Wednesday, July 31, 2013

THE CHANCERY V GOFIGAN: IRONIC TIMING FOR SURE


Well, how's this for ironic timing? On the flight home from World Youth Day, the Pope is reported to have said: "Sinners can be forgiven. Sinners can work at the Vatican. Actually, the Vatican staff is composed exclusively of sinners." 

Catholic columnist Phil Lawler goes on to report that the Pope then cautioned reporters against digging into the past misdeeds of their subjects; that approach is “dangerous,” he said. "It is also un-Christian; as Jesus offers forgiveness, so should his followers."

Ironically, Archbishop Apuron is also on the way home from World Youth Day, and upon arrival will have to decide what sort of sinners can be allowed to work, or even volunteer, in Guam's parishes.

I say "what sort of sinners" because apparently only sinners who appear on the sex-offender registry are to be barred from working or volunteering at parishes. 

The part about "digging into past misdeeds" being "dangerous" and "un-Christian" also resonates close to home since the offending person in the Gofigan affair committed his sole crime 32 years ago, which by most measures could certainly be considered a "past misdeed". 

Curiously, both the Pope and the Archbishop are dealing with issues regarding sex-offenders: one registered, and one alleged. 

The Pope was responding to the handling of one Msgr. Ricca, who was alleged to have a rather flamboyant homosexual past and whom Pope Francis had only recently appointed to a very sensitive Vatican position.

Though the Pope alluded to an investigation of Ricca which turned up "nothing damaging", it appears he was not unaware of Ricca's past because he then launched into a short lecture on the danger of digging up "the sins of youth". 

However, while Ricca may have been "younger", he was not a "youth" when, while serving in the Vatican diplomatic corp in Uruguay in 2001, just across the river from Francis' episcopal headquarters in Buenos Aires, his alleged tryst with a Swiss male became well known. (To read more on the affair see the full story here.)

The Pope's comments about the Ricca matter actually made "out of context" headlines just today with the press trumpeting something about the Pope opening up the church to gay clergy. Of course that's not what he said or meant but that's another matter. 

In any event, Archbishop Apuron will have to decide (or perhaps he already has):
  1. whether the sin committed by the registered sex-offender at the Dededo parish 32 years ago qualifies as a "sin of youth", 
  2. whether or not the chancery's digging into the "past misdeeds" of this said sex-offender was "dangerous" and "un-Christian", 
  3. and since "sinners can be forgiven" and "work at the Vatican", whether or not said sex-offender can be "forgiven enough" to work as a volunteer at Santa Barbara,
  4. and whether or not Fr. Paul Gofigan was harboring a sex-offender and endangering school children, or just doing what the Pope said Jesus would do and what his followers must do as well.
Hmmm. Ironic timing for sure.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

WHAT CANON LAWYERS ARE AND AREN'T

by Dr. Edward Peters, reposted from www.canonlaw.info


Most people think of canon lawyers as bespectacled, gray-haired monsignors who sit in dark-paneled rooms and quote Latin verses from authors dead for a hundred years. It may have been like that once, but today canon lawyers cut rather a different figure. Here I want to explain what canon lawyers are and aren't, what canon law is, and how to use (or not to use) a canon lawyer.

Canon law is the legal system of the Catholic Church. It is the oldest functioning legal system in the Western world. The word canon comes from the Greek kanon, meaning a rule or measure. In the early centuries of Christianity, canon law consisted mostly of rules developed in synods and councils. Like other legal systems, canon law developed over the centuries, adopting new techniques while discarding outdated ones. The rediscovery of Roman civil law in the eleventh century greatly aided the development of canon law as a discipline distinct from moral theology.

Read the rest of the article here.


THE CHANCERY V GOFIGAN: WHO WILL REPRESENT FR. GOFIGAN?


I have no personal contact with either side in this debate. In fact I have not spoken personally with Fr. Gofigan for several years. However, because of the massive public support now assembling in his behalf, there is a load of information circulating. Most of it I ignore or file away because even though it is sincere, at this point it is only necessary to keep the facts straight.

One of the biggest questions is "what happens next?" The next step appears to have been taken in Fr. Gofigan's retaining of a canon lawyer. According to emails circulating last night, the canon lawyer is Father Adolfo N. Dacanay, S.J., Chairperson of the Department of Theology at Ateneo de Manila University. According to one email he is considered: "one if not the most foremost canon lawyer in the Philippines."

There appears to be a lot both written by him and about him. Here's a link to what Google Search turned up. Here's a post (in a lighthearted pose) of him on Facebook:






Sunday, July 28, 2013

THE CHANCERY V GOFIGAN: THE SNAP SNAFU

In its haste to endorse the actions of the Archbishop against Fr. Paul Gofigan, SNAP director, David Clohessy, apparently did not bother to get the facts. In a statement released on July 25, 2013, Clohessy states:

"Father Paul Gofigan had been instructed by Archbishop Anthony Apuron to fire a predator who worked at the church but failed to do so..." (Read the entire statement here.)

However, Fr. Gofigan DID NOT "fail to do so". Below is a copy of the letter from Father Paul releasing the person in question on October 26, 2011, as required by the Archbishop.

But first a couple other observations.

Clohessy also notes that Fr. Gofigan had put "children in harm's way", and "It is outrageous that any individual would rather put his career before the safety of children..."

This thing about children, with the heavy implication that the subject person was a child molester, is not only getting tiring (since it is not true), but is bordering on incurring legal action for those who continue to publicly make this man out to be a child molester.

The man raped an 18 year old woman 32 years ago. It was a heinous crime, a horrible crime, a crime he deserves to suffer the rest of his life for even though he has done his time in prison. But he did not molest a child. And the continued public hammering on "the safety of children" relative to this man's case is keeping this slanderous allegation alive.

Unfortunately, the idea that this man was a child molester can be traced to the Archbishop's initial letter to Fr. Gofigan of July 16, 2013 in which he said: "By allowing him to work in the parish, you have exposed the children of a nearby school to a probable threat."

This idea that the man was a "threat to children" was then reinforced by an Archdiocesan press release on July 22 which devoted a whole section to the "Safety of Children", fully implying that this man, who had committed the rape of an adult woman 32 years ago, was an active child molester.

In fact, a few initial news reports picked up on this strong language from the Archdiocese and reported the man as a child molester until the error was corrected. However, SNAP's statement shows just how far and wide the maligning of this man's character has gone.

Rape is a heinous crime. However, society has deemed the sexual molestation of children a greater and more despicable crime, and rightly so. And while the authorities at the chancery may not have intended it so,  their words have provoked a slanderous and dangerous accusation of a new and more heinous criminal act.

The SNAP statement concretizes the effect of these loose words and possibly sets the Archdiocese up for legal recriminations far beyond the issue of Fr. Gofigan's status.

I have kept my personal opinions mostly to myself, but at this point I must say that it appears to me that the chancery is being very poorly counseled.


NOTE: In rereading SNAP's statement, if I was the man in question or a member of his family I'd seriously sue them for defamation. SNAP refers to the man as a "predator". Such a designation implies a pattern of behavior. The man has one instance of rape to his name over a quarter century ago. Again, the seriousness of his crime can never be diminished nor forgotten, but "predator" is quite a different thing. I think he should sue...since he no longer has an income as a maintenance man.

Fr. Gofigan attempts to make this distinction in this KUAM news story.


THE CHANCERY V GOFIGAN: THE SNAP ENDORSEMENT


The SNAP (Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests) endorsement of Archbishop's Apuron's actions against Fr. Paul Gofigan presents a curious irony. In 2010, SNAP was on Guam demanding the Archbishop's head. In fact, it was but one of several threats to the Archdiocese and specifically the Archbishop occurring at that time.

Senator B.J. Cruz' Bill 372-30 attempted to make Archbishop Apuron specifically and personally responsible for reporting child abuse or neglect and would have subjected him to a possible penalty of imprisonment up to 6 months and made him a third-degree felon.

The reason Cruz gave for introducing his vindictive bill was not due to the example of a Vatican "edict" as he stated in the bill's findings and intent, but because he was angry at the Archbishop for his opposition to the legalization of same-sex unions and the public blow-up that occurred as a result of a mistake-laden meeting between the clergy and several senators in the latter part of 2009.

Shortly thereafter, Senator Cruz introduced Bill 385-30 to lift the statute of limitations to facilitate the prosecution of sex crimes perpetrated on minors and, as has happened in the states, would have made the Archdiocese liable for every possible or alleged sexual transgression against minors going back decades. This could have potentially broken the Archdiocese financially or at least hobbled it for many years.

Both bills were timed with a visit to Guam by SNAP with Cruz having the Archbishop "dead in his sights":

"The problem with the church on Guam," said Cruz, "is they've had this technical 'nobody's been arrested and nobody's been convicted'.  But the more important question is in the 26 years that you've been archbishop of the Archdiocese, how many priests have you sent to therapy, how many of them came back and are still here in the parishes, how many of them have we offended and how many have you laicized?" (KUAM, March 22, 2010)

Cruz knew he had ammunition:

"Cruz claims he knows of a laicization of a priest last year that allegedly was sexually abusing boys in one of the parishes on island. " (KUAM)

In fact, the Archdiocese was then involved with the laicization of this priest and the only reason the affair did not blow-up publicly is because the families of the victim(s) and the Archdiocese both agreed to handle the affair privately.

SNAP did its best to get people to come out against the Archbishop, and given both of Cruz' bills, had they passed in their original form, could have cost the Archdiocese millions and possibly sent the Archbishop and other members of the clergy to prison.

In the end, SNAP was able to expose a couple of clerical misdeeds which happened long ago (and in one instance, elsewhere). And through a lot of hard work, Cruz' Bill 372 (now P.L. 30-218) was amended to delete the specific reference to Archbishop Apuron (i.e. "Roman Catholic Archbishop").

Bill 385 was dropped but the issue was taken up again in the 31st Guam Legislature in two bills: Bills 33 and 34. Bill 34 could have been very dangerous to the Archdiocese since it held "institutions", not just persons, liable for crimes against children. However, again, through serious efforts, the bill was amended to delete any reference to institutions, effectively taking the teeth out of the bill since institutions, such as the Archdiocese, could not be sued.

However, the whole episode brings to light a glaring contrast in which the way the priest who was laicized was handled and the actions taken against Fr. Gofigan.

It has been pointed out by many that whereas the priest who would eventually be laicized was dealt with privately (and with obvious pastoral care) and given more than one opportunity to mend his ways, Fr. Gofigan, at least according to the information that is now public, was not given an opportunity to plead his case, but was summarily handed a demand for his resignation, an action which was immediately made public by the publication of an aviso replacing Fr. Gofigan at his Dededo parish.

Obviously the glaring contrast between the treatment of the two priests by the Archdiocese has people scratching their heads and has prompted much discussion in the media about an ulterior motive - as noted in the previous post on this story.

There is also a postscript to the story. The priest who was laicized later sought to assist a parish as a CCD teacher. Apparently he was allowed by the pastor to do so. The Archdiocese, upon learning of the arrangement, asked the pastor to remove the former priest - who had been alleged to have sexually abused boys - from the program. The pastor apparently complied and that appears to be the end of it.

The short of it is this: Both Fr. Gofigan and the other pastor (who shall remain unnamed) allowed two different men to assist their parishes as volunteers. Both of those men had a record of sexual offenses, one against children and one against an adult. The pastor who allowed the man who had sexually abused children (relatively recently) to function as a volunteer was advised privately and quietly to remove him. The priest who had engaged a volunteer who had committed a sexual crime against an adult 32 years ago was publicly fired.

Thus more head scratching.






Saturday, July 27, 2013

THE CHANCERY V GOFIGAN (continued)


On her K57 radio show (Tuesday, July 23), host, Patti Arroyo, suggested a possible ulterior motive for the firing of Fr. Gofigan from his Dededo parish post and his otherwise rather clearly implied direction to go find another diocese.

In her interview with Fr. Gofigan - and independent of any comment made by him - Arroyo suggested that the action taken against Fr. Paul was not about the status of the registered sex-offender but about the desire of the Archbishop to implement the Neo-Catechumenal Way into Guam's largest parish, a move Gofigan is said to have resisted.

While Arroyo did not mention Fr. Gofigan's resistance to the establishment of the NCW in his parish, it has been commonly known for awhile that he did not favor it. It is also commonly known that the Archbishop is not only a strong advocate of "the Way", but is a practicing member, "walking" as it is called.

A few days later, on her Friday show, which she co-hosts with Ray Gibson and Travis Coffman, Arroyo was much more adamant about the whole episode being about Fr. Gofigan's resistance to the NCW. (A recording of the show is not currently available.)

Coffman had brought up the news that SNAP (Survivor's Network for those Abused by Priests), a national organization which had come to Guam a few years ago, had come out in support of the Archbishop's actions against Fr. Gofigan. The conversation then gravitated towards the subject of clerical sexual abuse in general. Arroyo then asserted that the whole thing had nothing to do with the sex-offender but was "all about the Neo-Catechumenal Way."

At that point I called in, not to discuss the NCW, but to clarify the crime for which the registered sex-offender was convicted: the rape of an adult. This clarification is critical to maintain because of the hot issue of sexual molestation of minors by clergy.  For whereas the general public may be more forgiving of a man who committed a rape 32 years ago, the public is not as likely to be as forgiving of a man who sexually molested a minor no matter how many years ago - as recent events have shown.

(Why the issue of child molestation continues to crop up in this affair is something I'll comment on separately.)

I also commented on the show that while a registry exists for sex-offenders, there is no such registry for convicted murderers or any other category of criminal who - given the reason behind a sex-offender registry - could be considered every bit as much a threat to parishioners or the general public, if not more. In effect, had Fr. Gofigan had hired a paroled murderer, it appears there may have never been a problem.

At that point, Arroyo again asserted that the whole issue was about the Neo-Catechumenal Way, and "didn't I agree?" I answered that she appeared to know more about that than I did. However, she continued to press me for my awareness about the division in the Archdiocese over the NCW.

I replied that I was very aware of the division. (I had addressed the division in 2008 when I became aware of a protest* mounted in front of the Cathedral during its 50th anniversary. See Honest Thoughts on the Neo-Catechumenal Way - a post which continues to get a high amount of traffic.)

However, I did not agree or disagree with Arroyo's assertion. The short of it is this:

It is well known that the Archbishop has been heavily advocating "the Way" in this Archdiocese for the better part of a decade. Equally well known is the resistance of some pastors to the NCW which allegedly includes Fr. Gofigan, who, until now, pastored the largest parish on the island.

Also, coming to light is a disagreement over the formation of seminarians who do not want to be formed within the context of the NCW. Guam's seminary (Redemptoris Mater) is known to be the seat of the NCW on Guam and it is easy to assume that any seminarian passing through it will be formed in the manner of NCW traditions and ends. I don't know this for sure, but as stated, it is easy to assume this and most due.

It has come to light that Fr. Gofigan, in responding to the desire of certain young men desiring priesthood but who do not want to be formed within the NCW, had been seeking alternatives for their formation. This was thought to be in opposition to the will of the Archbishop who apparently is desirous of having all local seminarians be formed for the priesthood at Redemptoris Mater.

A recent event involving a seminarian who objected to NCW formation and Fr. Gofigan's reported support of the seminarian seems to have fueled the fire that also led to the revoking of Fr. Gofigan's position as Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese along with the demand for his resignation as pastor. News travels fast on Guam and this may have been why Arroyo, apparently independent of any comment made by Fr. Gofigan, zeroed in on the NCW.

In any event, these divisions do exist and are getting exponentially worse. Many supporters of the NCW simply align any and all resistance to "the Way" with disobedience to the Archbishop. Opponents of "the Way" claim the Archbishop is not just a supporter of "the Way", but is "one of them", and thus no longer represents all Catholics on Guam.

The Archbishop is in fact "one of them": a member of one of the communities. And while whether or not he still represents all Catholics on Guam can be argued, the perception by many is that he does not because he is "in it."

Nothing stated here is new of course. This has been the talk for almost a decade. Many in the NCW simply count the opposition as necessary persecutions for the eventual "triumph" of the NCW. And the opponents feel they are being persecuted because they do not wish their parish to be broken into communities and forced into practices they reject.

The word "triumph" is not used loosely. In a conversation with a very knowledgeable priest within the NCW, I was informed that it is the belief within the NCW that traditional parish-based Catholicism is "broken" and that the small community model of the NCW is the future of the Catholic Church universally. While we all can profess the same Faith, the contention appears to be over whether which model will triumph.

Personally, I don't completely disagree with this priest's analysis. The parish model is very broken as evidenced by the mass exodus by Catholics from Catholicism altogether. However, I would contend that the parish model broke itself when the parish became about the parish and not about what the parish is supposed to be about. (I won't go further here on that point.) The small community model may be part of the answer, or it may be the answer itself. However, if that is to be the case then evangelism not ostracism is what is needed.

This leads to the final point on this post. As we know, Fr. Gofigan was not just relieved of his duties, he was, in effect, banished from Guam. The fact that the Archbishop added "if it is your wish" does not soften that fact. It is the equivalent of me telling my son that where he'll sleep and eat from now on is "open to discussion" and if he doesn't like it he can get the hell out.

A priest, especially an incardinated one, is the spiritual son of his bishop in a much more significant and material way than average lay persons are the spiritual sons and daughters of their priests and bishops. However, Fr. Paul's banishment goes beyond just the spiritual. He also placed his material well-being in the hands of his bishop upon his ordination. His ability to work, live and eat depends greatly upon his status as a practicing priest within a diocese, serving at the will of a bishop.

Unlike a son who I may have banished from my home, Fr. Gofigan can't just go find another place to live and pick up a job somewhere to make ends meet. Though technically he could, Fr. Gofigan is a priest and is a priest forever, yet has no ability to function fully as a priest apart from the "permission" of a bishop.

I also brought this up on Arroyo's show on Friday. For whereas the people of Guam may well have deferred to the Archbishop's decision to remove Gofigan from his posts regardless of the circumstances, the community of Guam, if it is as family-centered as we are told it is, will not take well to the spiritual, material, and geographical banishment of a son by his father, especially when there is no possibility of the son, however prodigal he may or may not be, to return to the father.

I will also state, at least in some defense of the Archbishop, that while he did in fact sign the letter to Fr. Gofigan, it was most likely composed by others, and it wouldn't be the first time a bishop, or even a Pope, authorized an action for which the repercussions had not been fully thought out.

Regardless of who is right and who is wrong, it is a matter of great regret for every Catholic that this could not have been handled more as a private family matter between a father and his son. However, it is now too late for that, and all of us Catholics will be getting lessons in canon law and the process of hierarchical recourse.

*The protest was mounted in response to an ultimatum given to three parish priests to comply with the Archbishop's wishes to cooperate with the Neo-Catechumenal Way or leave the diocese.






Thursday, July 25, 2013

THE CHANCERY V GOFIGAN




On July 16, 2013, Fr. Paul Gofigan, Pastor of Santa Barbara Parish in Dededo, Guam, was given a letter by Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron: 1) demanding his resignation, 2) relieving him of his duties as Director of Vocations and Director of Diaconate Formation, and 3) releasing him from the Archdiocese to "go and look for a benevolent bishop" willing to accept him.

According to the letter, the Archbishop's actions were due to Fr. Gofigan's alleged disobedience in regards to an order apparently issued in 2011 by the Archdiocesan Vicar General (Msgr. David C. Quitugua), to Fr. Gofigan to terminate the employment of a worker known to be a registered sex offender.

The Archbishop accused Fr. Gofigan of causing "grave harm" to the parish by exposing his parishioners, "especially the youth" and the "children of a nearby school" to a "probable threat". He then accused Fr. Gofigan of bringing "grave, lasting and proven harm to the parish" and thereby demanded his resignation.

The Archbishop then publicly replaced Fr. Gofigan by issuing an Aviso in the "U Matuna", the official newspaper of the Archdiocese. The edition first appeared at Saturday evening Mass on July 20, 2013.

On July 20, 2013, Fr. Gofigan responded to the Archbishop's letter with a letter to his parishioners clarifying that he had indeed terminated the employee, who was a maintenance worker at the parish, upon the order of the Vicar General in 2011. He also clarified that the registered sex offender had committed his crime (the rape of an adult female) 32 years ago, had served his time in prison, had sought reconciliation with the church for himself and his family, and, though he was no longer employed, had continued to help with maintenance tasks when asked.

Fr. Gofigan went on to state that"the entire issue could have been cleared up" if they "simply had spoken" with him and done a "basic investigation." And rather than take the easy path and resign, he would take the much more difficult path and request a hearing. He also requested that his parishioners support the newly appointed parochial administrator (Fr. Dan Bien), and asked for prayers for himself and the archbishop.

Both letters and a news story is posted at the Pacific News Center website.

On Monday, July 22, 2013, the Archdiocese responded with a press release and stated as follows:
  • The Archbishop DID in fact speak directly to Father Paul. He and the Vicar General, Msgr. David C. Quitugua, spoke to Father Paul in a meeting July 16 as he was informed of the decision.
  • There WAS an investigation on the matter. Father Paul was informed of this in that same meeting and in the letter he received July 16. He was given an opportunity to respond.
The press release and a news story can be found at the Pacific News Center website here.

On Tuesday, July 23, Fr. Gofigan was contacted and interviewed by a local radio station (K57). During the interview, Fr. Gofigan again clarified that he had terminated the employee as ordered, that he had continued to receive the subject person and his family at the church and at the rectory on a pastoral basis, and that the person had continued to assist Fr. Gofigan and the parish when asked. 

He also reaffirmed that the registered sex offender had committed his crime 32 years ago, had served his prison sentence, had sought reconciliation with the church upon release, and in Fr. Gofigan's opinion, did not present a threat to anyone, and in fact had obtained a police clearance in order to first be employed at the parish in 2008. (Note: The sex offender registry was not established until 2010)

Fr. Gofigan also clarified that this person did not have keys to the parish, as alleged by the Archdiocese, but had been given keys by Fr. Gofigan to open the church on occasion when Fr. Gofigan was running late. 

Fr. Gofigan went on to state in the interview that he was pursuing the right to due process as afforded him by Church law (Canon law), and contested that he was not given the canonically required 15 days to respond to the accusations against him, but only "15 minutes" (on July 16), and that his position as pastor was "a canonical one", and, as such, required a canonical process to remove him, a process Fr. Gofigan says was not afforded him but a process he his now requesting.

The interview with Fr. Gofigan on K57 can be found here.

Because the Archdiocesan press release of July 22 had emphasized the danger posed by the subject person to a "school full of children...in very close proximity to the parish", Fr. Gofigan sent out his own press release on July 24 clarifying the autonomy of the school from the parish and stated that neither he nor anyone else on his staff had access to the school outside the normal security procedures established by the school. He also addressed the current status of the subject person as follows
The person who was terminated in 2011 does not possess keys to the Church and its facilities. That person and spouse as well as their children are parishioners of Santa Barbara and have frequented Santa Barbara church and its facilities many times for Mass, functions, and other activities happening at the church and its facilities.
He then stated:
In my refusal to resign as pastor, I am requesting that the Archbishop performs his duties and obligations in accordance with the teachings and laws of the Church. 
The full press release and news story is posted at the Pacific News Center website here.

Related links:
Code of Canon Law: The Procedure in the Removal and Transfer of Pastors (Cann. 1740-1752)
Dededo Priest Asked to Resign - KUAM, July 22, 2013
Archdiocese Responds to Priest Replacement - KUAM, July 22, 2013
Parishioners disagree with Archbishop's position - KUAM, July 23, 2013
Archdiocese says parish priest failed to fire known sex offender - Pacific Daily News, July 23, 2013
Pastor refuses to resign - Marianas Variety, July 23, 2013
Priest to initiate litigation rather than resign - Marianas Variety, July 24, 2013

My comments: 
The following was posted as a comment to the Pacific Daily News Story: Archdiocese says parish priest failed to fire known sex offender.
No one is questioning the right of the Archbishop to protect children or parishioners in general from known sex offenders. Fr. Paul terminated the man when he was told to. The issue now is not the termination of the employee but the termination of Fr. Paul. Pastors have a canonical position and canonical procedure must be followed for the removal of pastors.       
Fr. Paul's position is that procedure (similar to due process) was not followed and his canonical rights as a pastor were violated. Canon Law (Church law) gives him the right to a hearing and to be represented by a canon lawyer.  
Few people know to what extent the Catholic Church has gone to extend canonical (legal) protections to both priests and laity and to provide a path for "hierarchical recourse", a recourse that can lead all the way to the Apostolic Signatura in Rome, the equivalent of the Supreme Court. The fact that it has done this is testimony to the Church's awareness of the abuse of sheep by its shepherds. 
In this case, Fr. Paul was not just removed from his position as pastor, his faculties to say Mass were revoked and he was "invited" to leave the island. With the accusation of "harboring a sex offender" over his head, he would have nowhere to go. No bishop would take him and he would no longer be able to function as a priest. 
Fr. Paul's contention is that this was an abuse of power and his life has been destroyed. Whether that is truly the case is what we will be decided before a tribunal in what will be similar to a court case.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

TRAYVON MARTIN: JUST ANOTHER USEFUL BODY

So here's the thing. The prosecution in the Zimmerman-Martin case had a lot on their side:

  • The President of the United States who compared the dead teen to his own son (completely unprecedented).
  • The U.S. Department of Justice which (unconstitutionally) financed and orchestrated protests against the defendant.
  • Most of the major media dutifully carrying the president's water to keep this a case about race, and editing actual evidence to manufacture racial bias (SEE BELOW)
  • Major threats of violence and civil unrest if the defendant was not found guilty.
  • A judge heavily invested in a guilty verdict of some kind (thus she offered the lesser charge of manslaughter once it was evident that second-degree murder could not be proved).
  • Months of 24/7 national media coverage portraying the victim as a 13 year old rather than a man big and strong enough to break the defendant's nose with a single punch.
  • And ultimately a jury that had to know they would be living in fear for a long time to come should they find the defendant not-guilty.


The fact that the prosecution could not make its case was ultimately due to one thing, the testimony of the forensic expert who demonstrated that Martin was on top of Zimmerman when he was shot. Even if Zimmerman had provoked the encounter by "following" Martin, Martin still made the choice to engage Zimmerman and break his nose, and, as the forensic expert proved, proceeded to harm Zimmerman further.

The jury had absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose by finding the defendant not-guilty. They will probably have to move or live in hiding for many years. The fact that they found the defendant not-guilty is glaring evidence that the prosecution itself had none - which is why in the end - the prosecutor told the jury to judge "with their hearts". In other words, "ignore the evidence", "don't use your brains", "go with your feelings."

Sadly, this is what many have done, gone with their feelings. The great tragedy though, is the suspension of brains to protect Barack Obama. Because ultimately this is his campaign, which is why he interjected himself into it from the beginning. Otherwise, it would have been just another shooting, which happens hundreds of times per day in this country.

Obama needs division, strife, unrest, and crisis, to "fundamentally transform America." It's right out of his community organizing Saul Alinsky handbook. Trayvon Martin has been just another useful body in that campaign. Watch and see.

**********
NBC's EDITED RECORDING
ZIMMERMAN: This guy looks like he's up to no good. ... He looks black.

THE FULL CALL:
ZIMMERMAN: This guy looks like he's up to no good, or he's on drugs or something. It's raining, and he's just walking around looking about.

DISPATCHER: Okay. This guy, is he white, black, or Hispanic?

ZIMMERMAN: He looks black.

***********

Monday, July 15, 2013

A SLEW OF PROBLEMS KEEP GUAM BAD


Published in the Pacific Daily News, July 14, 2013

Jackie Marati has publicly called Gov. Eddie Calvo a coward for letting Bill 19 lapse into law. So by that logic are we then to assume that Marati would have called the governor a hero if he had signed it? Probably not. He'd be called worse things.

Read full article here or here if link no longer works. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

CHURCH SHOULD NOT TAKE GOVERNMENT AID


Published in the Pacific Daily News, July 7, 2013

I found it a bit coincidental that an editorial praising the good deeds of Deacon Frank Tenorio appeared opposite an opinion piece on immigration by Cardinal Timothy Dolan on the same day (June 15 Pacific Daily News).

Read full article here or here if link no longer works.

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