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.  


  1. exactly Diana the root is pride.
    Archbishop Hon remained silent when a proactive stand may well have helped. Archbishop Anthony would have been proactive.
    Unfortunately there were disobedient priests taking advantage of this situation. one in particular entertaining senators to dinners/shows PI.


  2. let us pray for the disobedient priests. Holy Spirit fill their minds hearts with wisdom. Melt the pride of their hearts conform them to your most holy well expressed through Archbishop Anthony Archbishop of Guam. Amen.

  3. Anon @ 10:09 AM is 100% CORRECT. Archbishop Apuron would have been VERY, VERY, VERY PROACTIVE. He would have done his very best to lobby against the Legislature passing the bill since there were several accusations made against him by the time the bill was introduced and had its first public hearing. There is no way Archbishop Apuron would have allowed it to be amended as suggested by Attorney Senator Judge Bob Klitzkie. No Way.

    Even if Archbishop Hon and church leaders did not testify against the bill, there was NOTHING to prevent Dr. Ric Eusebio and other NCW members besides Dr. Zoltan from appearing at the public hearings (there were 3 THREE total) OR submit WRITTEN testimony against the bill. Instead just like Hon Dr. Eusebio waited until the LAST MINUTE to speak up against having the governor sign it into law.

    Im not sure if that movement was too little too late or if nonNCW Joe Q Public's picketing and showing up to pray at Adelup made the difference and encouraged the governor to sign the bill into PL 33-187.

  4. The virtue opposite of pride is humility. How does one cultivate humilty in a person should be the question we should ask.... Yes pointing out sin is an act of charity right, but accusations only seem like a condemnation. Why not also add what we can do instead of looking on the sidelines and pointing fingers calling people sinners? Yes sins are to be hated, but the human being that sinned is also God's creation, a member of our family. When you point out your brother's sin, remember that he is your brother.

    When I read this article, I felt that you thought yourself better by pointing this out. I felt like you were drawing a line, between the sinners and the righteous. When someone points out an imperfection, it is natural to feel this way is it not? That is pride is it not? Even so, when you point out a sin is it not also right to point out God's love for fallen man? Isn't that also our responsibility?

    Thank you for the article.

    1. Dear Jessica,

      On the contrary, I was emphasizing the importance of obedience. That is what the OP is about. The OP is about the first sin. Of course, God loves fallen man. But fallen man must first understand who he is.....a sinner. God gave us the Ten Commandments so that we can first know we ho we are....that we are sinners. This article emphasizes the importance of obedience to authority whether it be to one's parents, employers, civil leaders, and church leaders.

      In no way am I saying that I am better. At the end of the article, I stated that the Church is holy. Only the members of the Church are sinners and should be held accountable for their sins. I am also a member of the Church. I am not excluding myself from the Church.

    2. Thank you for the response Diana. After contemplating this some more, I realize the subtleness of the intent behind the OP.

      Although, I still think that it is wrong to throw some punches back in public if it could be settled between the necessary parties. However, I guess there is a need to bring it out to the church considering how deep the problem is.

      Thank you again.

      God bless you.

    3. Your OP is emphasizing obedience, but tying it to the sin of pride is the problem. Your reply to 2:46 says "Sometimes people disagree with their superiors because they think they know better than their superiors." Yes, *sometimes*, not always.
      You say the priests have sinned because of their disobedience--you assume they did it out of pride. Just because someone believes otherwise does not automatically make it the sin of pride.

    4. Dear Anonymous at 11:12 am,

      That is correct. Many times disobedience is tied to pride. The only time it is not tied to pride is when a person chose to disobey because the authority is requesting that he/she do something immoral. When an authority asks someone to do something immoral (such as stealing, etc.), the act of disobedience is not tied to pride. In the case of the priests not reading the Archbishop's letter, there is nothing immoral about reading a letter or distributing a petition in opposition to Bill 326. Therefore, the disobedience is tied to pride.

      In Genesis, the first sin of the angels was pride, which led to disobedience. The first sin of man was pride, which led to disobedience.

    5. I understand sin of pride as in to be 'preoccupied with self'. You want to be better, you want to be the center of attraction, etc.
      What if, for argument's sake, the priests disobeyed because they truly felt it was for the best of the Church NOT to sign those petitions? And they felt that it would be best for the victims to get their justice, for the Church to cleanse itself of this tainted reputation? Their disobedience would not be to elevate themselves, but to do what they felt was right.

      Yes, the sin of pride does oftentimes lead to disobedience. But it's not always pride that makes one disobedient.

      Again, I do see how they were disobedient. But cannot see how they committed the sin of pride.

    6. Diana, Archbishop Apuron also disobeyed Archbishop Hon as well. How is his disobedience any different from Fr. Mike and whomever else did not read the letter?

      Fr. Mike and whomever else didn't read the letter probably agreed that the bill would help the victims and that not allowing it to pass by encouraging people to sign the bill would not help the victims seek justice against their abusers. Just like Archbishop Apuron thought that lifting the deed restriction would not help to protect the seminary.

      Were both acts of disobedience a result of pride? Both thought their actions would be good for the church did they not? Didn't they both sin in their disobedience according to your OP?

      Would you consider Archbishop Apuron's act of disobedience better or more justified than Fr. Mike's and whomever else disobeyed Archbishop Hon? Or would both be considered equally sinful?

    7. Dear Anonymous at 12:48 pm,

      The fact that Father Mike Crisostomo went on air in the radio station to announce to the entire island that he disagrees with Archbishop Hon and that his way is better is pride, which led him to his disobedience. Archbishop Hon was within his right to be upset, and it should have been Father Mike who should have apologized.

    8. Dear Jessica,

      Archbishop Hon INSTRUCTED the priests to read the letter and distribute the petitions. Father Mike went on air in the radio station to announce to the entire island that he disagreed with Archbishop Hon because his way is better. The fact that he went on air to make that announcement is pride. Was it really necessary to announce to the world that Archbishop Hon was wrong? Going on air was his choice.

      Archbishop Apuron only went public after Archbishop Hon went public first REQUESTING the Board of Directors and the Board of Guarantors to rescind the deed restriction. Only Apuron had the authority to rescind it, and he only went public to give his response to Archbishop Hon's request.

    9. May I have a clarification, please? Is what you write here the position of the NCW, or just your opinion?
      You seem to decide what is 'pride' and what is not in this case. Do you get to decide where to draw the line? Who does? (I still cannot see how you conclude that Father Mike's disagreeing with Hon is prideful, even if he did go on air. I listened to the interview and he did not seem to be boasting. Just saying he didn't agree.)

      Just need to know if what you write here is your opinion or the position of NCW.

      By the way, thank you for this back and forth discussion.

    10. Dear Anonymous at 4:09 pm,

      This blog belongs to me. What I write reflects only my position. I do not speak for my brothers in the Way. They can speak for themselves.

    11. Dear Jessica, Apuron CANNOT disobey Hon because Hon is not the boss of Apuron. Apuron is still the bishop of Guam Hon is just an administrator. In the church hierarchy that means that Apuron takes his orders directly from the pope not Hon. That means that right now the people in the diocese of Guam need to obey Hon in all matters under canon law (so for example if Hon wants to remove someone from a canonical post that person has a right to appeal to Rome before they obey) but Apuron does not.

    12. Those who do not follow instruction from their rightful church authority and supervisor are anarchists. Church anarchists form a well know and historically described group inside the Catholic Church. It is a heresy. They say the Pope and the bishops do not have real authority and power therefore they don't need to be obeyed.

      The jungle group is a typical anarchist group. They declared time and again that they obey instruction only if it agrees with their purpose. That means their goal and ideology override church authority.

      The jungle foreign legion is a bunch of jerk who are the refuse of any serious Catholic group, they were rejected by all other Catholic places on earth so they came to Guam to wreak havoc here on a gullible and intellectually defenseless population. They are gang raping the minds of peaceful Catholics to get their ways. Rohr, White, LaPaz, Gluccon, Frenchie, these are the anarchist masterminds and ideological leaders of this heresy on island.

      All those priests who join the anarchists are defying their priestly ordination. Their obedience goes with fancy and anarchist goals rather than with the church. They swear allegiance to man-made power, not to God. Their chief authority is a self-made anarchist who sets the tone of discourse by openly attacking, threatening and trying to intimidate leading church figures like the Apostolic Administrator.

      Archbishop Hon cannot cater to these anarchists any longer without losing respect in the eyes of island Catholics. He has to restore the faith of the faithful in his administration. He has to demonstrate the true power of the Catholic Church led by Pope Francis in Rome. It is not an option for the Apostolic Administrator but a most important duty to show the power and reign over the anarchists.

      Otherwise our church is doomed to self-made chieftains and ideological jerks who managed their ways to dictate to the Guam Legislature and impose their will on the Governor of our island. It is only the Church that is still standing. We look for and pray for Archbishop Hon that he will have his duty of restoring church authority and getting rid of the anarchists fulfilled, according to the will of Christ our Savior.

    13. AT Anonymous 12:29 PM.....whoever you are well well said :))))

  5. I disagree with how you connect disobedience with the sin of pride in this instance. Their disobedience came out of not agreeing with the message in the letter, but not out of pride. Thinking you know better does not equate to pride, in my opinion. I do agree that they were disobedient--that was obvious.

    1. Dear Anonymous at 2:46 pm,

      Sometimes people disagree with their superiors because they think they know better than their superiors.

    2. But a priest can know better than his superior. In such incidents a priest in conscience must go against his superior. Times different now. independent thinking freedom liberation rule day. Guam is a liberated community. we need to further liberate our laws for true freedom liberation of God's children.

    3. The priests FAILED to deliver the Archbishops message to the people. Whether they agree with it or not, they should have still delivered the message. The Archbishop gave them a job to do and they disobeyed by choosing not to do it. It does not matter the reason why they chose not to deliver the message, the fact is they chose NOT to deliver it.

      They could be court-martialed by choosing not to deliver a message, if this happened in the military.

      How can I trust a priest who chooses not to deliver a message to me from my bishop, or maybe even so from God.

    4. in all honesty i do not understand what is wrong with not reading letter.My boss tells me do this do that. I only do what I Want to do. same with priests. What's problem with this?

  6. But I just heard that a number of RMS presbyters did not read out the letter from Hon. Do you class them as disobedient then, or is the request to read his letter immoral?

    1. For your info. Our RMS priest read the letter from Hon, and provided the paper for everyone to sign.

  7. Dear Anonymous at 3:03 pm,

    I do not know where you got this information. I go to the Saturday Eucharist and the Sunday Mass. The RMS priest in my parish read the letter and he told the parishioners about the petitions. These petitions were also brought to the Eucharist where everyone in the community, 18 years old and above, signed it.

    1. Just because the RMS presbyter at YOUR parish read the letter and had the petitions for signing doesn't mean ALL the presbyters read the letter.
      The priest at my parish read the letter and had the petition for signing but that doesn't mean that all the nonNeo parish priests read it.

    2. Dear Anonymous at 3:18 pm,

      In my OP, I said "those priests who did not read the letter..." I did not name names because they know who they are. I also never claimed that ALL non-RMS priests did not read the letter.

    3. Anon at 3:18 pm, please be specific. Which priest did not deliver the letter or the message in it? How do you know that not all RMS priest read the letter?

  8. The issue of the Hon letter is dead. Bill 326 is now law. Hon was actually in favor of it but in order to save face (oriental) he had to make a token show of defiance to the bill. He was in favor of the bill so that the archdiocese will in the end be "forced" to sell the seminary property.

    We should move on.

    Diana, if you want to explore the issue of disobedient priests and laity, then go back and revisit two issues that call for justice:

    A. The proposed criminal trial for the act of embezzlement committed by Msgr Benavente when he stole money from the cemetery to pay for his anniversary party. Approximately $14,000 (see cathedral basilica and cemetery financial review).

    B. The long delayed and hoped for proceedings for the Excommunication of Mr Tim Rorh for his acts of inciting hatred, violence and even making death threats against Archbishop Apuron and Archbishop Hon.

    This is a matter of justice that needs to be visited so that we can restore, using the words of Hon, unity, tranquility, harmony and peace in the diocese. The yin yang theology of Hon.

    The root of what we are suffering today lies with what Benavente and Rohr have been fighting to do: topple Apuron and in the process they manage to destroy the church in Guam.

    What say you?

  9. I must have missed something, is the Archdiocese of Agana now stating that the Deloitte and Touche audit and letter was fabricated? Are these financial auditors not expert in their field? Are we calling Deloitte & Touche report a lie. Maybe Hon and the Archdiocese would like to share how they arrived at their conclusion.