Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Division Among Protestors.

A commenter who goes by the name "Grow up in faith" made an interesting observation of the opposition:

What came out of this ironic piece at JW is that there is a bitter division among the ranks of the protest movement. The division is coming from the opposing opinion of who should be regarded as the number one enemy: the archbishop or the NCW.

Those who consider the archbishop the number one enemy argue that he is the one who should be removed. This view is supported by Tim Rohr. They go against the NCW just as much as it is needed to remove the archbishop from his office. They hate the NCW only because NCW is affiliated with the archbishop and they hate the archbishop first! They have a vision of discrediting, humiliating and destroying the archbishop so that someone else would replace him who is oblivious of the real issues of Guam Catholics. Then, they could influence him more easily. This group may make a peace with the NCW under the condition that the archbishop must go.

The opposing view in the protest movement is that the NCW should be targeted as number one enemy. They consider the NCW as the root cause of all problems inside the local church. This view is supported by Chuck White and the CCOG. They hate the archbishop only because he allows NCW to operate on island, and they hate the NCW first. Their goal is the remove NCW from the island, either by forcing Rome to act as Chuck proposes, or even by sheer physical force as some CCOG members demand. Their vision is that the heresy charges against NCW will find favor at the Curia and this would allow them as the persecuting arm of Vatican to ostracize and chase members of the NCW away. They would make peace with the archbishop easily, as long, as he commits himself of banning the NCW from Guam. 

This division inside the protest movement was inevitable, because of the diverging views. The internal logic of radical thinking leads to escalation. A number one enemy must be named. Nothing would make sense anymore without blaming everything on one thing, be it a person or an organization. The split in the rank is about who should be hated first, and above all: the local leader, Anthony Apuron, or the local NCW communities.

I personally do not see any way out of this dead end. While some of the complaints expounded by CCOG ring true, it was a mistake to go into blanket opposition and frontal attack against everything that is happening in the church on Guam under the current leadership. Tim Rohr is a bright person with great strength in convincing people. However, his views and proposal have not been screened for validity. CCOG made an error in following blindly these proposals. Now, when the monetary influx starts coming into CCOG, the hidden split in strategy is coming out and divides the protesters.

What is the best strategy to continue the fight? It is just too hard to make a decision. But not making a decision will take a high toll on both JW and CCOG. In my opinion the best decision would be to go forward and meet halfway with both the archbishop and the NCW. We don't need more bitter infighting. We need a meaningful approach that allows the archbishop to lead and at the same time would foster better integration of the NCW into the parishes. Of course this would be a radical change away from meaningless and self-destructive radicalism of the prevailing trends of both JW and CCOG.
These are my thoughts: 

There are indeed two groups of people among the opposition.  The first group wants the Archbishop removed while the second group wants to work with the Archbishop to resolve the problems in the Church.  CCOG is obviously the second group.  Their mission statement clearly indicate that they wish to work with the Archbishop. 

Unfortunately, their actions are contrary to their mission statement.  Tim Rohr is in the first group.  He has publicly stated that the Archbishop should be removed.  Yet, CCOG allows him to become their mouthpiece in their meetings that they might as well make Tim Rohr the President of CCOG.  The fact that they have allied themselves with those who wish to remove the Archbishop contradicts their mission statement altogether.    

The money which CCOG received from some of the people was intended to be used to bring the Archbishop to court in order to get the RMS property returned to the Archdiocese of Agana.  It is illegal for CCOG to use the money they collected for any other purpose other than what it was intended.  So, they have a serious dilemma.  With the publication of the Certificate of Titles, anyone with intelligence can see that the RMS property is still under the Archdiocese of Agana.  What courtroom judge would rule in favor of CCOG when the Archbishop is the one holding the Certificate of Titles, clearly stating who owns the property?  The Archdiocese of Agana never misled them.  It is also not the fault of the Archdiocese that CCOG did not believe them nor gave them the benefit of the doubt. 

Grow up in faith has a point. Everyone can see that the jungle blog focus its attack on the Archbishop while the Thoughtful Catholic blog focus its attack on the NCW.   


  1. Let me bring my response to anonymous at 3:37 p.m. here.

    Dear anonymous, the situation is more serious than that. There was a false impression created that the RMS issue, as a jolly-joker in the card game, could resolve all problems at once. The judge would rule that the property was stolen, the archbishop would go to prison and the NCW would be banned forever.

    I say it was a false impression, because even Tim Rohr admitted before that this matter is unfit for civil court. Any archbishop has the legal right to do with the property under his purview as he wishes. He said the RMS can be attacked by internal church laws, the canon laws only. But even that would be an uphill battle.

    This position abruptly changed when the Bronze opinion came out, but I don't understand how. The Bronze opinion only provided a very shaky argument about the possibility of alienation of the property of the RMS. But this again would not fit for a lawsuit at civil court. So I am at loss at how CCOG was convinced to raise money for an obviously shaky action, the civil lawsuit against the archbishop in relation to the alienation of the RMS property.

    Let me repeat, this position to go to court is in sharp contradiction with the previous position of Tim Rohr. It is arguable that atty Bronze had a vested interest in providing this particular opinion so that his law firm would get the contract to represent CCOG at the civil court.

    Now, that the hopes for a successful law suit against RMS became way too much elusive, the jolly-joker solution for the problems is getting less popular. But what are the alternatives? This is the truly divisive issue here. The archbishop cannot be removed, because he is protected by the NCW. The NCW cannot be expelled because it is protected by the archbishop. Now what?

    Those who trusted Tim that he will dig up enough dirt on the archbishop to take action against him are getting disappointed and becoming impatient. Those who trusted that the NCW will be proven to be heretic and disbanded are getting also disappointed and impatient. They realize that the heresy charges have been made continuously for 30 years, but the NCW is still around. So there is no chance to get the NCW locked up anytime soon.

    This disappointment and impatience is what came out is the protest movement in the last few days while Tim was off island. He did not find his way back to the same camp that he left just a couple days earlier. Hating is a risky business, you have to come up with new and new ways to demonize, otherwise the emotions are flagging and you lose the steam. Now, it is not clear who should be hated above all, the person or the organization. This is difficult!

    Yes, dear anonymous, I proposed some trust and good faith building measures, as an alternative to radicalism. Confrontation won't solve anything, only escalates more the negative trends that are already wrong enough. Faith building could be done during regular masses, where NCW participates in a demonstrative way. This could foster unity. Common rosaries and adoration could add to this shared activity to bring us closer as a parish. I truly believe this would happen one day.

    I don't think NCW members are exclusive. People I know from the NCW are open minded and spiritually vibrant. It is refreshing to see their enthusiasm. But they close up under attack. This is what I see. If you put pressure on the NCW, it will become stronger and more protective.

    So how can we trust each other? Trust could start to grow if the protest movement would stop demanding the resignation of the archbishop and the expulsion of the NCW. These things are beyond reality and honestly, I do not see anything beneficial in demanding them. It also would help if other faith groups would grow strong at the parishes, so that if someone is interested in more involved spiritual growth there would be other option than joining the NCW.

    1. Very good points. Regarding other faith groups in the parishes, there are several such as the Knights of Columbus, Cursillo, Christian Mothers, Catholic Daughters and Legion of Mary. One faith group that is growing in membership and in more parishes is the Couples for Christ. Couples for Christ has several ministries for not only married couples, but also for kids, youth, singles, widows and widowers. I think the contact person for Couples for Christ is Greg Calvo at the Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Yigo. Many have been praying for reconciliation in our local Catholic Church. I believe this is starting to happen. I don't remember who said something like "if it is not a fruit of the Holy Spirit, it will eventually die. But if it is from the Holy Spirit, it will flourish."

    2. Tim said that the archbishop didn't violate any civil laws. He violated canon law and cited the canon laws that were violated. So, who convinced CCOG to take archbishop to civil court?

    3. Other church groups cannot compete with the Way because they don't offer a community experience. Membership in the Way is growing because of efficient recruiting and a systematic way of thoughtful and soulful caring about each single member in the communities. This is the major strength of the NeoCatechumenal Way.

    4. Dear Anonymous at 11:04 am,

      That is incorrect. Those Church groups offer a community. They are a community itself. They simply do not have a celebration of the word and scrutacio like we do where scripture, the Catholic dictionary, and other Catholic books are used to prepare for the celebration. They also do not evangelize door to door or in the street corner as we do. Nevertheless, this is not a competition. The Charismatic Catholic renewal can evangelize with music as they do very well. Music attracts people of all ages especially the youth. Youth ministry is another organization whose activities can recruit the youth.

  2. I appreciate the comment from Tim Rohr at JW. But he seems to miss the point. At this level of escalation of animosity, it is inevitable that one of two things would happen:

    1. The logic of elimination, either of the archbishop or the NCW, takes over the planning and actions of protesters. This is the radical agenda. My observation is that aiming at both of this targets is too overarching and self-defeating goal that will eventually collapse. Different groups place higher emphasis on one or the other.

    2. The logic of elimination is discarded and replaced by a more moderate agenda led by the logic of integration. This would aim at bringing people together, bringing the NCW back to the parish proper by mutual collaboration.

    Which of these two possibilities is more desirable? The strategy of elimination seems to be self-defeating. In case of a law suit, this could very well be demonstrated at the court when the case against the seminary collapses. What could be the best outcome the law suit could produce? Nobody truly addresses this question. Why? The strategy of integration has more chances to succeed. Some CCOG members are leaning toward this strategy. Will they voice their views?

    The integration of NCW into the parishes could be prevented by an irrefutable evidence that the NCW is heretic. Then any effort would be wasted. But is there any such evidence? I have never seen one! While we do not like some of the parables and interpretations of Kiko, we have to admit that NCW teaches catechism and not personal inventions. An error at the top of NCW, for example, does not mean that the same error among its members.

    Here is an example: Was Jesus a sinner? I have never heard this from anyone I know from the NCW. Just the contrary, they agree with the sinless nature of both Mary and her son Jesus. If a guest lecturer at the seminary says otherwise, it would not necessarily mean the idea is well received by NCW members.

    Kiko's catechesis looks like a lopsided version of the official CCC. But is it heresy? I don't think so. He uses his own insight and explanations in his books, but relies heavily on the CCC. If he deviates from the CCC, could he be corrected? Pope Francis says the catechists sometimes need to be corrected. Is it justified to claim heresy? Or is this just a special way to teach catechism?

    To make a long story short, there is nothing really that could eliminate NCW from other Catholic groups operating at the parishes. Bringing NCW back to the parish, back to the church is the only way to foster integration and unity. This is my way of thinking and my proposal to resolve the differences. This won't happen if we don't make gestures of good faith toward each other. The strategy of elimination promoted by CCOG and JW is futile and counterproductive.

    1. Dear Grow up in faith,

      Many members of the NCW are already going to Mass in the parish. Many of us go to BOTH the parish Mass in the Church and also celebrate the Eucharist with our community. Many of us serve in the parish by being Eucharistic Ministers, Lectors, Alter Servers, Choir members at Church, CCD instructors, Parish Council members, Office workers in the parish, maintenance workers on parish grounds, etc. It was the NCW that taught its members to become involve in their parish. In the same way, the RMS priests celebrates BOTH the regular Mass for those who are not walking in the Way and for those walking in the Way. He is also there for the Legion of Mary, the Couples for Christ, and all the Catholic organizations that are in his parish.

      There are many people who are not walking in the Way attending what the jungle calls "Neo-parishes", and members of the Way attend the Church together with them. That is already happening. There are also a few people who are not members of the Way who have attended the Eucharistic celebration of the NCW. They were able to participate in our celebration together with us. Unity is already happening.

      At the December 8th procession, you can see that unity. Thousands of people came regardless of whether they were walking in the Way or not and together they celebrated the Immaculate Conception.

  3. Diana if it is true what you say then why does Junglewatch continue to grow in readership.?
    Why do nearing four million people read Junglewatch?
    They must go to JW for some reason.
    I don't sleep well. If I'm awake 2am I read JW. So many reading at 2am. This tells me JW has an important message for contemporary world.

    1. Dear Anonymous at 11:44 pm,

      Just because many people read the jungle does not mean that they all agree with the jungle. Some go there for entertainment while others go there because of addiction. After all, violence attracts people. Why do you think the news media always put the bad news on the front page? If the newspaper only print the good news, their newspaper will not sell. Violence and sex are addictive.

    2. Dear anon at 11:44 p.m. the bulk of readership of the jungle is coming from foreign countries and not from Guam! There are very few people on Guam who go into the jungle. The counting is flawed. If you click 10 times on any part of the blog, Tim Rohr will count it as 10 distinct visits. This is how his numbers add up. Lol!

      The blog is circulated in a fundamentalist international Catholic Internet network. Tim Rohr is member of this network. Their stance is pre-Vatican 2, following the late French anti-Vatican2 bishop Marcel LeFebvre. Their views are based on a rejection of the Noyus Ordo, the new mass that was introduced after Vatican2.

      These freaks are very few in each country, even less on Guam. Lol. But internationally they add up. You can read about their twisted views here: https://www.novusordowatch.org/

  4. There is major division crisis of leadership on island.
    JW is trying to heal the division reconcile the church fractions.
    Archbishop did nothing to reconcile the church. He only divided the church Further.
    Hence Apuron is seen as an evil dangerous man. Like a hitler.

    1. Dear Anonymous at 11:50 pm,

      Hitler killed people. Archbishop Apuron did not kill anyone. He only removed two priests from their position, but they were not defrocked. I believe that the vast majority of Catholics are coming to a healing and reconciliation. I agree with Grow up in faith. Perhaps, Catholics can strengthen the many other Catholic organizations by joining it. All these Catholic organizations including the Way came from the Holy Spirit to bring the Catholic faithful closer to Christ. People are unique and different in many ways, which is why the Church has many different organizations to reach the many unique and different Catholics. The NCW is not for everyone. The traditional Latin Mass is also not for everyone.

    2. Dear anon at 11:50 p.m. JW and CCOG does not want to reconcile anyone on island. They are fighting against the church. They are willing to bribe people by paying hard cash to them so that they make frivolous sexual abuse charges against the archbishop.

      The same way they are willing to bribe attorneys by paying large sum of money to them so that they produce legal arguments and twist the documents of the RMS in order to create an impression or alienation. This is all so fake and false, dear anon. This shows their bitterness and despair.

      JW and CCOG are funded by well known anti-Catholic groups who want to bring down the Catholic faith on Guam so that they can penetrate the island with their particular Protestant churches and take over the positions of the Catholic church.

      JW and CCOG are also funded by SNAP, an international anti-Catholic organization. In exchange of their funding, Tim Rohr promotes the liberal propaganda of SNAP. Just now, he is shamelessly calling on his camp to purchase books published by SNAP.

    3. Dear Anonymous at 11:18 am,

      Personally, I think they want to incorporate their brand of Catholicism and Catholic Mass into all Catholic Church on Guam. The Jungle also criticizes the regular parish Mass including the artwork found in the Roman Missal.

  5. There is no evidence Archbishop killed people Diana at least physical killing.
    However, Archbishop killed the spirit soul of so many. Perhaps this is really the concern of
    11.50pm. There is evidence of human rights abuses involving Archbishop. These abuses by him should be
    corrected. Thank you.

    1. Dear Anonymous at 10:20 am,

      The spirit or soul cannot die. Please learn Catholicsm. A person cannot kill a soul.

    2. Dear anon at 10:20 a.m., this comment was quite indecent. lol.