Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Cathedral: Lima, Peru

THE WORD ON THE STREET is that there was a call, last Friday, for a meeting of all pastors. But apparently it was cancelled Friday morning. We don't know why or what the meeting was to be about. It seems the motion to reconsider, submitted by Fr. Gofigan's legal team, is still being considered by the Chancery. 

Meanwhile, it remains unclear why Fr. Gofigan is still not allowed to say Mass. Perhaps someone from the chancery would care to clarify since this situation appears to be the main source of angst for the laity. 

Stripping a priest of his faculties is very serious business and normally requires that a certain form be followed. Consider this story of a cardinal stripping a priest of his faculties last year in Peru. The infraction precipitating the cardinal's action was the priest's apparently persistent public support of homosexual activists and his criticism of priestly celibacy. 

The point is that stripping a priest of his faculties, i.e. denying a priest the ability to function as a priest within a diocese, is usually an action taken in response to severe obstinacy to defined teaching on faith and morals, or in the case of priestly celibacy, a universal discipline of the Church. 

Fr. Gofigan's "infraction" does not seem to rise to this level, but in any case, the Archdiocese of Lima, in charity, clarified the situation publicly in order to prevent the further spread of scandal. Might we expect our archdiocese to do the same? We hope so.


Also on Friday, two lay people went to the chancery to deliver letters from their fellow laity expressing concern over Fr. Gofigan's dismissal. Upon arriving at the chancery they asked to see the Archbishop and were advised that he was on the phone. After waiting a while they were later advised that the Archbishop was not available. The two people then asked that the letters be stamped "Received". Each copy was stamped and initialed with the date and time of receipt written. The copies were scanned after the process was completed. The original copies were left at the chancery for the Archbishop. It is not known how many letters there were.


  1. Please ANY updates. I pray for Father Paul all the time and am so worried about our Catholic Church here on Guam. I also pray for our Archbishop to realize his misake and pray for the Holy Spirit to guide our local Church.

  2. It has been obvious since the beginning of this sad affair, that this has absolutly nothing to do with Fr Paul not following instructions from the archbishop, and even less to do with the actual safety of the children of the Sta Barbara's Parish and or its school. It has everything to do with the Archbishop trying to rid himself of a very popular pastor of the biggest Parish on the island, because this priest is resisting the expansion of the ecumenical movement that he supports. The nefarious excuses to do so bring to the front the pettiness and nastiness of certain people of power at the archdiocese.
    This is nothing new in our Church. At every step of our history, the representative of shadowy government and obscurantism have trying to rid our church of charismatic and intelligent leaders like father Gofigan. Les not forget one of our more vivid defender of light and life in our church this past century: Father Pierre Teihlard de Chardin, an eminent scientist and prolific writer who was pursued and harassed by his archbishop before being validated after his death and even cited by Pope Benedict in his latest encyclical. It is painful to see a leader like the archbishop letting himself fall in the trap of despotism and follow the counsel of petty and mediocre people in order to silence truth and light.

  3. Many of us in Guam who actively practice their faith find doubts in their faith and insincerity on the part of the Arch. After several years of experience with the Neo (San Vicente, St Anthonys) I find that the Neo tries to appeal to the general mass of people, which is a good thing, but since the lowest common denominator are people of limited intelligence, it becomes highly boring to those of us who have higher intelligence and education. Fr Gofigan was really talented in bypassing the Neo and appealing to the more intelligent crowd of Catholics. For this he was punished based on flimsy accusations. The actions of the Arch. remind me of the kid whose hand was caught in the orifice of the cookie jar. To the Arch: this entire sequence of events has really shaken my faith in you and your administration.