Friday, September 30, 2016

Archdiocesan Internal Review Report

An anonymous commenter asked to post the Archdiocesan Internal Review Report of the Cathedral-Bascilica and the Catholic Cemeteries, which can be found here and in the Archdiocese of Agana website.  The report was conducted on January 23, 2015 and listed the following: 

(1)  Msgr. Benavente as the administrator of the Cathedral-Basilica and The Catholic Cemeteries developed projects which resulted in the Archdiocese incurring $7 million dollars ($7,029,853.93), which were consolidated in 2009 from different loans held at the Bank of Hawaii and Bank of Guam to First Hawaiian Bank, and re-financed again in 2012.  These two entities have the largest indebtedness of all other entities in the Archdiocese, and in 2013, a review of the principal balances indicated that the overall reduction of their indebtedness was less than the average 20% reduction by other Archdiocesan entities.  Another project that was formerly administered by Msgr. Benavente is indebted for $2.2 million dollars as of 2013, and due to its financial condition has only been paying interest on its outstanding debt, up to August 2014.  These three entities constitute approximately 37% of the total indebtedness of the Archdiocese (the remaining indebtedness represents all parishes and catholic schools). 

(2)  Msgr. Benavente as the administrator of the Cathedral-Basilica and Catholic Cemeteries commingled funds and transferred funds between the two entities without respect of restrictions on funds - i.e. cemetery funds were used for payroll of Cathedral-Basilica employees; monies restricted to stipend payments for the clergy were used to pay for loans; also, a pervasive practice was evident in the reimbursements for personal credit card payments - these practices resulted in extremely difficult record keeping, failure to apply generally accepted principles of accounting, and most importantly making verification and audit by auditors impossible.

(3)  Between January 2009 and July 2014, Msgr. Benavente received payments of $326,913.61 by simultaneously drawing payroll and stipends from The Catholic Cemeteries, and stipend payments from the Cathedral-Basilica.  Upon the change of administration, credit cards in the name of the Archdiocese were discovered holding balances in excess of $60,000; the credit card in the name of The Catholic Cemeteries was specifically used by Msgr. Benavente for restaurants, air fare, the Shangri-La Hotel in Manila and other five star Hotels.  In the same period, The Catholic Cemeteries and the Cathedral-Basilica expended more than $123,000 towards credit card payments to First Hawaiian Bank and American Express.  Other payments for a credit card in the name of Msgr. Benavente, a gas card, and cellular/data phone privileges, which were paid for by The Catholic Cemeteries, accounted for an additional $23,000.  Notably, $13,000 of cemetery funds were paid for Msgr. Benavente's 20th Anniversary reception.  Total advances documented between January 2009 and July 2014 by both entities for Msgr. Benavente are nearly $475,000.  This does not include cemetery family crypts valued at $380,000.00, which were gifted by Msgr. Benavente to his close friend and family; in other words, no fee was charged for these cemetery plots.  

(4)  Under the prior administration, $400,000 in past due obligations for the Cathedral-Basilica and The Catholic Cemeteries accrued; the past due obligation is of July 25, 2014, and does not include the $7 million dollar obligation owed to the First Hawaiian Bank.  For the Cathedral-Basilica, $188,000 of the past due obligations are for insurance premiums, and the monthly income generated by the Cathedral-Basilica is insufficient to pay for both past due and current insurance premiums, utility and other expenses, and bank loans.  The current financial condition of the Cathedral-Basilica is in the red.  Notwithstanding its financial condition, Msgr. Benavente granted education scholarship for tuition, substantial donations for medical assistance, employee loans, and other donations from parish funds.  Another $27,000 of parish funds were used to pay for Msgr. Benavente's projects involving the Knights (papal honors).  

(5)  Deloitte & Touche on January 8, 2014, notified the Archdiocese that The Catholic Cemeteries was not auditable due to significant accounting deficiencies.  One of the issues identified was the long-term care (aka perpetual care) liability, which was not accurately reflected in the financial statements, nor was it property allocated in its records; specifically, prior sales were recorded as revenue rather than setting aside any portion for long term care.  Despite the passage of more than six months from the report, no progress was noted to address this major issue; nor was there any set funds set aside and designated as perpetual care funds to conform to the recommendation; the Deloitte & Touche report showed a liability of $800,000 in long term care which during 2013 grew to more than $1.3 million.  Since the change of administration, the Perpetual Care Fund has been established with an approximate balance of $30,000, in just a few short months.  

Monsignor James Referred To GPD And AG Office

As I mentioned in one of my previous comments in the last OP, when you put people who are against the Way in charge, it would come as no surprise that Monsignor James was cleared of all allegations of financial mismanagement. After all, look at the bias seminary report.  At any rate, the Catholic Cemeteries of Guam Inc. has now filed a complaint with the Guam Police Department and the Attorney General's Office against Monsignor James. According to KUAM news:

Image result for Monsignor James BenaventeComplaint filed with GPD and AG regarding Monsignor James Benavente   

In an interesting twist, just hours after the Archdiocese of Agana held a press conference to announce that all allegations of financial mismanagement made against Monsignor James Benavente were invalid, KUAM News has learned that a complaint has been filed by the Catholic Cemeteries of Guam, Inc. with the Guam Police Department and the Attorney General’s office.

According to the complaint Catholic Cemeteries alleges $13,000 was misused for the personal use of Monsignor James Benavente, specifically for his 20th anniversary dinner in 2014.
Personally, I think this should have been done a long time back in 2014 when the misuse of funds was discovered.  When the financial officer of the Yona parish was found to have stolen thousands of dollars from the parish, the police was notified and she was arrested.  The Church should have done the same thing with Monsignor James once it had been discovered that he misued the funds.  But Archbishop Apuron was too merciful.  Rather than reporting it to the police, he removed Monsignor James from the Cathedral, and he went to the Tamuning parish where he could still practice his priestly duties.  

Now, that GPD and the AG is involved, he can explain how he managed to take $13,000 for his personal use, specifically for his 20th anniversary dinner.  Even if he had paid back the $13,000, do you think the government would excuse him?  Do you think the Government of Guam would clear him of these allegations? 

According to the Criminal Defense Lawyer Website: 
 A person who misappropriates funds with the intent to later return the money to the rightful owner is still guilty of misappropriation. It also doesn't matter if the misappropriation only lasted for a short amount of time. 
The report states that Msgr. James Benavente misused over $13,000 in church money for his anniversary dinner. 
Guam - Just moments after he was vindicated, a complaint was filed against Msgr. James Benavente for allegedly spending over $13,000 in church money for his personal use.

PNC obtained a board resolution from the Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Agana, signed by Attorney Jacque Terlaje, who also represents Archbishop Anthony Apuron in a separate libel and slander lawsuit filed by four of the Archbishop's alleged sex abuse victims.

The report from the catholic cemeteries was sent to both the Guam Police Department and the Attorney General's Office today. In the report, it states that two checks were written to a Joshua Perez totaling $13,620 dollars for the purpose of Benavente's 20th anniversary dinner back in June and July of 2014.

However, attached to the report is a receipt from the Catholic Cemeteries for $14,280 in reimbursement for Benavente's 20th anniversary dinner.

Not long after Msgr. James' anniversary dinner, he was fired by Archbishop Anthony Apuron as the director of the catholic cemeteries and rector of the cathedral basilica. 
PNC reached out to Msgr. James for his response but he was unavailable for comment as of news time.   

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Testimony of Joseph T. Naputi

There were a few good things that came out of these recent events.  Catholic Families for Apuron has been created.  Therefore, Archbishop Hon now knows that there is a group of people who supports Archbishop Apuron.  Dr. Eusebio is President of this new group. 

Another good thing that came out is the huge number of people who signed the petitions presented to Governor Calvo.  There were about 5000 signatures, which is more than what "Silent No More" put in. Therefore, there are many more people who not only want to see justice for the victims, but also do not want to see innocent people suffer as a result of obtaining justice.  A justice that brings suffering to innocents is no justice at all.  

As always, the NCW continues to evangelize and grow.  We continue our celebrations of the word and the Eucharist.  We continue to have our monthly convivence.  The NCW has helped some people on our island.  One of the brothers from the Neocatechumenal Way gave his testimony, which can be found here and in Pacific Daily News: 
Image result for Joe Naputi, Guam
My name is Joseph T. Naputi. I walk in the 1st Neocatechumenal Way Community of Chalan Pago within the Nuestra Señora De La Paz y Buen Viaje parish. I am Catholic.
I believe the Neocatechumenal Way is not being fairly portrayed in the media. Lost is how the Way has helped people’s lives.
When I was single, as a typical young adult, I partied and danced in night clubs, sung in karaoke bars, and got quite drunk. Did a lot of stupid things. And I was not happy. I was alone. I felt I was not loved. One night, I broke down and cried out to God. He heard my cries. God led me back to the Church and I am now married with two sons.
What am I trying to say? The Neocatechumenal Way helped me realize that God was always by my side and never abandoned me. Jesus loves me! The Way helped me discover the richness of the Bible -- to see God speaking to me in scripture. After being introduced to the Liturgy of the Hours, around 4 a.m. each morning, my wife and I do our morning prayer and Office of Readings. And the Way helped me to experience the love and mercy of God through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Is the Neocatechumenal Way the only way to discover God? Of course not! My wife and I are also active in Couples for Christ.
The Neocatehumenal Way is God’s gift to me.
Joseph T. Naputi is a resident of Chalan Pago.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The First Sin

The first sin that was committed was pride.  It is also the worst sin.  The sin of pride was found in Lucifer, who was God's right hand-man (or should I say "angel").  However, Lucifer was not happy being second.  He wanted to be first and sit on God's throne.  As a result of his sin, he was cast out of Heaven.  

Pride was also the first sin committed among man.  Satan tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit and in her pride, she wanted to be like God.
"You will not certainly die," the serpent said to the woman.  "For God knows that when you eat from it  your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." - Genesis 3:4-5  
Man was then cast out of the Garden of Eden.  Pride often leads to disobedience.  In the case of man, eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil was an act of disobedience against God who prohibited them from touching and eating the fruit in the first place.  

The holy Bible speaks of pride as a sin and screams of obedience.  Children are told to obey their parents (Ephesians 6:1 and Colossians 3:20), and slaves are told to obey their masters (Ephesians 6:5 and Colossians 3:22).  Christians are told to obey their bishops (Hebrews 13:17).  In this way, God prepares us for His kingdom so that our will conforms to His will.  We are to follow and obey God's will.  However, many times, we want God to follow and obey our will.  By the same token, God calls on parents to care for their children and on earthly masters to care for their slaves.  He also calls on bishops to care for the souls of their sheep. 

The only time a child can disobey their parents is when their parents tell them to do something that is immoral such as stealing, killing, etc.  If a master tells a slave to kill another servant, then the slave through his moral conscience can disobey because the killing of another person goes against the commandment of God. If a bishop also tells a lay person to go against any of the Ten Commandments, the lay person can through his moral conscience disobey. Even Christ told His disciples to listen and obey the Pharisees because they sit in the chair of Moses, but he warned them not to imitate their behavior because they were hypocrites.  

Matthew 23:2-3   "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat.  So you must be careful to do everything they tell you.  But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach."   

It is clear from the passage that Christ tells us to obey authority and at the same time obey our conscience.  However, our conscience must be formed correctly to know the difference between good and evil, between right and wrong.  

In the U.S. military, obedience is very important because it deals with matters of life and death of the soldier and other fellow soldiers.  In the Church, obedience is also important because it deals with the salvation of souls.  When Archbishop Hon instructs his priests to read his letter to the parishioners and distribute the petitions, there is nothing immoral in that command.  To go against Bill 326 does not mean that we support child abusers.  Those who sexually abused children should be punished.  However, Bill 326 not only punishes the child abusers but also punish innocent people who have nothing to do with the offense.  The Church does not support child abuers, but she also does not support punishing innocent people.  The Church looks to God who does not punish the wicked together with the just (Genesis 18:23-32).  Those who did not follow Archbishop Hon's instruction to read the letter and distribute the petitions were disobedient because they thought they knew better than Archbishop Hon.  This is the sin of pride. 

With that said, it is with great sorrow that the Archdiocesan leader remained silent and did not speak out against Bill 326 during the public hearings.  He spoke out too late.  It is also with great sorrow that some of the priests did not support the Apostolic Administrator, but supported Bill 326.  These disobedient priests need to be reminded that the Church is a living organism, not an institution.  This living organism is divine and holy.  It has no sins.  Only the members of the Church are sinners and should be held accountable for their sins.  

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Stogner V. California Case

The following article can be found here.  The bold red is mine.  I think we should request the Governor or Legislature to seek a declaratory judgement from the Supreme Court of Guam on Bill 326.  We also need to elect lawmakers who can properly compose bills using logic and reason rather than having their emotions dictate how the bill should be written.  

U.S. Supreme Court: Reviving Expired Statute of Limitations Violates Ex Post Facto

U.S. Supreme Court: Reviving Expired Statute of Limitations Violates Ex Post Facto Clause 

Reversing the California Court of Appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that California's recent law reviving criminal liability for previously time-barred prosecutions violated the Constitutional proscription against ex post facto laws. 

Catering to public outrage against child molesters, the California Legislature in 1993 enacted a revised statute of limitations for such crimes - Penal Code (PC) §803(g). In place of the previous general three-year felony statute of limitations, §803(g) permitted sex crimes against children to be prosecuted within one year of the victim's report to the police. Moreover, in a 1996 amendment (PC §803(g)(3)(A)), the Legislature acknowledged that it intended such retroactivity to apply regardless of how old the offense was. 

In 1998, based upon these intervening new laws, Marion Stogner was indicted for such crimes occurring between 1955 and 1973 - 40 to 22 years after the previous statutes of limitations had expired. After the trial court denied his motion to dismiss the indictment, and the California Court of Appeal affirmed the denial (Stogner v. Superior Ct. (2001) 93 Cal.App.4th 1229), Stogner petitioned the high court on writ of certiorari, claiming his indictment was unconstitutional under the Ex Post Facto and Due Process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 

A divided 5 - 4 Court held that three factors, taken together here, produced the kind of retroactivity that the Constitution forbids: (1) creation of a new criminal limitations period, (2) permitting prosecutions that the passage of time had previously barred, and (3) enacting such a statute after prior limitations periods had expired. 

The Court first relied upon its venerable 1798 ex post facto precedent in Calder v. Bull, 3 Dall. 386. Interpreting U.S. Const. Art. I, §9, cl.3 [federal government] and Art. I, § 10, cl. I [states], the Court noted that liberty is protected by preventing governments from enacting statutes with "manifestly unjust and oppressive" retroactive effects. Citing precedent, the Court observed others had described such retroactivity of a lately revised statute of limitations period as "unfair and dishonest," a denial of "fair warning" and a failing of the government "to play by its own rules." The Court noted such retroactive laws invite "arbitrary and potentially vindictive legislation," "violent acts which might grow out of the feelings of the moment" - such as California's PC §§803(g) and (g)(3)(A). 

Second, in reviewing 18th century British Parliament precedent - from whence our ex post facto jurisprudence stems - the Court noted the prohibition recognized against new punishments "where the party was not [previously], by law, liable to any punishment." This category, including any law that "aggravates a crime" or "makes it greater than it was, when committed," exemplifies the evil of California's §803(g) because it creates a "forfeiture or disability, not incurred in the ordinary course of law." 

Third, the Court reviewed approvingly a litany of historical interpretations of the Ex Post Facto Clause that forbade resurrection of a time-barred prosecution. 

In sum, the Court held that California's law subjecting Stogner to prosecution long after the state had, in effect, granted him amnesty, was "unfair" and accordingly reversed the California Court of Appeal. The dissent would not have given Calder such weight, and morally criticized the majority's view as "disregard[ing] the interests of those victims of child abuse who have found the courage to face their accusers and bring them to justice." 

Indeed, a disturbing consequence of the Stogner ruling is that a sizeable number of lately discovered long-suppressed child molestation cases will now go unprosecuted. These include an estimated 1,000 molestations over the past 60 years in the Boston Archdiocese of the Catholic Church alone. And within the criminal justice system, examples include Calvin Eugene Moore, a former Fresno, California juvenile-hall guard turned Baptist pastor, whose charges for alleged abuse 20 years ago have now been dropped and who will soon return to work as a juvenile-corrections officer, and former Orange County, California Superior Court Judge Ronald Kline, accused of a 1979 molestation, whose charges have recently been dropped. 

But as USC Law School Professor Erwin Chemerinsky reflected on Stogner, "[a]lthough providing for the prosecution of sex offenders is a crucial government interest, it does not justify a law that violates the Ex Post Facto Clause." See: Stogner v. California, 155 L.Ed.2nd 194, 123 S.Ct. 1382 (2003). 

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Next Step In The Process

As you can see from the Governor's letter to the people, this law dealt more with the devastation of the Church.  Notice that in the Governor's letter to the people, he never mentioned government institutions?  He only mentioned the Church because the bill was set up to go only after the Church despite that sexual child abuse are more prevalent outside the Church.  No one at the public hearing ever questioned whether it was possible to compensate the victims and still prevent innocent people from being punished as a result of parishes and services closing down.  If the bill was truly for sexual child abuse, it would include all institutions and not simply the Church.

According to KUAM news: 
Meanwhile, veto advocate former Guam attorney general Doug Moylan says he believes the law has constitutional flaws, including its retroactive provisions. Moylan says the Guam Legislature and the governor now have the right to request a declaratory judgment from the Supreme Court of Guam, and he hopes he exercises that right.
The 5000 signatures submitted to the Governor within four days includes Catholics walking in the Way and many of those not walking in the Way.  Some people who would have liked to sign the petition were also denied by some priests.  Father Mike Crisostomo, for example, admitted in the Patti Arroyo talk show that he neither read Archbishop Hon's letter nor gave the petition to his parishioners.  You can listen to Father Mike's testimony here.  His reason for not reading Archbishop Hon's letter and not giving out the petition was because he disagreed with Archbishop Hon.  Rather than allowing his parishioners to make their choice, he alone made the choice for them.    

Nevertheless, it is now up to Catholics to petition the Guam Legislature or the Governor to request a "declaratory judgment" from the Supreme Court of Guam.  The Supreme Court is our last chance to have the law declared "inorganic."  

Then we can start over with a new bill that will include justice for ALL sex abuse victims in both governmental and private institutions.  After all, sex abuse victims are not only alter servers.  With this new bill, all sides will be represented and heard.  Bill 326 was not heard by all people.  Why?  Because only one person spoke in opposition to Bill 326 during the public hearing and in a climate of intimidation where people who opposed the bill were called "supporters of child abusers" by the JungleWatch Nation, which consist of CCOG, LFM, and Silent No More.  

The jungle have told you that the Church in Boston is now thriving.  The truth is the Church in Boston was devastated and is still struggling even after a decade of the sex abuse scandal.  The sex scandal in Boston broke out in 2002. As a result of the sex scandal, settlements were estimated to be up to $100 million.  In some cases insurance companies have balked at the cost of the large settlement, claiming the actions were deliberate and not covered by insurance.  And about 67 parishes were closed down.  

They tell you that the Archdiocese of Boston is thriving after the sex abuse scandal.  The truth, however, is that they are struggling and still in the process of rebuilding even after a decade of the sex abuse scandal. According to the article, "Ten years after scandal erupted, Boston Church is still rebuilding":
A decade later, the Boston archdiocese is still struggling to heal. Mass attendance is down. Nearly a quarter of Boston Catholics went to church regularly 20 years ago vs. 16 percent today. Donations are down. Forty percent of Boston-area parishes are unable to pay their bills. Ordinations to the priesthood tick up and down — six were ordained in 2011, for example, and three in 2010 — but are insufficient to meet the archdiocese’s need.  
The archdiocese has about 316 active priests today, but that number is expected to plunge to 178 in another decade. 
Many parishes have closed. In 2004, the archdiocese began an initial round of parish closings which reduced the number of parishes from 357 to 290, with more closings expected. An emerging model is to have a single pastor and pastoral staff at one location serving multiple churches.  
 The Boston Archdiocese has made dramatic restructuring in their church that combine parishes into clusters that share clergy and resources in order to keep the Church afloat.  In September, 2005, three years after the sex abuse scandal broke out, a Redemptoris Mater Seminary was established in Boston.  Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the Archbishop of Boston approves of the Way.  Evangelization also became a major goal in the Church.  In this way, they hoped to bring back more Catholics into the Church so that the Boston Church can thrive again.    

Father Joseph Jiang

Image result for Rev. Joseph JiangFather Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang is a Catholic priest from St. Louis, Missouri who was falsely accused of child molestation.  He was targeted because of his religion and his race.  After being charged twice of sexual molestation and being cleared, Father Joseph Jiang decided to fight back.  He filed a federal lawsuit against his accusers, SNAP, and some members of the St. Louis police department.  His story can be found here (the bold red is mine) 

Finally! A falsely accused priest has had enough and is not going to take it any more.
After being twice accused and cleared on wild charges of sex abuse, Rev. Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang has filed a federal lawsuit against his accusers, the lawyer-funded, anti-Catholic group SNAP, and members of the St. Louis police department for publicly accusing him of being a child molester.
In his lawsuit, Fr. Jiang sets forth a litany of facts which demonstrate just how crazy one accuser's claims were from the start:
  • The accuser's fourth-grade teacher has stated that it was "virtually impossible" that Fr. Jiang pulled the accuser "out of line" at school and abused him as claimed;
  • "The alleged victim had made previous unfounded allegations of sexual abuse";
  • "[The accuser's] fourth-grade teacher indicated that [the accuser] was a serial exaggerator to the point of being 'delusional'";
  • "[The accuser's] parents had a history of making unfounded claims against the Catholic Church for monetary gain";
  • "[The accuser] has never had any personal acquaintance with Fr. Joseph, and he could not identify Fr. Joseph's name when he made the allegation";
  • "[A parent of the accuser once] physically assaulted the principal of [a Catholic school] by choking him or her";
  • "The accusations were brought by a deeply troubled and unreliable 12-year-old boy at the suggestion of his abusive father."
As for his suit against SNAP, Jiang argues that the trial lawyer-funded group "conducted a defamatory smear campaign against Fr. Joseph throughout the case." SNAP published media statements which were "false and malicious" and "were extremely damaging to Fr. Joseph's reputation. They were calculated to inflame public opinion against Fr. Joseph, without any regard for the truth or the facts of the case."
The priest's suit also asserts that SNAP was involved with both the accusers and St. Louis police in a "conspiracy" against Fr. Jiang.
Indeed, one of Jiang's accusers who has filed a civil lawsuit against Fr. Jiang and the Church is represented by St. Louis trial lawyer Ken Chackes, who has previously admitted to donating money to SNAP and receiving client referrals from the group. (Not that this should be a surprise to anyone.)
Pot meets kettle
The irony in all of this is that while SNAP has for years claimed in the media that Church officials have never been held "accountable" for their handling of abusive priests in the past, it has been SNAP itself which has never been held accountable for its reckless statements against innocent priests, destroying lives and reputations without consequence.
We congratulate Fr. Jiang on his lawsuit, and we hope that a successful outcome will spur other falsely accused priests to fight back as well. 
I am happy to tell you that in an updated report, which you can find here, Father Joseph Jiang won that lawsuit.  

What I placed in bold red above is quite true.  SNAP has never held itself accountable for its reckless statements against innocent priests such as Father Joseph Jiang.  SNAP does not believe in "innocent until proven guilty."  Father Joseph Jiang was not the only priest who was falsely accused.  Even the Church has fallen victim against scammers who claimed to be sexually abused by a priest.  For example, a Catholic Church in North Carolina was tricked into paying $188,000 to a woman who claimed she was raped by a priest.  The fraud was later discovered.  You can read the full story here. 

This is why Bill 326 should be vetoed and expanded to make it into a better bill to ensure justice.  I believe that the perpetrators who sexually molested children should be punished, but not at the expense of innocent people.  The bill should also not make it easy for criminals to carry out fraudulent claims.     

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Seminary Report Was Biased

Father Jeff called a press conference to speak about Bill 326.  Instead, he used most of the time in that press conference bashing the Neocatechumenal Way rather than speaking about Bill 326.  He was the leader of the ad hoc committee who was supposed to visit the seminary.  After hearing his press conference, I knew right away that the report was biased.  According to PNC news:


President of 'Catholic Families for Apuron' says RMS report is biased

Dr. Ricardo Eusebio also sits on the board of directors for the Redemptoris Mater Seminary.
Guam - Redemptoris Mater Seminary Board of Directors member Dr. Ricardo Eusebio says he does not trust the ad hoc committee report on the RMS issued by Father Jeff San Nicolas yesterday. Dr. Eusebio says the report was prepared by a committee that is biased.

Dr. Ricardo Eusebio is a surgeon, a member of the neocatechumenal way, a member of the group I Familian Mangatoliku Siha Para Si Apuron or Catholic Families for Apuron and a board member of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary.

We met with him today to get his reaction to Father Jeff San Nicolas' statement yesterday in which Father San Nicolas connected for the first time Archbishop Anthony Apuron to the neocatechumenal way. Dr. Eusebio says he has no response for such allegations from Father San Nicolas. But he does have a few words to say about an ad hoc committee report Father San Nicolas released to the media yesterday despite orders from his superiors not to do so.

The report is on the RMS and is 141 pages long. It confirms some of the suspicions many have had about the Yona seminary's practices and its strict ties to the neocatechumenal way.

"I don't think the people in that committee have in their best interest the Redemptoris Mater Seminary. I think their interest is to close the seminary and I think their interest is to make the seminary look bad. So why would I listen to a report in which the members forming an opinion in the report are biased?"

Although Dr. Eusebio admits he has not had a chance to read the full report, he responds to some of the allegations contained in it. For example, the report states that the RMS purports to follow on paper the Program for Priestly Formation when considering incoming seminarians, but by practice, they don't follow the PPF guidelines. As a result, “A major consequence of an inadequate evaluation process calls into question the quality, accuracy and overall integrity of any evaluation decisions which subsequently may lead to the progression of candidates to ordination who are not ready and do not meet the standards and expectations articulated in the PPF, nor have the concurrence of the faithful."

"The seminary has ordained 17 priests. Are you telling me that the 17 priests are not worthy of being priests? Are you telling me that Father Miguel who is completing his Ph.D in Rome is not an adequate priest? Are you telling me that Father Alberto who sits in the chancery, who is appointed by Archbishop Hon to be there is not an adequate priest?" questioned Dr. Eusebio.

Dr. Eusebio also points out that the seminary is accredited differently and therefore their educational standards will be different.

"The seminary here in Guam is one that is accredited by the Lateran University and so follows a different sort of path than somebody who is accredited by a university in the United States," he pointed out. "It's not like somebody enters the seminary at one stage and then four years, five years, six years, eight years later are ordained. For some it's 10 years, for some it's 15 years. It depends. It depends on their maturation. It depends on their spiritual formation."

Meanwhile, Dr. Eusebio also defended Archbishop Anthony Apuron, noting that proclaiming Apuron guilty is premature at this point in time.

"Even a criminal who has committed a crime, is accused of a crime in the court system is deemed innocent until proven guilty. Yet here we have the presbyteral council, Father Jeff assuming that Archbishop Apuron is already guilty and that he should be removed? I think it's a shame," he said.

PNC: "Do you have an opinion yourself on the innocence or guilt of Archbishop Apuron?"

"I think he's innocent until he's proven guilty. That's the right thing to think."

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Petitions Contain Over 4,500 Signatures

The petition asking the Governor to veto Bill 326 has over 4,500 signatures.  In the Neocatechumenal Way, the petitions were being signed after the Eucharist and the Word Celebration.  I hope that the Governor and Senators would listen to the people and revise the bill to include not only the Church, but also government institutions. After all, victims of sexual abuse are NOT only alter servers.  Sexual abuse is actually much more prevalent outside the Church.  See weblink here.   Senators, if you are for assisting ALL sexual abuse victims, then include those who have also been sexually abused under your institutions.  Bill 326 is discriminatory because it only holds certain institutions accountable while others remain immune.  According to KUAM news:  

A petition circulated by the Archdiocese of Agana to veto Bill 326 is officially in the hands of the governor. According to a release from the church, the petition contained over 4,500 signatures that were collected in the last four days.  
Bill 326 passed on session floor earlier this month. The legislation lifts the civil statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases, which the church predicts could result in bankruptcy and put an end to other church community services as well as force closure of Catholic schools.
Governor Eddie Calvo has until Friday to take action.
The bill, meanwhile, is with his legal team for review.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Group Pushing Petition To Veto Bill 326

It is a huge embarrassment for Archbishop Hon and the Church that they did not oppose Bill 326 when it was introduced into legislation at the Guam Legislature.  Two public hearings were held on the bill, but only Dr. Zoltan Szekely was there to oppose it.  Dr. Szekely is also a member of the Neocatechumenal Way.  

Also, a group has been formed called I Familian Mangatoliku Siha Pari Si Apuron ( Chamorro for "Catholic Families for Apuron") as a result of Archbishop Hon's lynching of his brother bishop (Archbishop Apuron) and the neglect in opposing Bill 326.  This group was formed by Dr. Rick Eusebio, who is also a member of the Neocatechumenal Way.  The Catholic Families for Apuron are currently pushing the petition to veto Bill 326.  This group is hoping to convince Governor Calvo to veto the bill.  

And what was Father Jeff doing?  He held a press conference and the first thing that came out of his mouth was badmouthing the Neocatechumenal Way and entertaining the very same people who pushed the passage of Bill 326.  It is clearly obvious that he is biased against the Way, and it appears that his priorities as a delegate is misplaced.  His prejudice against the Way have clouded his judgement. His main priority should be on Bill 326.

 So, Father Jeff, this is my advice to you:
Cardinal Filoni is from the Congregation of Evangelization, and he has spoken.  If you have a problem in identifying where this congregation is....then please check your Vatican Directory.  Perhaps, then you will realize that this Cardinal in the Vatican is Catholic and is in a much higher position than YOU; therefore, he is not interfering in the local church.  The Church of Guam is part of the universal Church.  Furthermore, the reason you are in tears is simply because of your pride.  Being a delegate can sometimes get to your head that you start thinking you are an authority above a Cardinal. The truth are not even a bishop.      
God bless Dr. Zoltan Szekely for standing up in opposition to Bill 326 and Dr. Rick Eusebio in his efforts in pushing the petition to veto Bill 326.  According to KUAM news: 
It appears a new group has surfaced in support of Archbishop Anthony Apuron. Called I Familian Mangatoliku Siha Pari Si Apuron (Chamorro for "Catholic Families for Apuron"), president Dr. Ricardo Eusebio addressed a letter to apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai today, calling him out for public lynching.
According to Dr. Eusebio, statements made by the church continue to attack, discredit, and smear Apuron and violate the common law that every person is innocent until proven guilty.
The organization has also chimed-in on Bill 326, stating the legislation clearly and unfairly targets the Catholic Church. Although Catholic Families for Apuron also wants justice for victims of child sex abuse, they do not believe justice is accomplished by the proposed legislation.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Former AG Questions Bill 326

Former AG Moylan questions constitutionality of Bill 326

A former attorney general and long-time legislative legal counsel cautions that Bill 326 may not survive a legal challenge. Doug Moylan is urging the governor and senators to seek an opinion from the Supreme Court of Guam on whether the measure even meets constitutional muster.     
Moylan says the section of the proposed legislation extending the statute of limitations indefinitely for child sex abuse crimes could be a problem, because a previous law for filing abuse cases already opened a two year window that has since closed. "But then all of a sudden the Legislature is attempting now to revive it, which hits the due process and equal protection clause of the Organic Act and the US Constitution," he stated.
But Moylan is also concerned that the law would open the floodgates for claims that could bring the church to its financial knees, adding, "You open up the can of worms by letting a lawsuit proceed by opening the statute of limitations. again the amount of money the Catholic Church is going to have to invest to pay people like me - lawyers - to defend itself is going to be ruinous to them"
He says victims should file against the individual perpetrators, not the local institution.  And for those abusers who have died or lack resources to pay?  Moylan says the Vatican has a procedure to provide restitution for victims similar to a government claims act. "In this case," he said, "part of it goes to peoples trust in the Vatican."
"These people were injured can the church provide the appropriate compensation. The lawyers on Guam should actually be looking to the Vatican to see what type of relief is available," added Moylan.
Administrative institutions under the archdiocese likewise fear what might happen if the church is forced into bankruptcy. Catholic Social Services for one has been providing help to the poor, the disadvantaged and the marginalized for the past 37 years.   
Executive director Diana Calvo said, "Speaking on behalf of the Catholic Church, and specifically for CSS, that might have an impact on how we do business and whether or not we continue to do business in some of the certain program areas."
Calvo says CSS is a provider of victims' service and understands the impact of abuse, but she says it must be balanced against the good work and ministries the church does provide. "It's not anything about victim restitution because we're all supportive of that," Calvo said.

More Information On Bankruptcy

This is more information on what is happening to dioceses in the United States who filed for bankruptcy.   In Guam, the first ones that will be liquidated will be the parishes.  Why?  Because every village has a parish.  The reason there are parishes in every village was because a long time ago, a vast majority of the people walked.  Today, almost everyone has a car; therefore, it is easier and sensible to liquidate parishes.  Parishioners will simply drive to the nearest parish rather than their village parish. 

The junglefolks have always said that they should fight to save the Church.  So, where are they now? I have said time and time again...that they were the ones out to destroy the Church.  According to article (the bold is mine):

Bankruptcy Judge Rules Spokane Parish Assets Available To Victims

Sun | Local
SPOKANE A federal bankruptcy judge ruled Friday that all the parish churches, parochial schools and other property of the Catholic Diocese of Spokane can be liquidated to pay victims of sexual abuse by priests, a decision that may prompt other dioceses across the nation to avoid filing for Chapter 11 protection.
Spokane Bishop William Skylstad, who had argued that he did not control and could not sell individual parishes to pay victims, said he will appeal.
"We appeal this decision because we have a responsibility, not only to victims, but to the generations of parishioners ... who have given so generously of themselves in order to build up the work of the Catholic Church in Eastern Washington," said Skylstad, who is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
"Let me assure everyone that ministry will continue in Eastern Washington," Skylstad said in a statement.
The Spokane Diocese serves about 90,000 Catholics in 13 Eastern Washington counties, from Metaline Falls on the Canadian border to Walla Walla on the Washington-Oregon line. It filed for Chapter 11 protection in December, listing assets of $11.1 million and liabilities of $81.3 million. Most of the liabilities are sexual abuse claims.
Skylstad has repeatedly apologized to victims of past sexual abuse by priests and said he wants to compensate them fairly but he has also insisted the Catholic Church must survive in Eastern Washington and continue its ministry.
David Clohessy of St. Louis Mo., national director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said the decision should make other bishops think twice about trying to protect assets by filing for bankruptcy, as the Spokane, Tucson, Ariz., and Portland, Ore., dioceses have done.
"We applaud this decision and hope it speeds the day when hundreds of deeply wounded and still hurting abuse victims get some relief and healing," Clohessy said, adding he hoped "bishops will act more like caring shepherds and less like cold-hearted CEOs.
"The notion that somehow bishops don't control their parishes is ludicrous," he added.
With many Catholic dioceses across the nation facing lawsuits from victims of sex abuse, this decision was being closely watched.
Lawyers for the Spokane Diocese had argued that the bishop holds in trust legal title to individual parish churches and other Catholic assets, but does not actually control those assets and cannot sell them. They based their claim on church law.
Skylstad contended that only about $10 million in assets directly under his control was available to settle lawsuits brought by 58 victims of sexual abuse.
But attorneys for the victims argued that the bishop actually controls more than 82 parish churches, 16 parochial schools, Catholic cemeteries and other property. Victims contended the diocese's financial assets totaled more than $80 million, and that it should be treated like any other business.

What Happens When A Church Files Bankruptcy?

Archbishop Hon and Father Jeff are not using scare tactics.  The jungle is misleading people into thinking that bankruptcy is a positive solution to cleaning the Church.  Some people in the jungle feel that cleaning the church means selling the RMS property and the chancery.  Now, we know why they want to remove the Deed Restriction on the property.  The reason had always been the 75 million dollar property in Yona.  In his comment in the jungle, CNMI lawyer proposed to sell the RMS property and chancery (the bold is mine). 

File Bankruptcy Soon -- Voluntary or Involuntary!
One of the great benefits of bankruptcy is that it gets all litigation involving the debtor (Archdiocese of Agaña) under “one roof,” so to speak, through the process of bankruptcy ancillary proceedings.

Any dispute to which the debtor is a party (plaintiff or defendant) must be decided in the federal bankruptcy court -- beyond the reach of NCW Cult. This would include defamation actions, a quiet title action over the RMS property, RICO claims for fraudulent ordination, and any claims by survivors of abuse that was abetted by institutional cover-up.

There is an Automatic Stay on all civil litigation anywhere in the USA as the bankruptcy court sorts things out.

Frankly, bankruptcy would save the Archdiocese a great deal of money in attorney fees alone, considering all the pending and impending litigation. All attorney fees in such cases must be approved by the court.

God created Purgatory because He is infinitely just, but infinitely merciful. 

Bankruptcy is the civil law attempt to emulate that divine justice and mercy in the financial sphere.

To the extent possible, the just claims of those injured by the Archdiocese and its “employees” operating under a culture of blackmail will be satisfied, while the faithful within the Archdiocese are shown mercy in a fresh start without overwhelming debts.

Selling off the Yoña property and the Chancery would be well worth the purification of our Church.

Needless to say, in bankruptcy ancillary litigation, the actual abusers can be forced to disgorge personal assets and any ill-gotten gains.

Fraudulently concealing assets in bankruptcy proceedings is a federal crime. So it is quite possible that predators who have avoided imprisonment due to running of the statute of limitations may once again find themselves facing the same fate if they are not fully candid about their assets.

The beauty of bankruptcy is that we do not need to wait for the tedious workings of the Chancery to do so.

Even a single survivor can file an involuntary case to place the Archdiocese into bankruptcy.

Let the race to the courthouse begin!

 Below is an article explaining the reality when a Church files for bankruptcy.  According to the article: What happens when a Church goes bankrupt?  

What Happens When a Church Goes Bankrupt?

Faced with the possibility of having to pay more than $100 million in damages to alleged sexual abuse victims, the Archdiocese of Boston is weighing whether to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. What happens when a church goes belly up?
Unlike businesses, charitable organizations like churches cannot be forced into bankruptcy by their creditors, but they can opt to file on their own. Such filings are rare, but according to the Boston Globe the Dallas diocese got Vatican permission to file for bankruptcy in 1997 after a jury awarded $119.6 million to the victims of an abusive priest. The diocese never actually filed, but the mere threat of bankruptcy resulted in a settlement for the more modest sum of $31 million.
Once a holy entity like a church seeks a business-oriented remedy like Chapter 11, it has to go through the same procedures as everyone else. Despite the stigma associated with bankruptcy, Cardinal Bernard Law's archdiocese may file as a way of avoiding years of expensive litigation. Filing for Chapter 11 doesn't constitute an admission of guilt: In the business world companies often go straight to bankruptcy court before anyone has won a case against them.
The advantage for the archdiocese is that a bankruptcy filing would stay the civil lawsuits against the church. When a bankruptcy petition is filed, the filing constitutes an automatic federal court injunction that bars anyone from proceeding with a suit against the debtor. So a bankruptcy court—instead of a civil court—would determine what the 450 sexual abuse plaintiffs' claims were worth, if anything. The bankruptcy court's decision is final unless the proceeding is prematurely dismissed, at which point the abuse cases could resume in civil court.
But here's the disadvantage for the archdiocese: If the bankruptcy court decides the church owes the alleged victims a large sum of money, it is going to be obliged to pay them as typical Chapter 11 "creditors" and not necessarily on its own terms. The church would get the opportunity to put forward an initial payment plan, but if the proposed settlement isn't acceptable to the victims, the bankruptcy court could go with a payment plan much less advantageous to the church.
What money would the archdiocese use to pay off its "creditors"? In a typical Chapter 11 reorganization procedure, a business might cut back on its less productive or cost-efficient operations to increase its cash flow. But it's hard to apply concepts like productivity to a religious entity, and since donations have declined dramatically in the wake of the scandal, the archdiocese would probably have a rough time paying off its creditors through income alone. The church might have to liquidate some of its assets. No need to start auctioning off pews, bibles, and religious relics—the Boston Archdiocese has a very worldly $1.3 billion in real estate holdings.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

More Inconsistencies

An anonymous poster wrote the following under the thread "Playing The Devil's Advocate":
Has no one ever read the crucible? What is happening to Apuron is nothing new in history. There's a guilty party who is trying to cover up a misdeed and so he organizes a witch hunt. As in Salem 400 years ago the innocent will be victim to mass hysteria, the manipulated will spin incredible stories and the mastermind of this lie will get away with murder.

Since when do people not question the statements of children? Especially when those children have grown up into adults with an ax to grind. So if I question their veracity I'm not being "sensitive" to their pain? Oh boo-hoo. A man's life, his reputations and his good name are at stake. Not to mention the damage done to the church. Those "victims" better be prepared to be asked much more invasive and detailed questions than any I've read here. And if they cannot answer I call them liars.

There are indeed some inconsistencies in the testimonies of the alleged victims.  Because they have been very open in speaking to the media and talk shows, an attorney can easily spot those inconsistencies.  For example, let us look at the following inconsistency between Doris Concepcion and her son John Quinata.  

In his testimony in the hearing at the Guam Legislature in support of Bill 326-33, John Quinata stated: “We tried to tell my mother but she would not listen-she would not believe it was possible.”  You can find Mr. Quinata's testimony here.  

However, in Doris Concepcion's statement to PDN, she said that she only learned of her son's molestation on his deathbed before he went in for surgery, and she held this secret for 11 years.  According to the Pacific Daily News dated May 30, 2016:  

“I didn’t know (about the molestation) until my son was 38 years old when he passed away, and that’s when I found out,” Concepcion said.

 So, which is it?  Furthermore, John Quinata stated that when he was about 8 years old, his brother came home in a lot of pain and could not use the restroom.  The question that will be asked is how was it that an 8 year old child was able to see that his 9 year old brother was in pain and could not use the restroom and the mother was not able to see it?  If my child was in pain and unable to use the restroom, I would bring him to the hospital.  Why was Joseph Quinata (whom his brother said was in pain at that time) not brought to the hospital?  These are only a sample of the inconsistency in their testimonies. And yes, all this information was forwarded to Rome and to Archbishop Apuron. 

Archbishop Apuron is going through a canonical trial.  He has sworn an oath before the Pope.  His sworn testimony to Pope Francis was that he is innocent of these sexual allegation charges.  He swore before Pope Francis that he did not sexually molest anyone.  The canonical trial is only part of the process that Archbishop said will occur.  The second part will be a civil trial.  As the anonymous poster pointed above, the name and reputation of a man is at stake as well as damage done to the Church.  So, those who are involved should be prepared to explain the contradictions and inconsistencies in their testimonies which they gave to the Guam Legislature, KUAM, PDN, the Patti Arroyo talk show, the Jesse Lujan talk show, and to the rest of the social media.  

Consequences Of Bill 326-33

It is unfortunate that Archbishop Hon did not address Bill 326-33 when it was being discussed at the Legislative hearing.  In fact, there was a public hearing on it twice, and Archbishop Hon was absent both times.  If it was Archbishop Apuron, he would be on it immediately.  The bill was passed by the Guam Legislature and is now in the hands of Governor Eddie Calvo.  Archbishop Hon is NOW gathering signatures to petition the governor not to sign the bill.  NOW, he suddenly realized the consequences that this bill would cause if passed into law. 

At any rate, Archbishop Hon is correct that this bill, if passed, will have devastating consequences on our Church.  Similar bills have been passed in the U.S., which only resulted in the closures of the Church and the selling of its assets. According to the New York Post:  
The US Catholic Church has lost millions of its members over the past 14 years following the child abuse scandal that tarnished its reputation and forced it to sell assets to pay billions of dollars in settlements.
The Catholic Church in the United States has spent 3 billion dollars settling the sex abuse scandal.  In some states where the statutes of limitations have been lifted, more lawsuits are expected to rise. According to Frontline news:
In Minnesota last year, the state legislature passed a law lifting the civil statute of limitations for child victims of sexual abuse, clearing the way for more lawsuits.
The alleged victims including the mother of one of the alleged victim who came forward accusing Archbishop Anthony Apuron all stated that it was not about the Church, but about one man.  However, all of them did not just file a lawsuit against only one man.  They also filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese (the church), which they all claim to love.  The jungle and their supporters all advocated for the passage of this bill, not realizing the consequences it would wreck on the Catholic Church of Guam, whom they claim to love very much.  According to Tim Rohr:
How does one seek justice from a 95 year old Luis Brouillard who abused more boys than he can remember. He can hardly leave his couch and has no assets other than a monthly stipend from the Archdiocese of Agana. What the hell, Hon? What the hell! 
So, because Father Brouillard has no assets, taking the assets of the Church (which he claims to love and defend) is justified?  One has to this the same person who showed compassion for Joseph Lastimoza, a convicted rapist and murderer?  If the jungle can forgive a rapist and a murderer who repented his sins, why then are they condemning a child molester who repented his sins?