Deacon Steve MartinezSeptember 9, 2014 at 11:56 PM
Anonymous September 9, 2014 at 10:19 PM perpetuates a lie when he says: "Tim, nobody is forced to join the NCW." This is just plain not true. No matter how many times we hear this, it still doesn't make it true.
As was pointed out by myself and several other men in our meeting with the Nuncio back in July, we were forced to join the NCW by the Archbishop and Fr Adrian. We had been studying for 3.5 years and were told 5 months before our scheduled ordination that unless we joined a community and walked we would not be ordained. Our primary formator, Fr Tony Perez, was furious when he found out that this was being forced upon us. He met with the Archbishop, but the Archbishop refused to rescind the order. \
So, Anon 10:19 please stop parroting what you have been told when you do not know the facts. Some people have heard this so often they begin to think it is true, but the reality is that people have been forced to join. Also ask the three priests who wanted to be incardinated to our Archdiocese but were told they had to join the NCW or find a new home/new bishop.
Deacon Steve MartinezBelow is a screen shot of that comment above:
If Archbishop Brynes had gotten the other side of the story, he would have learned that there was a misunderstanding or misconception between Deacon Steve and the Archbishop. Under that same thread, Deacon Steven admitted that Father Adrian, Monsignor David, and Archbishop Apuron apologized to Deacon Steve for this misunderstanding between them. And this was Deacon Steve's response:
Yes, it is true that Fr Adrian, Msgr David, and the Archbishop all apologized for the "misunderstanding at the time". This is not an apology that I can accept since they have denied the fact that we were forced to join. They have apologized for the wrong act, so how can I accept that apology?Does this sound like the right person to be the delegate of the NCW? Not only did he hold a grudge against Archbishop Apuron and the NCW, but surprisingly, he cannot forgive. What was it that Jesus said to the Apostle Peter when he asked Christ how many times he should forgive a person? And here we have a deacon who openly admitted that he can not accept the apology simply because it was not to his liking.
NOW THIS IS THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY:
About fifteen years ago, Archbishop Apuron suggested/mandated/recommended (it depends to which person you speak) the deacon class of 2003 to go and listen to the catechesis of the Neocatechumenal way. Some deacons claim that Father Adrian ‘threatened’ them that Archbishop will not ordain them deacons if they do not follow this directive.
These catechesis are a fifteen talks-and-celebrations package, that may give way to the birth of a small Neocatechumenal community in a parish. At the end everyone is asked whether he wants to continue or not.
All of them, I believe, went to listen to the initial catechesis. Some opted to continue and are still in the Way. Others selected to continue but desisted after some months or years. Others decided it was not their soup and after the initial convivence, never bothered to stay. All these thirteen men were ordained deacons.
These are the simple facts.
THE AFTERMATHSome of these deacons are very grateful that the Archbishop insisted that they go and listen to the catechesis. I know, to give one example, that Deacon Ed Borja found the Neocatechumenal community a tremendous help in his battle against the terminal sickness that eventually ended his life.
Other deacons never forgave the Archbishop for this unspeakable sin. ‘What?! Forcing us to go and listen to a catechesis!! Making this a condition for diaconal ordination. Unheard of. Canonically unjust. Archbishop is overstepping his authority… ‘
And they are still harping on this after MMMMAAAANNNNYYYY long years!! When Archbishop Krebs came, apparently they strongly brought it to his attention. Again.
Why did the Archbishop do this? I do not know. I am not the Archbishop. I know however that he loves his people and he knows that the Neocatechumenal Way can help certain people who are suffering. So I guess he saw in the Neocatechumenal Way a good pastoral tool to help the people discover their faith in a deeper way. He also saw this Way as s good instrument to help former Catholics come back to the Church. This Way was/is producing results. And so Archbishop thought that it is good for these deacons in formation to taste this pastoral instrument.
He also believed that it could help them in their personal life. A deacon (or a priest) is a normal man who needs conversion, who needs a place that can help him face his issues under the light of the Word of God. Obviously the Neocatechumenal Way is not the only place where one can grow in faith, but it is also one valid place. Confirmed by the magisterium of the Church with a good tracking record of many years here in Guam.
‘He had no right to impose it or make it a condition for diaconal ordination’, one may argue. I am not a canonist and so I cannot really answer this objection. However the facts are that he ordained both those who went and continued in the Neo-catechumenal Way and those who did not continue.
One needs to ask oneself whether the archbishop can and should determine certain aspects of the spiritual, academic and personal formation of the candidates, like their willingness to respect and obey the authority of the Church. Ordination is not a right or a privilege.
I believe this was more a pastoral decision than anything else. A friend priest of mine always tells me that the Church is a mother and that the administration of justice in the Church has no other purpose than the salus animarum, the salvation of souls, as laid down in the last canon, 1752, of the Code of Canon Law. Perhaps this is what motivated Archbishop.
What I fail to understand is why some deacons are still harping on this after so many years. Can’t they forget and let go? Let us say, for the sake of the argument, he made a mistake, can’t they excuse him? Do the Gospel values like forgiveness and lenience have any worth today?