Saturday, August 9, 2014
Is Transparency The Truth? By Dr. Rick Eusebio
IS TRANSPARENCY THE TRUTH?
In a dark alley behind the Church, a priest is seen giving a known prostitute money. Is this a picture of a priest giving a prostitute money for services rendered or a priest helping a poor soul get by this month to feed her starving child? What is the truth? There lies the problem with transparency, for it is not the facts that muddy the picture but the conclusion to the facts. The public, media and politicians cry aloud and demand transparency claiming that only through the exposition of information can one possibly learn the “truth”. It is critical to keep in mind however, whose truth and whose agenda? Thus it may be an error to believe what you read at face value and arrive at a false conclusion from a perceived true fact. As illustrated in my example, it is not unusual for two persons witnessing the same event to arrive at two diametrically opposed conclusions, SIN or CHARITY! To muddy this further, our conclusions are frequently influenced by our experiences and presuppositions so that we approach an event with colored glasses and never with a blank slate. I am not saying it is impossible to achieve but we need to be aware that these historical experiences and opinions influence what we assume as logical conclusions to a demanded transparent “truth”. I preface my letter with this argument because the climate of noteworthy “news” being celebrated by the media in regards to the conflict within the Catholic Church is disheartening. Some of the published “facts” are clearly false and some are half-truths.
First you should know that in an effort to be clearly transparent, you need to be aware that I am a member of the Neocatechumenal Way. If this causes such disdain within you, I suggest you proceed to the next letter or article. But if I have at least aroused some curiosity in your mind that I may have something beneficial to say, let us proceed. I was never a good Catholic. Despite attending catholic schools (----------------------------------------------------------------------------------), I knew nothing about being catholic. I occasionally attended Sunday masses but felt that I met my obligation as a catholic. Through the Neocatechumenal Way, I returned to the Church and began to appreciate its marvels and beauty. I arrived with a family in disarray and a marriage in shambles. This year we celebrate 39 years of marriage! Therefore for my wife and I, the Neocatechumenal Way has been a positive experience and we will continue to “walk” in the Way. As I previously prefaced in this letter, it is important to understand how my history colors my experience and influences the conclusions I derive.
It is amazing the amount of misconceptions people have of the Neocatechumenal Way. How did we come to be the punching bag of priests and Catholics in Guam? I have never seen the catechists or the Archbishop carry a gun and threaten anyone to join. I have never seen them take so much as a dime of our people’s money for themselves. Money is always a sensitive subject and goals for how it is spent is clearly delineated. In San Vicente Church our mass is published in the Sunday bulletin as well as collections, like all the masses. Let me assure you that the money you give in the collection basket is not going to the seminary since most, if not all the money collected is spent for the parish. As a member of the Board of Directors of the Seminary, I have witnessed the financial reports and confirm this fact. Finally, I have never heard or seen a grand design to insert all Catholics in Guam in the Way or a plan to “take over” all parishes in Guam. We are all different and some, like myself, need more help than others. Why can’t we make this available for everyone?
Oust the Archbishop!!! Is this the same man who was lauded for leading the fight against gambling, abortion, and same sex marriage? He was being praised and defended. While leading these battles, did anyone question if he was being influenced by the Neocatechumenal Way? Serving his flock faithfully as he was chosen by the Vatican, now suddenly he is EVIL?? Selective amnesia I guess! What is the agenda behind these coordinated efforts to tarnish his name, reputation and office? Despite his efforts to be transparent, the facts he present seem to be taken out of context and interpreted in a “colored” malicious manner. These public demonstrations of animosity only magnify and confirm the perception of division within the Catholic Church in Guam. How do you deny people who have been faraway from the Church this discovery of a post baptismal itinerary, new found vocations, rebuilt marriages and children who would never have been born? The most glaring and frustrating fact is through all these attacks, criticisms and malicious gossip, there has never been a single proposal to answer our problems of divorce, suicide, single parent families and bringing back the faraway catholic. Will getting rid of the Archbishop, the Neocatechumenal Way, and the Seminary answer these problems? If you truly are convinced that this is the answer, you are fooling yourself and need to re-consider who is being brainwashed. Too much time and energy is being spent on this conflict and it is imperative that we work together. The enemy is out there attempting to divide and conquer. It is not the Archbishop and the Neocatechumenal Way!