Friday, June 23, 2017

The Cost Of Appeasement

According to Tim Rohr:
I'm afraid you don't have your facts straight. The committee report will clearly show that the Archdiocese of Agana, then under the administration of Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, an apostolic administrator appointed by Pope Francis, did NOT oppose the legislation. In fact, there was surprise among the legislators that there was NO opposition from the church. 
This is false.  It is actually Tim Rohr who does not have his facts straight. The Archdiocese of Agana, under Archbishop Hon, did not support NOR oppose the bill.  In other words, there was SILENCE. That is what the committee report shows.  Silence does not indicate that the Archdiocese was in support of the bill. Father Gordon MacRae clearly stated that the Archdiocese of Agana OPPOSED the bill.  Then comes along Rohr saying that the Archdiocese did NOT oppose the legislation.  REALLY?  Does he have a letter from the Archdiocese saying they support it?  Therefore, Rohr is incorrect when he said that Archbishop Hon did not oppose the bill.  What he purposely left out is the fact that Archbishop Hon also did NOT support the bill.  This is simply a manipulating of the facts and twisting of words.  

Why the silence?  Archbishop Hon was so engrossed into appeasing the jungle that he went to Rome in the hopes of convincing the Pope to remove Archbishop Apuron.  He was so focused on that goal that he was unaware of what the jungle was doing behind his back in the Guam Legislature.  It was only when he was halfway around the world when someone in Rome pointed out to him about the bill.  Immediately, Archbishop Hon sent a desperate message to the Guam clergy to persuade the Catholic faithful to sign a petition opposing the bill, which was already passed by the Guam Legislature.  Upon learning about the bill, he then made his opposition known.  Unfortunately, it was too late, and this was the cost of Archbisop Hon's appeasement.  Nevertheless, it was Tim Rohr and the Junglewatch Nation who worked for the passage of this unjust law, which even Father Gordon opposed. 

Tim Rohr also stated: 
The archdiocese (Hon) did NOTHING, until the 11th hour, just before the governor signed it, calling for a veto.    
 Exactly.  The Archdiocese did nothing (meaning it neither oppose nor support the bill) until the 11th hour when they finally made their opposition to the bill known. Tim Rohr further stated (the bold is mine): 
Archbishop Apuron and Flores, before him, both new of Brouillard's 30 years of abuse in Guam, which is why Flores kicked him out of the diocese and sent him home to Minnesota (where he continued to abuse). Apuron did NOTHING to help to heal Brouillard's victims because of his own history of abuse. 
First of all, Tim Rohr is known for his irrational obsession of grammar and spelling. Lately, he has been making some spelling errors, and he is unaware of it.  Below is a screenshot of his error in case he decides to correct it.  Now, you know that the Tim Rohr who constantly berates other people of their grammatical and spelling errors is also guilty of making the same errors.  God works in mysterious ways. 


Secondly, it is on record that Archbishop Flores knew about Father Brouillard's sex abuse.  It is also on record that Archbishop Flores covered it up by transferring Father Brouillard off-island.  However, Rohr has no evidence showing that Archbishop Apuron knew of Father Brouillard's sex abuse.  In fact, he was not even the Archbishop at the time. Tim Rohr also stated:
Also your timing is wrong. Apuron's victims were not waiting for the coffers to be opened. The bill was signed into law last September. Burke did not come to Guam until February of the following year. 
It was on May 10, 2016 that a campaign to lift the statutes of limitation was organized (See the weblink here).

It was on July 1, 2016 when the alleged victims filed a libel and defamation lawsuit against the Archbishop in the total sum of 2 million dollars. (See the weblink here.)

The bill, lifting the statutes of limitation was signed into law by Governor Calvo on September, 2016.  A few weeks later on November 1, 2016, Roland Sondia, Roy Quintanilla, and Walter Denton filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese for 5 million dollars. (See the weblink here.)  

On February, 2017, Cardinal Burke came to Guam to investigate the sex abuse allegations.  However, Roland Sondia and Roy Quintanilla refused to testify before Cardinal Burke.

The Archdiocese, on the other hand, did not respond to these lawsuits until April, 2017,which was 2 months AFTER Cardinal Burke came to Guam. On April, 2017 the Archdiocese responded by trying to get the lawsuits dismissed in court (See the weblink here) and at the same time introduce the Hope and Healing Program to settle out of court (See the weblink here). 

It was in early March, 2017 when the Archdiocese and Tim Rohr published about a settlement fund (See the weblink here).  This settlement fund started with 1 million dollars coming from the Archdiocese. Then on April, 2017, the Archdiocese introduced the Hope and Healing Program to settle out of court with the start up cost of one million dollars, which was mentioned in early March. 

In that SAME time frame, Walter Denton was the first Apuron accuser to provide testimony to Cardinal Burke (See the weblink here). Walter Denton gave his testimony to Cardinal Burke on March 17, 2017 (about eight days AFTER the settlement fund was announced in the news and in Rohr's blog). After that, the other Apuron accusers who initially refused to testify then came forward to testify.

In his article, Father Gordon MacRae stated: 
Cardinal Raymond Burke was sent by the Vatican to investigate the case, but reportedly some of the accusers have declined to answer any questions while waiting for the Church’s ATM to open.  
Apparently, Father Gordon got the timing correctly.  

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

From These Stone Walls

Father Gordon MacRae wrote an article about Guam's public law that lifted the statutes of limitation. You can find that article here.  For those who do not know Father Gordon MacRae, his story is found here.  Below is the full article:
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On the Island of Guam, Is the Eighth Commandment Discarded?

A prayer is offered for a falsely accused priest at the London prison cell of St Thomas More while on the Island of Guam a new Catholic Inquisition makes its debut.
“Hear me out. You and your class have ‘given in’ – as you rightly call it – because the religion of this country means nothing to you one way or the other.” (Sir Thomas More in Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons, London, 1961, P. 122).
Sir Thomas More became Saint Thomas More, a martyr for faith and truth when he was executed for “high treason” upon the order of King Henry VIII in 1535. The King demanded complicity from Thomas More in a campaign against the Catholic Church when the Pope denied the King an annulment from his marriage to Catherine of Aragon to marry Anne Boleyn.
As Lord Chancellor of England, Thomas More surrendered his favor with the King and his Court to defend his Church and faith. The King’s response set in motion the Protestant Reformation in England. Meanwhile, Henry VIII went on to marry a total of six times. Thomas More, condemned for fidelity to his Catholic faith, was imprisoned in the Tower of London and beheaded on July 6, 1535. His head was mounted on a pole at the Tower of London Bridge.
Saint Thomas More was canonized a saint and a martyr 400 years later, and today is honored by the Catholic Church on June 22. On June 22 this year, Dr. Robert Moynihan will visit the London prison cell of Saint Thomas More where, among his prayers, will be offered one for me and for These Stone Walls. Dr. Moynihan is Editor and Publisher of the very fine Inside the Vatican magazine.
The prayer was requested by Suzanne Formanek, a TSW reader in Eastern Europe who has asked that readers join that day in a prayer for justice through the intercession of Saint Thomas More. I am most grateful to them both.
There is a special significance to this development. Readers may recall our most recent pursuit of justice before a U.S. court. The outcome was described by Catholic writer, Ryan MacDonald in “A Grievous Error in Judge Joseph Laplante’s Court.” It’s worth a short visit to scroll to the last segment of that post to see the great irony of Saint Thomas More’s presence in this story.
CATHOLIC SCANDAL & THE RULE OF LAW
I cannot help but ponder, today, how Saint Thomas More might weigh the state of justice and civil liberties on the Western Pacific Island of Guam, the southernmost of the Mariana Islands. For those unfamiliar with the territory, the Marianas were visited by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 and later colonized by Spain. The island chain was named for Maria Anna, widow of Philip II, King of Spain from 1556 to 1598.
In 1898, at the end of the Spanish-American War, Guam was ceded to the United States. The Japanese captured the island in December of 1941, but it was retaken by American forces in the summer of 1944. In 1950, U.S. citizenship was conferred upon the people of Guam which remains a self-governed U.S. territory.
Following a trend of reactionary legislative controversies across the United States in the wake of Catholic scandal during the last two decades, the legislature and governor of Guam last year passed and signed into law “Public Law 33-187.” The law opened a window to extend civil statutes of limitations in sex abuse claims against institutions such as the Catholic Church.
Saint Thomas More, a lawyer, legislator, and statesman, would likely deem Public Law 33-187 to be contemptible in the arena of human rights and civil liberties. The misguided law opens a retroactive door for lawsuits and other claims for compensation years or decades after existing statutes of limitation have expired. It provides for no standard of justice to separate the real from the contrived.
Like the bishops of virtually every American Catholic diocese where such an unjust law was considered, the Guam version was opposed by the Archdiocese of Agana, Guam. It was opposed because it also opens a window to fraud. Most mainland USA legislatures that considered such a law ultimately rejected it as biased and unjust.
I wrote the truth, from my own experience, about why such laws are an affront to truth and justice. In “Due Process for Accused Priests,” a 2009 article in Catalyst: the Journal of the Catholic League for Religious & Civil Rights, I described how some states were duped by nefarious agendas into considering “window legislation” similar to what has been passed in Guam.
THE FACTS, THE FRAUD, THE STORIES
Those agendas are the fuel that has kept the Catholic scandal in the United States going and growing. Leaders of SNAP – the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests – used the story of Catholic scandal to promote their own interests and line their own pockets. This latest offshoot of the Catholic scandal is the most recent to be exposed, as it was recently in these pages in “David Clohessy Resigns SNAP in Alleged Kickback Scheme.”
There is layer upon layer in the Catholic scandal as it emerges anew in Guam, and the various layers appear to be a blueprint drafted from what has happened across America. First, there is the layer of the cold hard fact that a guarantee of a financial windfall is the end result of virtually every claim.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that there are some in our midst who would sell their souls for money. After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the Twin Towers in New York, a Commission had to be set up to investigate the rampant fraud attempts of those who claimed to lose loved ones who were not even there.
After the infamous BP oil rig explosion and its environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, BP had to set up its own fraud commission to deal with a vast number of fraudulent claims for money. BP took out full-page ads in The Wall Street Journal to describe the multitude of fraud attempts aimed in its direction.
There were two waves in the Catholic clergy sexual abuse story. The first wave came in the 1980s when victims and their parents came forward with grave concerns about the behaviors of a very small percentage of priests. In far too many of these cases, bishops failed to use canon law effectively to deal with those situations and instead were too caught up in warding off public scandal. These cases deserved to be compensated and were.
The second wave was a tsunami of far older claims. In 2002 The Boston Globe set in motion a classic New England witch hunt that spread its moral panic. The sheer volume and tone of the public face of the scandal eroded civil liberties for all priests.
The civil liberty of a presumption of innocence was eliminated, and the floodgates were opened for false claims, most of which were many years or decades old and for which no evidence exists.
Of the total claims against priests in the United States, a full 70-percent fall into this second category. They reaped in excess of three billion dollars in uninvestigated, unquestioned abuse settlements. In each case, the accused priests – both the guilty and innocent alike – are ruined, permanently barred from any ministry. Noted Boston Civil Rights attorney Harvey Silverglate described the feeding frenzy in his 2002 article, “Fleecing the Shepherds”:
“There is good reason to doubt the veracity of these newer claims, many of which were brought only when it became known that the [Catholic] Church would settle for big bucks.”
Recent revelations about lawsuits against David Clohessy and the organizers of S.N.A.P. allege a partnership with personal injury lawyers and the manipulation of a scandal-hungry media. I wrote of this phenomenon in “How SNAP Brought McCarthyism to American Catholics.”
By no means does this imply that all claims are false. It means that those most offended and harmed by false claims are, not only the priests and dioceses that are the targets of fraud, but also the legitimate victims of abuse whose suffering becomes tainted, suspected and cheapened when the floodgates are opened to invite false claims. Opposing fraud is part of the sacred trust owed to real victims of abuse.
THE EIGHTH COMMANDMENT IS AT THE HEART OF JUSTICE
David F. Pierre chronicles many such accounts in his landmark book, Catholic Priests Falsely Accused: The Facts, the Fraud, the Stories. It exposes one chilling tale after another of priests whose careers and reputations were ruined by false claims of abuse (including, for full disclosure, a chapter about claims against me).
Before the law was passed in Guam, the Archbishop of Agana was himself accused of abuse dating back many years. Cardinal Raymond Burke was sent by the Vatican to investigate the case, but reportedly some of the accusers have declined to answer any questions while waiting for the Church’s ATM to open.
One brave Catholic blogger in Guam has taken up the necessary discussion that the mainstream news media refuses to have. Armed with the journalistic skepticism that was once the hallmark of the American press, “Diana,” on her blog, the Neocatechumenal Way – An Insider’s View, has almost single-handedly brought sanity and truth to the moral panic as it now emerges anew in Guam.
Diana deserves to have her voice heard and shared. Ironically, one of her most-cited sources has been the writings at These Stone Walls, and especially two that she posted on May 4, 2017, under the titles, “The Injustice Against Father Gordon MacRae,” and “Civil Liberties of the Priests.” When these were printed and sent to me, I was so very proud to see comments posted on them by some of the readers of These Stone Walls.
I also noticed that most of the local comments were posted anonymously. The reason, I am told, is that the various agendas behind this story have as much to do with quarrels over property and finances than with child protection policies. Commenters fear public ridicule or retaliation for posting their opinions.
In such struggles – and Guam has been no exception – great polarization takes place. The result may well be a local sex abuse scandal that has become just one more weapon in the arsenal of hidden agendas and scurrilous motives.
The sole entity for whom none of the secret agendas remains hidden is God Himself. He notes every keystroke written by accusers and defenders alike and knows also the state of the hearts and souls behind them.
This is not a new story. The Eighth Commandment, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor,” (Exodus 20:16) also commands certain elements in the law that must remain intact for the Commandment to remain God’s Law. One of these elements is that hearsay, rumor, and innuendo are simply not good enough to bring a charge – not even for God.
Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz in The Genesis of Justice (Warner Books, 2000) describes the origin of the Eighth Commandment as being a false accusation of sexual abuse brought against Joseph by Potiphar’s wife (Genesis 39:6-20):
“The Commandment, ‘Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor’ derives directly from Potiphar’s wife bearing false witness against Joseph…. [The] desperate question – ‘How can we clear ourselves?’ – is answered by this prohibition and the subsequent procedural safeguards that rest on this Commandment.” (The Genesis of Justice, p. 250)
When false witness results in profit, God’s law reveals it as the vilest of betrayals of the law. Jezebel did “what is evil in the sight of God” when she obtained profit from false witness against Ahab (1 Kings 21: 8-14). The law requires that:
“A single witness shall not prevail against any man for any crime or any wrong. Only on the evidence of two witness or three witnesses shall a charge be sustained.” (Deuteronomy 19:15-21)
As for Guam’s embrace of Public Law 33-187 and any potential for its role in violations of the Eighth Commandment:
“There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.” (Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de Nontesquieu, 1742)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Regarding Ownership Of RMS

Image result for Redemptoris Mater Seminary, Guam

According to the Guam Daily Post, CCOG is calling for the removal of five priests:  Monsignor David C. Quitugua, former vicar general; Father Adrian Cristobal, former chancellor; Father Alberto Rodriguez Salamanca, former vice chancellor; Father Edivaldo da Silva Oleveira, former spokeman and aide to Archbishop Apuron; and Deacon Frank Tenoria, who supported Archbishop Apuron.  

According to the Guam Daily Post: 
Sablan accused Quitugua of being responsible for the confusion surrounding the former Hotel Accion, now Redemptoris Mater Seminary, in Yona, and the misleading publication of a false certificate of title of the Yona property to "mislead the Catholics in Guam by trying to fool them into believing the Yona property was still part of the assets of the Archbishop of Agana, Corporation Sole." 
The reason CCOG wants them removed makes no sense.  You do not remove someone simply because they are walking in the Way.  That is discrimination. You also do not remove someone simply because they are obedient to the Archbishop.  They made a vow of obedience to the Archbishop of Agana; therefore, they did nothing wrong.  

In all fairness to Monsignor David Quitugua, he told the truth when he said that the Yona property on which the seminary stands belongs to the Archdiocese of Agana. The Archdiocese had always been saying that the seminary is under the Archdiocese of Agana.  They never changed their story.  The confusion was brought about by Tim Rohr, CCOG, and LFM who insisted that the seminary did NOT belong to the Archdiocese.  Here are the facts:  
  1. An ownership and encumbrance report was completed in 2014 by Pacific American Title, which confirms that the lots on which the seminary sits, identifies the owner as the Archbishop of Agana.  Therefore, contrary to rumors, the title deed has always remained in the hands of the Archdiocese [1]. 
  2. The law firm of Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP in Denver, Colorado, who is the most prominent firm specialized in establishing corporations sole in many Catholic dioceses in the U.S. and in civil-religious issues related to corporation soles, was asked a legal opinion on the Archbishop's powers, as sole member of the seminary [2].  The opinion concluded the following:  

    (a) Regarding the relationship between the Archbishop and the Board of Guarantors: "The corporate governance structure of Redemptoris Mater shows...that the Archbishop of Agana retains substantial authority over Redemptoris Mater, as the Archbishop is the sole member of the entity under civil incorporation laws, presides over the governing boads, has the power to appoint the governing boards, the power to amend the civil governing documents and is the Ordinary under canon law with specific authority over the entity as prescribed in the Canonical Statutes and under canon law."  

    (b) Regarding the designation of the title deed for use by the Seminary and the Theological Institute: "The authority of the Archbishop over the entity, particularly with respect to the administration of real property, is a fundamental aspect of the canon law relationship between the Archbishop and Redemptoris Mater.  The method used by the Archbishop under civil law of conveying beneficial use of the Property to Redemptoris Mater while retaining legal title to the Property within the Archdiocese of Agana is consistent with canon law prescribed structures; is consistent with civil law methods widely used by numerous Catholic dioceses in the United States both historically and currently; and is a necessary civil law structure to reflect and enforce the Archbishop's powers of jurisdiction over Redemptoris Mater under the Code of Canon Law.  Absent the express approval of the Archbishop of Agana, neither Redemptoris Mater nor any governing board or other person affiliated with such entity has the civil power or authority to cause the transfer or sale of the property." 
  3. The Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, which his the highest authority in the Catholic Church for interpreting the laws of the Church, was asked to provide a ruling on the land, building and title of the present Redemptoris Mater Seminary.  

    The Pontifical Council concluded that there was no alienation of the property even if the Archbishop transferred the title of the property to the RMS Corporation because "based on what has been said, it seems...devoid of truth to speak of sale or alienation of a diocesan patrimony in this context...it is also clear that the present assignment of this patrimony to the Seminary does not make it a real" alienation because the owner remains the same, namely the diocese or the Archbishop." [3]  
     
  4. The Department of Land Management issued certificate of titles showing that the Yona property and seminary belongs to the Archdiocese of Agana. 
  5. Archbishop Hon also declared that the seminary belonged to the Archdiocese of Agana.  According to KUAM news: "The Archdiocese of Agana owns that property. No doubt of it. And then there's a certain ambiguity who has the right to use it. And on this matter, I'm going to have a review of it," said Archbishop Hon during an interview on KUAM........
  6. In an interview on the Patti Arroyo talk show, Professor Gennarini stated that the Seminary belongs to the Archdiocese of Agana.
  7. Father Pius Sammut, former rector of the RM Seminary, stated that the Seminary belongs to the Archdiocese of Agana and only the Archbishop or his successor can lift the deed restriction.  According to the Pacific Daily News:  The Rev. Pius Sammut, rector of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona, said the sole owner of the Yona property is the Archdiocese of Agana. Sammut said the archbishop who currently oversees the local archdiocese, Savio Hon Tai Fai, has said this repeatedly........“The only one who can lift the deed of restriction is the ordained Archbishop of Agana, Mons. Apuron or, eventually, his successor,” Sammut told Pacific Daily News.
The fact that Archbishop Byrnes (the successor of Archbishop Apuron) was able to rescind the deed restriction is PROOF that the Seminary had always been under the Archdiocese of Agana. All these facts above were made public to the people of Guam.  

One would think that the jungle would actually be happy to hear that the Yona property on which the seminary sits belongs to the Archdiocese of Agana. What is absolutely shocking is learning that they were not at all relieved to hear that news. Instead of being relieved, they labeled Monsignor David and the Archdiocese a liar.  One would think they would be relieved to see the certificate of titles showing the Archbishop of Agana as the owner of the property.  But instead, they demanded that the title be changed, showing RMS as the owner instead of the Archbishop of Agana.  According to KUAM news:
Terlaje says there was a mistake on the 2015 title. There was no memorial, which is to restrict use of the property. She says the archbishop has corrected that. She added, "I want it to be a theological institute, and in this theological institute what the people of Guam will receive are priests, catholic priests who will continue to serve our island, and that's exactly what he did. He put a use restriction on the land itself. It never changed the ownership of the property."
But concerned Catholic Bob Klitzkie, an attorney and former senator, says the certificate of title was not updated to reflect the current true owner, because the most recent entry shows the property was transferred.  

Monday, June 19, 2017

Faith In The Future

Joseph Ratzinger, Faith in the Future (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2006) 114-118.

This passage is from a Radio programme that Fr. Ratzinger did in December 1969:

            “The future of the Church can and will issue from those whose roots are deep and who live from the pure fullness of their faith. It will not issue from those who accommodate themselves merely to the passing moment or from those who merely criticize others and assume that they themselves are infallible measuring rods; nor will it issue from those who take the easier road, who sidestep the passion of faith, declaring false and obsolete, tyrannous and legalistic, all that makes demands upon men, that hurts them and compels them to sacrifice themselves.

            To put this more positively: The future of the Church, once again as always, will be reshaped by saints, by men, that is, whose minds probe deeper than the slogans of the day, who see more than others see, because their lives embrace a wider reality. Unselfishness, which makes men free, is attained only through the patience of small daily acts of self-denial. By this daily passion, which alone reveals to a man in how many ways he is enslaved by his own ego, by this daily passion and by it alone, a man’s eyes are slowly opened. He sees only to the extent that he has lived and suffered. If today we are scarcely able any longer to become aware of God, that is because we find it so easy to evade ourselves, to flee from the depths of our being by means of the narcotic of some pleasure or other. Thus our own interior depths remain closed to us. If it is true that a man can see only with his heart, then how blind we are!

            How does all this affect the problem we are examining? It means that the big talk of those who prophesy a Church without God and without faith is all empty chatter. We have no need of a Church that celebrates the cult of action in political prayers. It is utterly superfluous. Therefore, it will destroy itself. What will remain is the Church of Jesus Christ, the Church that believes in the God who has become man and promises us life beyond death. The kind of priest who is no more than a social worker can be replaced by the psychotherapist and other specialists; but the priest who is no specialist, who does not stand on the [sidelines], watching the game, giving official advice, but in the name of God places himself at the disposal of man, who is beside them in their sorrows, in their joys, in their hope and in their fear, such a priest will certainly be needed in the future.

            Let us go a step farther. From the crisis of today the Church of tomorrow will emerge — a Church that has lost much. She will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes, so it will lose many of her social privileges. In contrast to an earlier age, it will be seen much more as a voluntary society, entered only by free decision. As a small society, it will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members. Undoubtedly it will discover new forms of ministry and will ordain to the priesthood approved Christians who pursue some profession. In many smaller congregations or in self-contained social groups, pastoral care will normally be provided in this fashion. Along-side this, the full-time ministry of the priesthood will be indispensable as formerly. But in all of the changes at which one might guess, the Church will find her essence afresh and with full conviction in that which was always at her center: faith in the triune God, in Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man, in the presence of the Spirit until the end of the world. In faith and prayer she will again recognize the sacraments as the worship of God and not as a subject for liturgical scholarship.

            The Church will be a more spiritual Church, not presuming upon a political mandate, flirting as little with the Left as with the Right. It will be hard going for the Church, for the process of crystallization and clarification will cost her much valuable energy. It will make her poor and cause her to become the Church of the meek. The process will be all the more arduous, for sectarian narrow-mindedness as well as pompous self-will will have to be shed. One may predict that all of this will take time. The process will be long and wearisome as was the road from the false progressivism on the eve of the French Revolution — when a bishop might be thought smart if he made fun of dogmas and even insinuated that the existence of God was by no means certain — to the renewal of the nineteenth century.

            But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret.

            And so it seems certain to me that the Church is facing very hard times. The real crisis has scarcely begun. We will have to count on terrific upheavals. But I am equally certain about what will remain at the end: not the Church of the political cult, which is dead already, but the Church of faith. It may well no longer be the dominant social power to the extent that she was until recently; but it will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man’s home, where he will find life and hope beyond death.”


Image result for Pope Benedict XVI


Friday, June 16, 2017

Transmission of Faith

Archbishop Apuron had always spoken out against abortion, casino gambling, and same sex marriage.  He was aware that many Catholics were falling away from the Church as they were tempted into the secular world.  This was not only happening only in Guam, but in the rest of the Christian world.  The Neocatechumenal Way was brought in by Archbishop Apuron to help Catholic families in Guam.  Below is a video of how the Way transmit the Catholic faith in the family through morning prayers and the communities.  



Thursday, June 15, 2017

Why Investigations Are Needed

There are always two sides to every story.  On one side is the alleged victims while on the other side is the accused.  In a democratic society, the accused is always presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Although our justice system is not perfect, the principle that the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law is sound and righteous.  It follows a sound rule of law.  Determining the truth is what matters.  

Investigations should be conducted to determine the truth.  Our Constitution was designed to protect the due process of the accused and investigations are conducted to determine the truth.  That is the principle that every democratic country adheres to.  Why?  Because the possibility exists that the accused may be innocent. According to the National Catholic Register (the bold is mine):
In a 10-page declaration submitted to the Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2010, Los Angeles attorney Donald Steier said his own investigations had revealed that many claims of clerical sexual abuse were completely false. 
According to a Newsbusters report, Steier, who had worked on more than 100 cases involving Catholic clergy in Los Angeles, told of a retired FBI agent who estimated about half of the claims made in clergy cases he investigated were either false or so greatly exaggerated that the truth would not have supported prosecution for child sexual abuse.
Steier also alleged in his declaration that the advocacy organization SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests) makes available so much detailed information about alleged perpetrators and their methods that such reports, in effect, provide a “blueprint” for anyone who wants to make a false claim of sexual abuse against a priest. 

It is already on record that Tim Rohr and the Junglewatch Nation were working together with this same advocacy organization SNAP. This organization has a "blueprint" describing sex abuse in detail for anyone who wants to make a false claim against a priest.  And SNAP is currently going through a lawsuit for taking kickbacks.  Since the last four years, Archbishop Apuron was the subject of a non-stop crusade organized by a group of Catholics who TOGETHER with SNAP worked to remove him as Archbishop of Agana. 

Tim Rohr admitted that he was the one who chose David Lujan to represent the alleged victims.  According to Tim Rohr:
I had already arranged for Apuron's victims to come forward and even found them legal protection.  
Below is a screenshot of that statement: 



As anyone can see, these alleged victims did not come out of their own accord. As a matter of fact, the sex abuse ads published in the newspapers did not even have any influence on convincing these alleged victims to come out.  Why? Because these alleged victims already met together with Tim Rohr long before those sex ads were published in the PDN on May, 2016.  These alleged victims came forward surrounded with the media, their lawyer, and their family and friends.  All of them had their written testimonies ready to be read to the media.

   
The question then should be asked.......why publish a sex abuse ad in the first place?  What was the purpose of publishing the sex abuse ad targeting the Archbishop when Rohr already had the alleged victims arranged to come forward just as he claimed in his blog?      

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Food For Thought

The following came from part of Pope Francis homily in the Easter Vigil on April 15, 2017.  You can read the entire homily here.

 "That is what this night calls us to proclaim: the heartbeat of the Risen Lord. Christ is alive! That is what quickened the pace of Mary Magdalene and the other Mary. That is what made them return in haste to tell the news (Mt 28:8). That is what made them lay aside their mournful gait and sad looks. They returned to the city to meet up with the others.

  Now that, like the two women, we have visited the tomb, I ask you to go back with them to the city. Let us all retrace our steps and change the look on our faces. Let us go back with them to tell the news… In all those places where the grave seems to have the final word, where death seems the only way out. Let us go back to proclaim, to share, to reveal that it is true: the Lord is alive! He is living and he wants to rise again in all those faces that have buried hope, buried dreams, buried dignity. If we cannot let the Spirit lead us on this road, then we are not Christians.

  Let us go, then. Let us allow ourselves to be surprised by this new dawn and by the newness that Christ alone can give. May we allow his tenderness and his love to guide our steps. May we allow the beating of his heart to quicken our faintness of heart."

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Cross Leads To Salvation

I would like to address a comment that an anonymous poster wrote under the From The Catechism post.  According to the anonymous poster:
Killing Jesus was an offense to God. Both physically and spiritually. An irredeemable sin. The crucifixion of our Lord is the scandal of the whole universe!
First of all, Christ was put to death in the body, not the spirit. The spirit or soul is immortal.  On the third day, Christ was resurrected from the dead.

Secondly, persecuting and killing an innocent man is certainly a sin and highly offensive to God. There is no doubt about that.  Nevertheless, something good came out of Christ's death......the forgiveness of sins and mankind's redemption.  Only God has the power to bring about something good from the consequences of evil acts.  According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church: 

312  In time we can discover that God in his almighty providence can bring a good from the consequences of an evil, even a moral evil, caused by his creatures: "It was not you", said Joseph to his brothers, "who sent me here, but God. . . You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive."178 From the greatest moral evil ever committed - the rejection and murder of God's only Son, caused by the sins of all men - God, by his grace that "abounded all the more",179 brought the greatest of goods: the glorification of Christ and our redemption. But for all that, evil never becomes a good. 

God allows bad things to happen because He respects the free will of all His creatures.  And God allowed these things to happen for a reason.  Even the persecution of Christ brought together two enemies and reconciled them into friends.  

Luke 23:11-12 Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him.  Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. That day Herod and Pilate became friends - before this they had been enemies. 

Imagine that!  The persecution of an innocent man (Jesus Christ) brought about the reconciliation of two enemies.  So, brothers....courage!  God allowed this persecution to happen for a reason.  As a matter of fact, the persecution of Archbishop Apuron brought about the reconciliation of two of the Archbishop's accusers: Doris Concepcion and her son Champ Quinata. According to news report:
For several years, Concepcion had been estranged from her other son, Champ. The mother said she had been trying to reach out to him for years.
Champ Quinata, for his part, said he kept his brother's secret for nearly 40 years and it affected him in a lot of ways. He stayed away from his mother and his whole family.
When Champ found out in 2016 that his brother, almost on his deathbed, also told their mother about Apuron, that's when Champ and his mother got reconnected.

636311071885962735-Archbishop-Byrnes-with-accusers.jpegImagine that!  Just as the persecution of Jesus reconciled two enemies, so the persecution of Archbishop Apuron reconciled a mother and a son. God loves all people, and we will continue to pray for Archbishop Apuron and for our persecutors.    

This persecution comes to help us all.  It brings us closer to Jesus Christ.  We become one with Him in His suffering.  Jesus suffered from temptation, rejection, scorn, ridicule, insults, betrayal, sorrow, unrest, unjust imprisonment, and persecution.  

However, Jesus healed and raised people from the dead to show that suffering and death will not have the last word, so much so that St. Paul will one day say, “Death is swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55).  So, let us take up our cross and follow Christ, who conquered death and suffering.  

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Apuron, Running Away?

Some people believed that Archbishop Apuron ran away.  This information came from Tim Rohr.  This is false.  These are the facts.

On May 13, 2016 Archbishop Apuron responded to a sex abuse ad that was placed in the newspapers by Tim Rohr and CCOG.  The media release is found here.  According to the media release (the bold and underline is mine): 
After keeping silent for a long time, since those who are orchestrating this campaign are inducing people into scandal, confusion and grave errors with the malicious intent to injure the archbishop, the church in Guam and many other people have been insulted and harassed, the Archdiocese of Agana is in the process of taking canonical measures with the Sacra Rota - the competent canonical tribunal - and filing civil lawsuit against those perpetrating these malicious lies."
It was on May 13, 2016 that Archbishop Apuron has stated that he will be seeking a canonical tribunal. This media release came BEFORE Roy Quintanilla went public.  It was a response to those responsible for the sex abuse ad published in the PDN. Thus, he had already informed the people of Guam his intention before he left to Rome. He never ran away.  He went to Rome with the intention of pursuing a canonical tribunal just as he said in the media release.   

Tim Rohr, on the other hand, did not believe there was a canonical trial; therefore, he accused the Archbishop of running away. This accusation was made without any substantial evidence.  Rohr made the following comments in his blog (the bold is mine):
He's in the area. I have "hard copy" evidence. He's not in Rome defending himself at his canonical trial because there's isn't one.
 TimDecember 6, 2016 at 3:20 PM
If we hated Tony, we would have signs that say GO TO HELL, APURON. Apuron is a public person by virtue of his office. He abused that office to amuse and satisfy himself. "Defrock" is short hand for "Remove him from office," the office of the priesthood which he has soiled and stained.  
BTW, Apuron is NOT undergoing a canonical trial for sex abuse. That's they myth they want us to believe. His "trial" is more about the 30 year thick file in the Vatican on him that existed long before the sex abuse stuff showed up.  
Apuron's trial for sex abuse will be played out in Guam courts.

It was Archbishop Apuron who went to Rome, requesting for a canonical trial. The alleged victims never asked Rome for a canonical trial. Rather, they pursued the passage of a bill that would allow them to bring a lawsuit against the Archbishop and the Archdiocese for 5 million dollars.  An anonymous poster also explained it very nicely (spacing is mine): 
AnonymousJune 10, 2017 at 12:07 AM 
Dear Anon @ 2:48 pm 
A canonical trial is the very definition of facing those who are accusing you. Being accused of sexual abuse is a very serious matter. So serious that even when cleared innocent people have a tendency to keep believing that the accused is guilty. Because it is considered such a heinous and public crime, and it is a defamation of character. Apuron did the correct and wise thing. He sought council, he fought those who he believes to be falsely accusing him and he sought the help of a 3rd NON PARTISAN party. The Catholic Church through a canonical trial. This is the very definition of facing your accusers. (A guilty person would not seek help from the Catholic Church or a trial he would disappear. form the face of the earth) 
Also you should read the bible. Christ always fights back with the truth. He turns over the tables at the temple. He constantly denounces the pharisees as liars and he calls them race of vipers. He constantly calls them hypocrites and makes them look foolish. When the pharisees try to defame him and say he has a demon inside he tells the the pharisees they worship their father the devil. 
It is only after all these efforts of speaking the truth, when the pharisees will not convert and have decided to remain in their sin and kill Christ, that Christ surrenders and allows them to kill him while at the same time asking his father to forgive their faults. 
So Apuron is definitely following in the footsteps of Christ and must fight against what he believes to be falsehoods until it is time for him (Apuron) to be a Martyr. Presuming he is innocent. 
Apuron believes that there is a plot against him by a large collective group of people with power and money. If this happens to be true, then facing that collective group and allowing them to have their way with him would only hurt him, the Catholic Church (as it is already doing), and many many faithful. 
So NO, Apuron is not running away, he is fighting the correct way. He is fighting the way you should fight against organized malicious intent. Malicious intent which is obvious by the way the jungle does not make allegations but condemns Apuron as if accusations where automatically and infallibly true and honest. Organized malicious intent made obvious by the relations between accusers, victims, Rohr, the Jungle, CCOG, lawyers, Snap the list goes on. Conflicts of interest shown between Rohr's Real-estate business and his relations to the Yona property, Seminary and his more than obvious hate towards the NCW. Even their involvement and strong presence of putting out the unconstitutional law lifting statutes of limitations. Allowing them to sue the Catholic Church not the individual for millions.(Coincidence? You be the judge) 
What is hilarious is that after all these FACTs (not ethereal ideas and accusations) they still claim to be fighting for justice and victims and people believe them. 

Friday, June 9, 2017

From The Catechism

It is sad to see that there are some Catholics who have expressed anti-semitic remarks against the Jewish people whom the Catholic Church have established good relations with through the Neocatechumenal Way.  There is much debate as to who is responsible for Jesus' death, and some have blamed the Jewish people for it.  This goes against what the Catholic Church teaches.  Apparently, some Catholics are unaware of the teachings of the Catholic Church.  This is the teaching of the Church and the end of the debate as to who is responsible for Jesus' death. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:  
Jews are not collectively responsible for Jesus' death
597 The historical complexity of Jesus' trial is apparent in the Gospel accounts. The personal sin of the participants (Judas, the Sanhedrin, Pilate) is known to God alone. Hence we cannot lay responsibility for the trial on the Jews in Jerusalem as a whole, despite the outcry of a manipulated crowd and the global reproaches contained in the apostles' calls to conversion after Pentecost.385 Jesus himself, in forgiving them on the cross, and Peter in following suit, both accept "the ignorance" of the Jews of Jerusalem and even of their leaders.386Still less can we extend responsibility to other Jews of different times and places, based merely on the crowd's cry: "His blood be on us and on our children!", a formula for ratifying a judicial sentence.387 As the Church declared at the Second Vatican Council:
. . . [N]either all Jews indiscriminately at that time, nor Jews today, can be charged with the crimes committed during his Passion. . . [T]he Jews should not be spoken of as rejected or accursed as if this followed from holy Scripture.388
All sinners were the authors of Christ's Passion
598 In her Magisterial teaching of the faith and in the witness of her saints, the Church has never forgotten that "sinners were the authors and the ministers of all the sufferings that the divine Redeemer endured."389 Taking into account the fact that our sins affect Christ himself,390 the Church does not hesitate to impute to Christians the gravest responsibility for the torments inflicted upon Jesus, a responsibility with which they have all too often burdened the Jews alone:
We must regard as guilty all those who continue to relapse into their sins. Since our sins made the Lord Christ suffer the torment of the cross, those who plunge themselves into disorders and crimes crucify the Son of God anew in their hearts (for he is in them) and hold him up to contempt. And it can be seen that our crime in this case is greater in us than in the Jews. As for them, according to the witness of the Apostle, "None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." We, however, profess to know him. And when we deny him by our deeds, we in some way seem to lay violent hands on him.391Nor did demons crucify him; it is you who have crucified him and crucify him still, when you delight in your vices and sins.392

Be not afraid

Fortitude is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is having the mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, and danger.  Courage brothers. Christ, our brother, never said that we would not suffer.  He said that we would be persecuted just as He was persecuted (John 15:20).  All manner of malicious lies have been told about the NCW and its founder. This is a white persecution we are facing.  

However, rejoice and be glad!  This persecution and suffering brings us closer to Christ. This persecution is our opportunity of bringing us closer to holiness.  The NCW already has its first martyr, Benedict Daswa, in South Africa. He was murdered because of his faith. Our suffering is being taken up by our brother and Lord Jesus Christ who always walks before and beside us.  So, rejoice and be glad.  Continue to pray for those who persecute us.  Pray for them and forgive them.  

Remember the Apostles who were once fearful men.  With the gifts of the Holy Spirit, they were able to face adversity and all kinds of persecution.  They were able to go to their deaths, singing with joy.  With God's grace, they were able to love their persecutors.  We pray and ask God for this same grace.  So remain strong and steadfast in faith brothers.    



Thursday, June 8, 2017

Evangelization

Today, the churches sit mostly empty except on Christmas, Easter, and during the village fiesta.  This is not happening only on Guam, but everywhere. Asia and Africa are the only two continents where one sees a rise in Catholicism. Europe has shown a sharp decline.  While many Catholics stayed at home or joined other Christian denominations, very little was being done to entice or encourage them back to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. 

Christ entrusted all of us with the mission to go out and spread the Gospel to the ends of the world.  This mission is not given to the priests and bishops alone.  The Charismatic Catholic Renewal is making much headway in Latin America in bringing fallen away Catholics back to the Church.  According to one report:
In the last century, Pew reports, the percentage of the world's Catholics in Latin America and the Caribbean has risen from 24 percent to 39 percent, with an estimated 425 million of the world's nearly 1.1 billion Catholics residing in the region in 2010. 
And part of that Catholic growth in recent decades has come from the rise of Catholic charismatic groups, which from their origins in the late 1960s now attract an estimated more than 70 million followers in Latin America, according to scholars such as Jakob Thorsen of Aarhus University in Denmark. 
 And those followers, unlike many nominal Catholics on the continent are active and committed.
The Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement has led to an internal revival that has seen Mass attendance rise and some of new converts “or reconverts,” Catholics returning to their faith, according to religion scholar Carlos Frederico Barboza de Souza of the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais. 
Like the Charismatic Catholic Renewal, the Neocatechumenal Way have also brought people back to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Worldwide, the NCW consist of some former atheists, fallen away Catholics, and non-Catholics. The goal of the NCW is to bring people closer to Jesus Christ in which they come to know Him intimately. 

Christ is the mediator between God and His Church.  And His Church is the mediator between Christ and the rest of humanity.  In other words, it is the duty of the Church to bring all humanity to Christ.  This is not the duty of the bishops and priests alone.  Thus, the NCW has mission families, itinerants, and mission communities traveling in small groups and in two by twos.  As shown in the photo below, sometimes the priest evangelizes with the laity.     

To evangelize means to go out of the church building.  The message of Pope Francis to the Church:
“But in order to evangelize: ‘Get up and go!’ One doesn’t say: ‘Stay seated, calm, in your house’: No! In order to be faithful to the Lord, the Church should always be on its feet and on the journey: ‘Get up and go.’ A Church that does not rise up, that is not on the journey, is sick.” 
“All men, all women have a restlessness in their hearts – [they may be] good or bad, but there is a restlessness. Listen to that restlessness. It’s not saying: ‘Go out and proselytise.’ No, no! ‘Go and listen.’ Listening is the second step. The first: ‘Get up and go’; the second: ‘Listen.’ That ability to listen: What do people feel? What does the heart of the people feel? What does it think? But do they think mistaken things? But I want to hear these mistaken things, in order to understand where the restlessness is. We all have this restlessness within. The second step for the Church is to find the restlessness of the people.” 
This message is not only to the laity, but to the priests and bishops as well.  Unfortunately, some priests prefer the comforts of their home inside the church building, waiting for the lost sheep to come to them, while others take to the Internet and social media to evangelize.  While technology has its good usage, this is not the proper way to evangelize.  Face to face human contact is the only way for the second step to take place. The second step is to listen to the people. You cannot know the restlessness within the people unless you meet with them. 

Related image 
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