Monday, July 11, 2016

Amazing Grace

In 2006, I remember reading the story of the Amish community in Lancaster, Pennsylvania who forgave a murderer. This hit the front page of most newspapers including the Pacific Daily News.  The headlines read "Amazing Grace."  

The Amish people are Christians who chose to live simple lives.  They distance themselves from the more advanced modern society of American life and worldly influence.  

Charles Robert was a milk truck driver who served the local community. He was not Amish. Nine years earlier, his wife gave birth to a baby girl; however, the girl died twenty minutes later.  Her death greatly affected him, and he never forgave God for her death. On October 2, 2006, Charles Robert entered a small Amish school.  He ordered the adults to leave.  He also ordered the boys to leave the building.  According to news report: 
 Roberts had the 10 girls lie down facing the blackboard and he tied their hands and feet. Roberts told the girls he was sorry for what he was about to do, but “I’m angry at God and I need to punish some Christian girls to get even with him.”
He shot all ten girls.  The age of the girls range from 6-13 years old.  Five were killed before he shot himself.  In the midst of their sorrow and shocking loss, the Amish community did not cast any blame nor point any fingers.  They did not held press conferences with lawyers at their sides.  Instead, they reached out with compassion and forgiveness toward the killer's family.  This is why the story hit headlines.  It is unheard of to forgive the enemy.  

However, forcing someone to kneel before you and demanding him to ask forgiveness is only seeking to humiliate.  True forgiveness is where healing begins.  Forgiveness is not for the other person.  It is for ourselves.  It is for our healing.   

As in the words of Christ, "Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do."     


  1. Yes, another example was the forgiveness St. John Paul II gave to his shooter (in the shooter's jail cell). You can't force someone to forgive. But only hope that you have the faith to forgive those who have trespassed against you.

    Scripture tells us that if it is done without love, it means nothing.

    *I love when they play this song in the Community

  2. The man was obviously distraught over the death of his baby...and then he killed himself. The Amish community recognized this. How can you equate this to the situation going on now??

    Folks, this is not new to the Catholic community nationwide---to ask all the victims to just "forgive" and let it go, is to say to the world that we are okay with it. No! It is time to say it is NOT right, it has to stop, and the perpetrators MUST be held accountable. No more stories in the news about this being swept under the rug, pls!

    1. Dear Anonymous at 9:52 am,

      How do you explain the example of Pope John Paul II? Forgiveness is not for the other person. It is for ourself. I am certain that Archbishop Apuron has forgiven Tim Rohr, the junglefolks, LFM, and CCOG. With that, he is now at peace and can move forward. It is the same with the NCW, we can forgive Tim Rohr, the junglefolks, LFM, and CCOG. With that, we are moving forward. If you have no forgiveness, that is not our problem. If you cannot forgive, then neither will God forgive you.....simple as that. That is why forgiveness is for our healing.

    2. Dear Diana,

      Please speak for yourself and your own experience. None of us knows if Archbishop Apuron has forgiven the people you mention. Nor do you speak for all of NCW. I think when you speculate and speak on behalf of others, this is where you trip yourself up at times.

    3. That is genuinely the Christian way to be. Really. But the Arch himself sought to sue his accusers, which does not speak of forgiveness. Is this a change of heart over time, do you think?

      (I don't mean that as obnoxious as it sounds. I really am asking)

    4. Dear Anomymous at 11:20 am,

      And did he sue them? Did he carry out his warning?

    5. Dear Anonymous at 10:49 am,

      You are correct in that I do not speak for all NCW, but because I am in the inside, I know for a fact that the NCW is moving forward. We continued to have our Gala Dinner and WYD activities. Our youth are looking forward to WYD and the adults continue to fundraise. That is what I call moving forward.

  3. Let me place here a few observations that I originally made to Lapaz showing many obstacles are in the way of forgiveness, peace and reconciliation. There is a reason we have to work really hard on achieving these goals!

    Let's have a look at the oppressive, dark side of the jungle blog. They go after people, single them out and make serious existential threats against them. Don't say you have never noticed that. Please, open you eyes. Why do you think they want to drag Diana of this blog to the court? They intimidate and terrorize.

    The reason they only have "Rudy" there as opposition is that they openly chase away, publicly mock and threaten people who express opposing views. Rohr is yelling until his head is blue that Junglewatch is his blog and he only publishes what HE wants. Really? Then he publishes anonymous trash with no limits. Wow! Is this an honest behavior?

    They steal IP-codes from computers and launch unauthorized hacker attacks using x-rated software against anyone of their wish. They steal Facebook pages, emails, church documents and make unauthorized publications of them. But the tools they employ were not developed and are not to be used against peaceful citizens of the United States at Guam!

    What is it if not oppression?
    What is it if not bullying and intimidation?
    What is it if not mental terrorism?

    Open you eyes, please, and wake up! Try to move on your personal hurt and disappointment that you harbor for whatever reason. This should not be a cause to make you allied with brigands. It is your free choice to remain biased or not. You are free to express your opinion here. Please, don't be blind and see that no free expression of view and opinion is allowed at Junglewatch.

    1. Yes, it is true that threatening innocent people by a lawsuit is a form of mental oppression and psychological terrorism. There will be over 50 (yes, fifty!!) plaintiffs in the lawsuit initiated by CCOG for alleged libel and slander. They argue that the refusal of sexual changes by Archbishop Apuron is libelous and slanderous, damaging their livelihood and causing monetary damage to them. I am very curious how would they go ahead and prove all these claims.

      One caveat in any lawsuit is that those who make the allegations might be made believing what they say. It is a simple psychological fact that people tend to believe things and choose between true and false depending on what their interest is. The alleged victims have a strong incentive to believe the charges as these might bring them wealth. Their strong interest is to believe the accusations they are making. So they probably believe in what they say.

      Therefore calling the charges calumnious accusations would NOT automatically make the alleged victims "liars". Claiming that the accusations are calumnious is only saying that in the process of coming up with those charges, there is a source of falsehood. For example, the falsehood might come from those who composed the media releases or made up the sexual abuse stories.

      Those who made the public appearance might believe in what they say, so they are not the ones who are the "liars". They might have gone through psychological conditioning to believe the charges, as did the accuser of Cardinal Bernardin a couple years ago.

      "Cook subsequently dropped Bernardin from his lawsuit, being no longer certain that his memories (which had emerged while he was under hypnosis) were accurate."

      Then, who are called liars in this saga? Well, without identifying those who invented the testimonies and typed it down for the purposes of public reading, without identifying those who created and composed the whole conceptual framework for these sexual allegation, it is hard to say who is the liar here.

      I seriously wonder how atty Lujan will be able to argue at court without looking frivolous.

  4. Psalm 69 (continued)

    Prayer for Deliverance from Persecution
    To the leader: according to Lilies. Of David.

    6 Do not let those who hope in you be put to shame because of me,
    O Lord God of hosts;
    do not let those who seek you be dishonored because of me,
    O God of Israel.
    7 It is for your sake that I have borne reproach,
    that shame has covered my face.
    8 I have become a stranger to my kindred,
    an alien to my mother’s children.

    9 It is zeal for your house that has consumed me;
    the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.
    10 When I humbled my soul with fasting,
    they insulted me for doing so.
    11 When I made sackcloth my clothing,
    I became a byword to them.
    12 I am the subject of gossip for those who sit in the gate,
    and the drunkards make songs about me.

  5. Diana @ 12:43 pm, I think the archbishop hasn't filed his lawsuit because you said

    Diana June 30, 2016 at 4:39 PM
    Dear Anonymous at 4:16 pm,

    Before he files any lawsuit, he needs to take care of one important thing with the Holy See. It is the Holy See who is tasked to investigate the sexual allegation against him. That must come first before he files any civil lawsuit.

    and then when the victims filed their lawsuit you said

    Diana July 1, 2016 at 4:31 PM
    Dear Anonymous at 3:37 pm,

    However, the problem is that Archbishop Apuron is in Rome going through a trial on the sexual allegation. So their lawsuit will have to wait until he returns.

    I'm really trying to understand what your saying. At 12:43 you make it sound like he changed his mind. Did he? Or is he going to file his lawsuit after the investigation is over like you said in June?

    I'm getting confused. Please help

    1. Dear Anonymous at 4:27 pm,

      I do not know if he has changed his mind. Yes, he has to take care of the sexual allegation first with the Holy See. Because he is in Rome taking care of that, the lawsuit with the alleged victims will have to wait. Actually, the best time for the alleged victims to file their lawsuit would be when he returns from Rome, not while he is in Rome.

    2. Diana - In your 10:03 AM comment, you stated that you're certain that AB Apuron has forgiven. Now you say you don't know if he has changed his mind?

    3. Dear Anonymous at 6:04 pm,

      Forgiveness of sins are not the same as punishment of sins. God can forgive your sins, but you still have to pay for the consequences of it. Forgiveness comes with restitution. In other words, if you broke your neighbor's window, he can forgive you for breaking the window, but there is still the matter of fixing it. The neighbor expects you to fix the window despite that he has already forgiven you for it.

  6. Perhaps it is only me, but I do not see any word "liar" printed or said by anyone of church leadership or spokesperson in Lujan's lawsuit material. So I am not sure what Bill Pesch is trying to say in the PDN:

    "Lujan’s clients are upset because as they came forward and accused Apuron of past incidents of sexual abuse, he, or others on his behalf, called them “liars”."

    Who was called liar and who called this person a liar? When, where and how? I honestly don't understand how can you call someone a liar if you don't actually call anyone a liar?

    1. Dear Anonymous at 5:16 pm,

      Nowhere in any of the press release will you see the words "liar" or "lying". The press release and the video of Archbishop Apuron said that he is innocent and the accusations against him are malicious and calumnious. Calumnious means defamatory and malicious means harmful.

      It was Tim Rohr who first interpreted those words to mean something this case "lying". The alleged victims simply swallowed what Tim Rohr interpreted rather than looking it up in a dictionary.

    2. Rohr actually announced at Junglewatch on the night of the first alleged victim's media performance that the alleged victim will be called a liar and then they will file charges at the court. He said this to explain the presence of David Lujan at the press release. Do you remember? He was so sure that his strategy will work that he unwittingly exposed his plan in advance. Lmao.

    3. I don't get it. Archbishop Apuron said that he is innocent, but yet he's not saying the accusers are liars? Can someone please explain this?

    4. Lie: A false statement made with the intention of deceiving.
      Liar: A person who tells lies.

      If AB Apuron said that he is innocent, then he's technically saying that the accusations are false statements which = lies, therefore implying that the accusers are telling lies which = liars.

    5. No, denying a statement is not the same as calling the person who made the statement a liar. In the court you either use exact language or you are losing because of sloppy language. Sloppy language is a sign of sloppy logic of false intention.

      Your argument reveals that your intention is supported by poor education. So thank you, now I understand much better from where atty Lujan's confusion is coming from.

    6. Dear Anonymous at 6:25 pm,

      A lie is a false statement MADE WITH THE INTENTION OF DECEIVING. Claiming that he is innocent is not a lie unless you can prove that it is made with the intention to deceve. So, the first thing that needs to be done is show proof that Archbishop Apuron called them liars. In Apuron's case, he was claiming his innocence by denying the accusation.

      When an accusation is made, a person has a right to defend himself by saying he is innocent of the accusation. This is done in a court of law all the time. An accusation would be read to the accused and the accused would be asked how he pleads. Pleading your innocence is not a lie. Saying that the accusation is malicious and calumnious is also not calling the accusers a liar. The accusation is malicious (harmful to the Archbishop's character, not to them). The accusation is calumnious (defamatory to the Archbishop's character, not to them).

    7. A correction. Mailcious does not mean harmful but rather means "characterized by malice; intending or intended to do harm."

      The use of the word malicious implies that the intent to do harm was present. This is pretty much the same as saying "its a lie".

      Saying that something is calumnious also implies the intent to do harm.

    8. Dear Anonymous at 6:59 pm,

      The accusation was described as "malicious" and "calumnious". These are adjectives describing the "accusation", NOT the "accusers". And to WHOM was the accusation meant to do harm to? The accusation was said to do harm to the Archbishop, NOT the accusers.

      The press release said that there was another malicious and calumnious accusation made against the Archbishop. Another way of saying that is: "There was another harmful and defamatory accusation made against the Archbishop." In no way are the adjectives (malicious and calumnious) intend to do harm to the accusers. It was the accusers who was making the harmful and defamatory accusations toward the Archbishop. Therefore, he was never calling them liars. He was simply saying that their accusations intended to harm him.

    9. OMG Diana and 6:50 PM! For reals, it's like talking to a brick wall. Anyway, I'll put my money on Atty Lujan's "confusion". Let the trial begin!

    10. Dear Anonymous at 9:34 pm,

      The judge and jury will be relying on Webster's Dictionary, which will clear up all confusion. There is a reason why dictionaries were invented.

    11. I think they'll be relying on a lot more than the dictionary, Diana. The thing about words is that how they are used determines the intent...which in turn determines the definition.

    12. Dear Anonymous at 8:08 am,

      I agree. The context on how it is used is important.

  7. Let's see the list of complaints by Rohr that he says was accused by. He claims now it is all libel and slander. Lol! My comments are in parentheses:

    - insults (he does that all the time),
    - violence (verbal violence is evidenced in the airport video),
    - the destruction of the Catholic Church (his motives are murky and dirty),
    - confusing and misleading the faithful (this is the whole essence of Junglewatch),
    - provoking false testimony (as an example, Ms. Conception's testimony is missing key details),
    - inciting people to hatred (just check the language of CCOG and LFM),
    - orchestrating scandal and confusion (Rohr proudly admits orchestrating the scandals),
    - grave errors (declaring disobedience to church authorities), and
    - attempting with “cruel intent to injure the Archbishop” (openly confessed agenda),
    - and the Catholic Church (it is a straightforward consequence of the previous items).

    I think the list is pretty accurate, even if incomplete. Every item can be argued in much detail at court by evidence of Junglewatch posts and comments. None of these items would qualify as libelous or slanderous. Actually, Rohr himself brags about several of these things that he is very proud of doing at his blog. Lmao!

    1. Dear Anonymous at 8:16 pm,

      It was Tim Rohr who called the Archbishop a liar many times.

    2. Diana, have you seen the Jungle's post today? Talk about change of heart.

    3. Dear Anonymous at 7:22 am,

      I just checked his blog after reading your comment. He said that God showed him to stop doing this and that he is done. Since God has shown him the light, then all praise and glory goes to God. :-)

    4. I don't think there was any conversion of heart.

    5. No, I think he just needs a break. He's gone hard for years. There are more people involved now, and the court cases can't be rushed anyway. Besides, he has accomplished a lot.

    6. We pray that this is a true step for unity in our local Catholic Church. Should there be another vigil prayer service, it would be a good to see Tim, Chuck, Steve, Vangie and the LFM and CCOG followers there. Together with Catholic faithful from island parishes and other Catholic groups. Should this happen, then unity and reconciliation would be well underway for all Guam Catholics.

  8. Just to clarify: calumny is by definition a falsehood, a lie. That's not just hairsplitting.

  9. The hardest thing for me to do is forgive especially when someone is malicious and vindictive always attacking causing pain. On my own I fail but with prayer and meditation I see that Jesus softens my heart and allows me to forgive.If I go back and start thinking of the injustice,it can start again.I have to be mindful that I have to stop that thinking and remember that Christ has forgiven me many times and in the end he will judge me and my accuser. Judgement is mine says the lord.