Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Lying, Scheming Altar Boy on the Cover of Newsweek

The following article was written by Father Gordon MacRae, which can be found here. A Newsweek cover story by Ralph Cipriano exposed how a Catholic sex abuse fraud turned Father Charles Engelhardt into a martyr, and Daniel Gallagher into a millionaire. The Newsweek story of the cover magazine can be found here.  

We continue to pray for truth and justice to prevail. 


The Lying, Scheming Altar Boy on the Cover of Newsweek

The Lying, Scheming Altar Boy on the Cover of Newsweek
A Newsweek cover story by Ralph Cipriano exposed how a Catholic sex abuse fraud turned Fr Charles Engelhardt into a martyr, and Daniel Gallagher into a millionaire.
This post has a most urgent preface, one that arrived in the mail just as I sat down to type. It was a single page sent to me by TSW reader Helen, a frequent commenter from Pennsylvania who wrote across the top of the page, “Father Gordon, your face could be on this print.” No, Helen, it could not! The face on that printed page is someone I once met at a pivotal time in my life as a priest, but the sender could not have known that. Helen simply stumbled upon a quote she thought I ought to see, and she was right. The face and the quote on that page belong to the late Father John Hardon (1914 – 2000), an American Jesuit priest whose cause for beatification has begun with a recognition in Rome that he is held to be a Servant of God.
Father Hardon and I met in 1989 by “coincidence,” if you still believe in such things. I don’t, but how and why we met is another post for another day. Suffice it for now to say that it was an encounter I could not forget, and when I saw his face on that printed page, and read the words attributed to him, it seemed as though he once again stood next to me with a firm grip upon my shoulder. The quote expresses perfectly why I must write this post, why you must read it, and why together we must share it boldly, and as far and wide as we can make it travel. I took Father Hardon’s words to be a directive, and so should you. Here is the quote:
“Our duty as Catholics is to know the truth; to live the truth; to defend the truth; to share the truth with others; and to suffer for the truth.” (Father John Hardon).
A few weeks ago when I wrote my post, “American Crime Story,” it included a small piece of irony toward the end when I revealed why I felt so compelled to write it:
“How could I NOT? Maybe someone else in the media will catch the example of the likes of Marcia Clark and Dorothy Rabinowitz and grow a spinal column.”
It seems I had omitted someone from the “media spinal column” category, and that someone is journalist Ralph Cipriano. For some time now, he has been covering events in Philadelphia for, his outstanding Philadelphia Trial Blog. A few weeks ago, Mr. Cipriano published a major media event in a Newsweek cover story entitled “Catholic Guilt? The Lying, Scheming Altar Boy Behind a Lurid Rape Case” (Jan. 20, 2016).
This is a dark story, and a painful one, and for any number of reasons you might be tempted to click it away at this point, but that would be a big mistake, for it became a matter not only of justice, but of life and death. Ralph Cipriano’s Newsweek article arrived in the prison mail on the same day as the above quote from Servant of God, Father John Hardon, and I knew instantly that I had to write about this.
Reading through the Newsweek piece was a vivid experience of deja vu because I have written of this story before – just over a year ago – in a post entitled, “A Rolling Stone Gathers No Facts, Just Dirt.” It was an account of how a good, kind and much loved priest, Father Charles Engelhardt, was martyred in prison as a result of greed and false witness. It is this same story that Ralph Cipriano just covered in Newsweek, and both are to be commended for some courageous against-the-tide reporting. The Church and priesthood are indebted to Newsweek for presenting this story so boldly in a leading secular media venue while so much of the Catholic press crossed to the other side on the road to Jericho.
Father Charles Engelhardt died while chained to a bed in a prison medical unit late in 2014, and the full telling of this story is all that will bring meaning and purpose to his death.
So be brave, please, and read this post to the end, then share it every way you can. Do this, please, to honor the Servant of God who just told us that our duty as Catholics is to know, defend, and share the truth. Do this, please, to honor Father Charles Engelhardt who suffered for the truth and for his priesthood, a suffering that cost him his life.
In fact, I have written of the various facets of this story several times. The first was “Trophy Justice: The Philadelphia Msgr William Lynn Case,” and more recently in “Mercy Frees Roman Polanski. Justice Frees Monsignor Lynn.” I’d like to think that I approached both articles as Ralph Cipriano did, with cool journalistic detachment, but I now admit that’s very hard to do when the story has a Kafkaesque ring that is all too familiar. I was admittedly angry and not at all detached when I wrote “A Rolling Stone Gathers No Facts, Just Dirt,” a fact conveyed in my Search Engine summary for that post:
“Before Rolling Stone’s Sabrina Rubin Erdely fell for an untrue UVA gang rape story, she was conned by ‘Billy Doe’ whose tale took the life of an innocent priest.”
One year later I find myself no less angry revisiting it. It told the tale of how Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s infamous November 19, 2014 Rolling Stone article, “A Rape on Campus” came unraveled as her account of serial rape at the University of Virginia was debunked and widely exposed as grossly inaccurate and misinformed. Ms. Erdely fell for the story of “Jackie,” took it at face value, and ran with it – doing much damage not only to UVA and its students, but to Rolling Stone and the field of journalism itself.
Since I first wrote of this story, the University of Virginia and its Phi Kappa Psi fraternity have filed multi-million dollar libel and slander lawsuits naming Sabrina Rubin Erdely and Rolling Stone magazine as defendants. Both have since suffered serious losses in journalistic credibility. Rolling Stone magazine has since retracted Ms. Erdely’s account of a lurid frat house serial rape case at UVA. Her Rolling Stone article, “A Rape on Campus,” is today widely seen as grossly irresponsible and agenda-driven slander masked as journalism.
However, Mr. Cipriano’s bold Newsweek cover story is the first hint of media clamor to revisit Ms. Erdely’s other Rolling Stone debacle, “The Catholic Church’s Secret Sex Crime Files” in which she introduced “Billy Doe,” a purported victim of violent and horrific sexual abuse by Catholic priests. Billy Doe, granted anonymity by Rolling Stone and everyone else in the news media, was described by Ms. Erdely as “a sweet, gentle kid with boyish good looks” who had been callously “passed around” from predator to predator in the Philadelphia Archdiocese. The story eventually resulted in $5 million in settlements for Billy Doe while landing three innocent Catholic priests in prison.
One of those priests was Father Charles Engelhardt whose decision to stand by the truth against Billy Doe’s $5 million slander cost this good priest his life. As journalist Ralph Cipriano reveals in Newsweek, Father Engelhardt refused pre-trial plea deals including one deal on the eve of trial that would have resulted in no time in prison and a sentence of simple “community service.” Father Engelhardt chose the truth, and he chose to suffer for the truth. He instead was sentenced to a term of six to twelve years in prison “because he would not perjure himself by pleading guilty ‘to make a deal,’ to admit to a crime he did not commit.” In “Handcuffs and a Hospital Bed,” a November 17, 2014 posting at his “Big Trial” blog, Cipriano wrote:
“For Father Charles Engelhardt, the ordeal is finally over. The 67-year-old priest died at 8:30 PM Saturday night [November 15, 2014] an inmate at the State Correctional Institution in Coal Township [PA] where he served nearly two years of a 6-to-12 year sentence.”
The man dubbed “Billy Doe” – while the media shielded his true nature from view in all this – is Daniel Gallagher. Today he is a free man living in Florida where he settled into a lifestyle bankrolled by $5 million in settlements from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and, in part, its insurers. Gallagher lives free from scrutiny and the long arm of the law because the DA, judge, and news media in Philadelphia all got behind this case, but remain unable to surrender enough of their hubris to stop covering for him, to admit to their pursuit of “trophy justice,” and to allow the facts to invade their field of vision. Sometimes the obstacle to justice comes down to mere ego.
In his riveting Newsweek article, and in “Newsweek’s Cover Boy Makes a Media Splash” on his blog last month (Jan. 28, 2016) Ralph Cipriano pursued the truth about who and what Daniel Gallagher is. From his claims of serial victimhood to his ever changing accounts of abuse, to his vague and amorphous facts and stories, to his most recent (and most troubling) psychiatric profile, Daniel Gallagher is exposed as
“chronically maladjusted, immature, self-indulgent, manipulating others to his own ends, refuses to accept responsibility for his own problems, exaggerated, grandiose, hedonistic, impulsive, manipulative and self-serving, paranoid, delusional…”
And the list doesn’t stop there. Gallagher pulled off a con man’s dream when he got a DA and judge to agree that his 23 failed stints in drug treatment were all someone else’s fault. Do you recall “Sex Abuse and Signs of Fraud,” my 2005 article in Catalyst? It quoted a prison inmate who reacted to the flood of decades-old claims against priests with a dose of brutal self-honesty about his proclivities and his enablers:
“So let me get this straight. If I say that some priest touched me funny all those years ago, I’ll be seen as a victim, I’ll be paid for it, and my life will be seen as his fault instead of mine. Do you have any idea how tempting this is?”
Daniel Gallagher’s claim of having passed polygraph tests also now appears to be no more truthful than his claim of being passed from priest to priest. No one but his contingency lawyer claims to have seen polygraph results, and efforts to obtain them have been met with silence. Meanwhile, Father Charles Engelhardt DID take polygraph tests, and passed them conclusively, as did other priests in Daniel Gallagher/Billy Doe’s sights. (And for what it is worth, so did I).
Readers of These Stone Walls should find a loud and clear ring of the familiar in all this. Everything now said of Daniel Gallagher in these reports could be said of Thomas Grover. Take that back. Everything said in these reports HAS been said of Thomas Grover. And it has all been said of Shamont Lyle Sapp, a con man who landed settlements from accusing four priests in four different states until he was exposed by a U.S. attorney and a journalist with integrity. I take no credit, but he was also exposed in my TSW post, “Catholic Priests and the Perversions of Predators.”
The big difference here is that – like “The Trials of Father MacRae” by Dorothy Rabinowitz in The Wall Street Journal, some real news media has taken notice of the Daniel Gallagher scam, but not in time to save the life of Father Charles Engelhardt. Still, these revelations of truth bring immense comfort to those still charged with clearing this good priest’s good name. But there’s more than that at stake here. You have been duped. Our Church has been duped, and cast aside in the public square in the process. The truth is a value in its own right, and we owe it to ourselves to learn it and share it.
I can only thank Ralph Cipriano and Newsweek for taking this on, and for telling a truth most in the news media couldn’t care less about. Take a little time, please, and read the Newsweek article and Mr. Cipriano’s blog, and share a link to this post with others. I know one Servant of God who will smile upon you for it.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Problem With Clergy Unity

It is a well-known fact that a priest among the clergy has been leaking information to the Junglewatch blog.  As a matter of fact, Tim Rohr published in his blog all the clergy meetings with the Apostolic Delegate.  He has both the recordings and transcripts of the meetings, which you can find here.  He also has the recordings of a closed clergy meeting with Archbishop Krebs (See weblink here). Tim Rohr published the resignation of Monsignor James on his blog before it hit the news media. This indicates that there is someone leaking information to him.   

In the news, Monsignor James gave no reason why he decided to resign as delegate of coadjutor archbishop for church patrimony.  According to the Pacific Daily News dated June 21, 2017:

"I write this letter to let you know that after much prayer and reflection I have decided to tender my letter of resignation as Delegate to Coadjutor Archbishop for Church Patrimony," Benavente said in a June 16 letter addressed to Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes.
The letter does not cite a reason for the resignation.
Benavente, when sought for comment, said he resigned from the post on his own.
"The decision was mine to make without any internal or external influence," he said in an email Wednesday morning. He declined to cite specific reasons.

It was on June 20th that Rohr published this information on his blog
Last Friday, June 16, days after he was completely blocked from a position on the newly elected presbyteral council, Msgr. James Benavente submitted his resignation to Archbishop Byrnes for his position as Delegate for Church Patrimony. 
Below is a screenshot of the above comment:

Although Monsignor James did not give a reason for his resignation, Tim Rohr already accused the NCW for Monsignor James' resignation and gave no substantial evidence for his accusation.  Five days later, Rohr changed his story and wrote the following comment (the bold is mine): 

TimJune 25, 2017 at 3:39 PM 
No, Byrnes didn't knife Msgr. James in the back. His fellow priests did.

Eight hours after Tim wrote the above comment, an anonymous  comment came through my blog.  Whoever this person is also knew that Monsignor James was betrayed by other priests. I published his comment at first and then immediately deleted it afterwards.  Rather than publishing his comment, I have decided to forward it to certain authorities, whom I will not mention. Why? Because of certain things that were made in his comment:
A particular priest has givem false informtion about his fellow priests, and has worked hand in hand with the author of a particular blog to manipulate the leaders of your archdiocese to stir things in his favor.........
Why is this important information? Simply becuase it is important we publish it before he does it in order to prove that he has been the one behind the accusations against your previous bishop and other priests.........
Unfortunately he did not realize that the very people he trusted to particapte in his scheme were already suspicious of him but going against him would mean retaliation.  

Because there is a priest among the clergy leaking out information to the Junglewatch blog, unity among the clergy is difficult.  The priests already have a difficult time trusting each other.  They are aware that their words are being recorded in the clergy meeting and their personal emails are also being leaked out.  The anonymous poster warned that there will be retaliation and persecution to those local priests who stand against the Junglewatch nation.  In fact, Father Jeff is already being badmouthed in the jungle. Archbishop Byrnes has his hands full, trying to unite the clergy. 

In order to have unity, the truth needs to come out.  Christ is the TRUTH, and ONLY Christ can bring unity.  If things are kept in the dark, Satan wins.  It is only when the light of truth is brought out can unity be accomplished.  Naturally, the truth will hurt at first.  Why?  Because God is a purifying fire, which can sanctify the darkness of sin.

John 3:20-21  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

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:

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.
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.
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.
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 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.”

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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."