Archbishop Anthony Apuron was called and appointed by God. He is God's chosen one because he is the Archbishop of Guam. The Catholic Church is very clear in her teachings of which I cannot emphasize enough:CCC 1269 Having become a member of the Church, the person baptized belongs no longer to himself, but to him who died and rose for us. From now on, he is called to be subject to others, to serve them in the communion of the Church, and to "obey and submit" to the Church's leaders, holding them in respect and affection. Just as Baptism is the source of responsibilities and duties, the baptized person also enjoys rights within the Church: to receive the sacraments, to be nourished with the Word of God and to be sustained by the other spiritual helps of the Church.
Canon Law 212 S1 Christ's faithful, conscious of their own responsibility, are bound to show Christian obedience to what the sacred Pastors, who represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith and prescribe as rulers of the Church.
However, Satan goes against the Catholic Church. One thing is for certain.... obedience to God, His Church, and those whom God appointed as His representatives has always been the teachings of the Catholic Church. Anyone who goes against the Pope and everything the Pope endorses goes against the Church. Anyone who shows disobedience and disrespect to our Archbishop of Guam goes against the Church.
There is no higher moral good than following Christ who was obedient even unto death. Obedience and authority appear to be unpopular concepts these days especially in regards to the Church. In our secular lives, obedience to authority is not taken seriously especially in regards to the Archbishop of Guam. This is probably a bitter pill to swallow for some Catholics who perhaps envision a more democratic Church.
Interestingly, people who have trouble with obedience to the Archbishop will still obey their boss, the weatherman, or a police officer and not even notice the inconsistency. Yet, following Christ in His Church ranks highest in the hierarchy of goods.
Obedience should be popular because we grow when something reaches us from outside of ourselves. It can be as simple as food or as vital as the imperative to love and follow the truth. We are tied to many larger realities: as children to our parents; as students to universities, as employees to employers, as workers to our factories, as Catholics to the Church, and so on. The list is endless.
We cannot do without the myriad of things that reach us each day. The love, the food, the information, the exercise of our political and economic rights all open life to something larger. In other words, "None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself (Romans 14:7). Although St. Paul wrote about people in the act of faith in that biblical passage, obedience - the handing over of ourselves - is part of the structure of faith. It is self-abandonment to Christ as He comes to us in the Church through His appointed bishops.
This lack of understanding of the obedience and respect we owe to our bishops suggests that, while many of us are quick to assert that our faith is important, we do not fully grasp what "faith" means in the context of the Church. The Catechism pairs the words "faith" and "obedience" repeatedly:
CCC 143 By faith, man completely submits his intellect and his will to God. With his whole being man gives his assent to God the revealer. Sacred Scripture calls this human response to God, the author of revelation, "the obedience of faith".
Jesus may love all sinners, but there are consequences for not obeying His commandments, including His command to obey and respect those whom He appointed as His representatives on Earth. The Gospel parable of the narrow gate illustrates this readily (See Matthew 7:13-22 and Luke 13:22-30). We were warned that the "wide" road leads to destruction, and that few will take, or even find, the narrow gate. Furthermore, Jesus' comments, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in Heaven" (Matthew 7:21). Although the mercy of Jesus is eternal for repentant sinners, those who do not recognize His authority in their lives will, in turn, not be recognized by Him: "Then I will declare to them solemnly, 'I never knew you..." (Matthew 7:23).
So, brothers and sisters recognize that Archbishop Anthony Apuron was appointed by God as His chosen one to lead us to Christ. Obey and respect him whom God has chosen and sent as His representative and shepherd on Earth. Therefore, I urge my brothers not to engage in anything that is hostile to our Archbishop and contradictory to our Catholic faith.