucharist.  We do not follow YOUR instructions because you are not the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Agana.  Now that Archbishop Byrnes is in charge, we followed his instructions.  We do not follow your instructions because you are not the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Agana.  The same is true with the NCW worldwide.  There are hundreds of bishops who support the Way and all of them are in communion with the Pope.  We are told to follow the Bishop, NOT a layperson like you.  We do not follow any layperson, which is the reason why we do not follow YOUR instructions.  End of story.  

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Justice Brett Kavanaugh Is Guilty for Being Accused

The following article was written by Father Gordon MacRae.  If there is anything to be learned from this event is the fact that we have gone backwards in our justice system.  It appears that in this day and age, one can be found guilty once they are accused.  

Through an investigation, it was found that there is no evidence showing that Judge Brett Kavanaugh had sexually abused anyone, and he has finally been confirmed to the Supreme Court.  One good outcome of this is that we finally have a judge sitting on the Supreme Court who knows first hand what it is like to be falsely accused without any evidence.  Let us hope that the Supreme Court can find that laws lifting the statutes of limitations on sexual abuse as unconstitutional. It will also give the alleged victims the responsibility in reporting the crime in a more timely manner.

What caught my attention in the article below is the following statement.  I could not have said it any better: 
Over the last few weeks, These Stone Walls has been host to a four-part bombshell story of its own that began with “Pornchai Moontri. Bangkok to Bangor, Survivor of the Night.” It tells the story of devastating events that occurred in Thailand and Bangor, Maine between 1975 and 1992. The story resulted in the conviction of Richard Alan Bailey last month for 40 felony counts of sexual abuse that occurred between 1985 and 1987 – commencing 33 years ago.
It would be a fair to ask why these charges were any different from all the other #MeToo claims – many of them decades old – that have been surfacing against priests, politicians, CEOs, and now Supreme Court nominees. The difference is vast, and it is summed up in a single word: corroboration. 
The following article can be found here
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During Senate confirmation hearings for Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the left scorned his combative tone, the only part of this national disgrace that seemed compelling.
I turned 16 years old on April 9, 1969, a rebellious teenager living in a rebellious time. At the end of that summer, still age 16, I would commence my senior year in an inner city public high school north of Boston. Like the tenor of the present day, the year leading up to my 16th birthday was explosive. In 1968, in the company of Walter Cronkite, we faced the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy. Inconsolable grief swept the South, and deep mourning enshrouded the streets of Boston.
The Beatles released “Hey, Jude” that summer and it hit number one in the pop charts. Pope Paul VI released Humanae vitae that same summer, and it bombed in the pop charts, pitting the papacy against tidal waves of dissent. The sexual revolution spun into high gear lending – though only in hindsight – much weight to the moral courage of a much-maligned pope. [Also see: “Padre Pio’s Letter to Paul VI on Humanae vitae.”]
The Catonsville Nine, led by Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan, went to prison for burning draft records. The Democratic National Convention exploded into riots in Chicago. O.J. Simpson won the Heisman trophy. Richard Nixon won the presidency. 1968 was a year from hell.
The war in Vietnam raged on that year. It escalated, and loomed ever larger on our horizons. The only thing that kept me from going to war was a mistake of math my parents had made. 12 years earlier resulting in my enrollment in the first grade at age five instead of six. I graduated from high school just a month after turning 17 in 1970 and a full year before I could either enlist or be drafted.
In the summer of 1969, just before my senior year of high school at age 16, I fled Boston. I traveled alone to a village just north of St John’s on the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland where I spent that summer with some of my mother’s extended family. While there, I did something entirely counter-cultural at age 16. I read Thomas Merton’s autobiography, The Seven Story Mountain. It was long and tedious, and it spoke volumes to me.
As a result of that book, I alone among my family began to restore what had up to then been a dormant and grossly undernourished Easter and Christmas Catholic life. I was unaware at the time that Thomas Merton was also among the casualties of 1968. He died by accidental electrocution in Bangkok, Thailand on December 10, 1968, the same day he entered the Trappist Monastery at Gethsemane 27 years earlier.
No one could have predicted that nearly a half century later, Pornchai Moontri, sharing a prison cell with me, would also read Thomas Merton though quite by accident. Also unaware of the Bangkok connection, Pornchai then made a final decision to become Catholic. (I’ll link at the end to a post by Ryan MacDonald about Pornchai and Thomas Merton.)
In Newfoundland in 1969, the chaos of home seemed refreshingly far away. Then, on July 20 that year, at 10:56 PM Eastern Time (11:26 PM in Newfoundland) Neil Armstrong became the first human being to walk on the surface of the Moon. The entire world – even in Newfoundland – was riveted to a television, again in the company of Walter Cronkite.
My teenage cousins and I were up for any excuse for a party. So well after midnight, we escaped to celebrate this one small step for man by heading into the city – hitchhiking, no less – for a night of raucous underage drinking. We turned this lunar milestone into total lunacy.
My cousins and I drank far more beer than we could handle, and more than a few shots of a substance called Newfoundland Screech. I was 16, a fact that today I feel a need to repeat, and my parents were 1,000 miles away in another country.
But I think I can safely say today that my lifelong value system and character is not defined by that one raucous adolescent night in Newfoundland. I certainly never gave any thought to the future then. There wasn’t one in 1969. It was all just a response to the present. That’s a common trait among 16-year-old males who find themselves 1,000 miles from their parents. It’s all about me in the here and now.
ON THE RIGHTS AND DIGNITY OF WOMEN
I never gave any thought back then to the teen years of people who grow up to be nominated to the Supreme Court by Republican presidents. I certainly never considered that anyone like me could find himself 40 years later facing an FBI investigation of his adolescent consumption of beer for the ultra-left Puritan and pharisaical mob that has highjacked the Democratic Party to which I once belonged.
Other than the elements necessary for Mass, I have not consumed alcohol in any form since about 1982. But that did not stop my own detractors from declaring me to be a drunk. During the priesthood’s earlier moral panic in 2002, a member of New Hampshire Voice of the Faithful was quoted in a local news article saying that she read somewhere that I am an alcoholic, and therefore may not remember abusing the people that she felt certain I must have abused.
Some friends who have known me for forty years wondered where that could have come from. So they did a Google search to find a reference for the claim. They found the source in a published interview with actress Meredith MacRae about her famous father, a Broadway and Hollywood star of the 1950s and 60s. The interview quoted her: “My father, Gordon MacRae, was an alcoholic…” The Prosecution rests.
Bear with me, please, as I meander my way to the point. It was only later, at the end of that 1969 summer of lunacy when I returned to Massachusetts, that I saw news reports of something that happened just two days before Neil Armstrong’s milestone. On July 18, 1969 at 11:15 PM, Senator Ted Kennedy, brother of an assassinated president and an assassinated Democratic presidential nominee, drove his car off a bridge into the ocean at Cappaquiddick Island, Martha’s Vineyard.
Mary Jo Kopechne, one of six young women who had worked on Bobby Kennedy’s presidential campaign, drowned in that car while Ted Kennedy escaped. On July 19, 1969, waiting some ten hours before reporting the event, Kennedy sat in the office of the Chappaquiddick constable. He hand wrote a statement of events, leaving a blank after “Miss Mary” because he could not spell her last name. On July 20, the front page story was buried under Neil Armstrong’s giant leap for mankind.
On July 25, Kennedy pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of leaving the scene of an accident. He received a two-month suspended sentence. He wore a neck brace to the hearing for no other reason, he told his exasperated lawyers, than he thought it might look good for the media. His first words while telling his closest allies that Mary Jo lay dead in his submerged car were, “I’m not going to be president.”
Just before the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh earlier this month, I happened to watch the film, Chappaquiddick recently released on DVD. I highly recommend it. Unlike so much of Hollywood, the film portrayed the events of that summer of 1969 with an honest journalist’s eye instead of the spin of political agendas. The film portrayed Ted Kennedy as a misogynistic narcissist more concerned for the story’s impact on his political ambitions than on the life and death of Mary Jo Kopechne.
In January of 1970, midway through my senior year of high school and still 16, a court inquest was held. A judge took strong exception to many of Kennedy’s assertions and descriptions of the events of that night. He had been drinking, a fact reduced in the media to “negligent driving which appeared to have contributed” to Mary Jo’s death.
Jump ahead to 1985. Despite Chappaquiddick, Kennedy was repeatedly reelected to his Massachusetts senate seat with little in the way of challenge or critique. The news media gave him an easy pass. Kennedy announced in 1985 that he would not seek the presidency. The party and media spin was that he had found a sense of accomplishment in the Senate. No one mentioned Mary Jo Kopechne or Chappaquiddick anymore.
Two years later in 1987, President Ronald Reagan nominated legal scholar and former Solicitor General Robert Bork to the U S Supreme Court. The story to follow may seem painfully familiar. Liberal groups across the nation protested the nomination. The politicians and the news media howled incessantly that Bork would reverse Roe v Wade.
Senate Democrats criticized the nomination of Bork, accusing President Reagan of trying to pack the Court with allies for his conservative cause. Confirmation hearings took an ominous turn as Senator Ted Kennedy addressed the Senate and nation with “Robert Bork’s America.”
“Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit in segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, and school children could not be taught about evolution. Writers and artists would be censored at the whim of government, and the doors of the federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is – and is often the only – protector of individual rights at the heart of our democracy.”
On October 23, 1987, the Senate rejected Bork’s nomination by a 58 to 42 vote. The rejection came after weeks of hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee during which Judge Bork was robbed of his good name and a presumption of innocence against Kennedy’s charges.
Having rid the Supreme Court of Judge Bork, Chappaquiddick was erased from the American mind. The media and the Democratic Party rebranded Ted Kennedy as a national champion for women and their rights and causes.
The irony in this story has many tiers. As a result of the undoing of Judge Robert Bork, President Reagan had to present another nominee. He chose Anthony Kennedy whose retirement from the Court 31 years later resulted in the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. As Yogi Berra famously said, “It was déjà vu all over again!”
A NATIONAL DISGRACE

Over the last few weeks, These Stone Walls has been host to a four-part bombshell story of its own that began with “Pornchai Moontri. Bangkok to Bangor, Survivor of the Night.” It tells the story of devastating events that occurred in Thailand and Bangor, Maine between 1975 and 1992. The story resulted in the conviction of Richard Alan Bailey last month for 40 felony counts of sexual abuse that occurred between 1985 and 1987 – commencing 33 years ago.
It would be a fair to ask why these charges were any different from all the other #MeToo claims – many of them decades old – that have been surfacing against priests, politicians, CEOs, and now Supreme Court nominees. The difference is vast, and it is summed up in a single word: corroboration.
The problem in “Pornchai’s Story” was that despite a wealth of corroboration over three decades, nothing ever happened to bring the perpetrator to justice. It wasn’t until I became fully aware of this story, and conveyed that awareness to Australian attorneys Clare and Malcolm Farr, that inquiries drew the case out of mothballs and the deep cracks into which it had all fallen.
Pornchai’s story was not dependent solely on 33-year-old memories. What happened to our friend, Pornchai, has a trail of evidence and corroboration going back 33 years with written reports and statements from neighbors, counselors, social workers, and police. A parade of witnesses to these events came forward to testify. This is why Richard Bailey and his lawyer opted for a plea deal.
It’s a point I have made many times. The truly guilty often end up spending far less time in prison than the truly innocent because the latter cannot fathom taking a deal that would spare them prison at the expense of their good name.
But in the story at hand, I also believe Christine Blasey Ford. I believe that something happened to her as a teenager 36 years ago, but without corroboration it is only her memory – and no one else’s – that places Brett Kavanaugh in that scene.
I read recently about a study of memory by a research psychologist – which is also Christine Blasey Ford’s profession – who interviewed several school children who had visited Disney World. She questioned the children about their interactions with the Disney characters, but she included Bugs Bunny among the photos she displayed.
At some future date, she interviewed them again at a later age. All of the children had distinct memories of interacting with the various characters at Disney World, and many included Bugs Bunny in their recall One reported being molested by Bugs Bunny at Disney World. Bugs Bunny is not a Disney character and these interactions could not have taken place. This was an implanted memory.
I believe today that Dr. Blasey-Ford has now been seriously abused for the second time in her life. This time, it was by those who set out to exploit her story to score political points. She wrote a private letter about what she believed to have been a traumatic experience. The letter was held in secret for six weeks until a more politically opportune time. Then it was shamelessly and anonymously leaked.
This was a national disgrace. What started off as a routine inquiry of the Senate Judiciary Committee into Judge Kavanaugh’s voluminous court decisions descended into a self-righteous moral panic fueled by the screaming hysterics of special interest groups. When it failed, the screaming mob shifted its focus to Kavanaugh’s exasperated defense.
I have sat where Judge Brett Kavanaugh sat. I have been forced to listen in silence to false witness about forcible rape and fictitious sexual assaults – some even claimed to have occurred at gunpoint. None of these assaults ever took place at all. Brett Kavanaugh’s angry rebuttal before the Senate Democrats who orchestrated this disgrace was for me the most compelling part of this whole sad affair.
Since then, 1,700 university law professors have signed a petition declaring that Kavanaugh’s rebuttal reveals a judicial temperament that should disqualify him from the Supreme Court. This says more about these ivory tower hypocrites than it does about their target. This is why we need a Supreme Court that isn’t leaning from the socialist left’s precipice of civil rights destruction to which a once honorable political party has been dragged by activists.
In the Weekly Standard (Oct 5, 2018) Christopher Caldwell described where this all now stands “Just as there are people famous-for-being famous, now there are people guilty-for-being-accused. Justice Kavanaugh is one of them. So am I. For the first time in the history of this nation, we have a Supreme Court Justice who has survived the crucible of being falsely accused.