Monday, December 30, 2013

MANY MORE ABORTIONS THAN REPORTED

While Guam Medical Records reports show only about 300 abortions per year on Guam (still a staggering amount for this small and mostly Catholic population), we have been aware for quite awhile that the abortion numbers are much higher and that abortions at Guam Memorial Hospital are not being reported.

During the infamous crisis over P.L. 20-134 in 1990, a short-lived law which outlawed abortions on Guam, ON THE ISSUES magazine ran a story which stated: 

If servicewomen or military spouses want an abortion, they must go either to a local clinic, like Dr. Freeman's, or Guam Memorial Hospital. It is estimated that between 600 and 1,000 abortions are performed on Guam each year. 

Obviously, it was well known then that abortions were being performed at GMH, and as we will see in a minute, it appears they still are. Of course, notice the estimated number of abortions: "between 600 and 1000" !

Sunday, December 29, 2013

UPDATE

Since I didn't post anything yesterday other than the reflections on the Feast of the Holy Innocents, I wasn't expecting much activity, but there were 1100 pageviews in the last 24 hours anyway. The Comments tab is now updated. There are now 757 total comments.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

MEDITATIONS ON THE FEAST OF THE HOLY INNOCENTS



A CRY IS HEARD IN RAMAH (published in the U Matuna 12/30/12)


"It is important to recall that each of these monsters began, not as monsters, but as social reformers, as promisers of jobs and a “chicken in every pot”: the Thousand Year Reich (Hitler), the Five Year Plan (Stalin), and the Cultural Revolution (Mao)."

FLEEING THE NEW HERODS (published in the U Matuna 12/25/11)

"The Catholic Encyclopedia estimates that given the population of Bethlehem at the time, Herod probably killed several dozen children. In the United States, abortion kills about 3 children per minute, so we probably kill an equal number of “Innocents” every 15-20 minutes. On Guam, we do that every 40 days or so. And history casts Herod as a monster?"

Thursday, December 26, 2013

CHRISTMAS BREAK?

Well, I decided to take a bit of a Christmas break, but not so the NCW's. Here's a Christmas wish from one of them. No comment needed. If this is what the NCW produces...RUN!

yes I think you got it. This is Tim's circus, a way to be alive.I guess only 4 to 5 persons are interacting in this blog.Anyhow I liked Zoltan interventions.However I begin to realize that there is no way to communicate.I hope Tim will not fell to bad when he discovers that he Is fighting against God.Courage Tim, Jesus is born also for you, take Him into your house.Maybe one day you will use the NCW to save one of your children. That's the NCW a tool of the Church to save people.Merry Christmas to all of you!Happy New year

BUT WHAT OF US CATHOLICS...?

But what of us Catholics...?


A Christmas post from View from the Pew, published in the U Matuna, the newspaper for the Archdiocese of Agana, on 12/23/12.

PAGEVIEW UPDATE

Pageviews by country, last 30 days.



Most viewed posts this week:





Monday, December 23, 2013

FROM AN EX-NEOCAT IN REPLY TO ANONYMOUS

The following is a guest post.

This is in reply to the Anonymous who responded to Susan and who ended her letter with “Peace!”, and to anyone else who is wondering why Archbishop Apuron (and the NCW—the Neo) has caused a massive fracture in the unity of the Church In Guam.  

I prefer to remain anonymous mainly because, if history is any guide, the archbishop and his lieutenants at the Chancery may retaliate with a “painful and arduous” experience against me or those close and dear to me. But Mr. Rohr knows my identity and can corroborate my credentials, and if I was ever needed to step up in defense of the Truth, I shall. 

First, let me say that I am one of those ex-Neo and so I have first-hand and intimate knowledge of the workings of the Neo. This is not hearsay.  Having said that, I can state that all the things that have been posted by Mr. Rohr and all the comments in response are accurate and truthful. I do note some embellishments and exaggerations in some of the comments, but they do not detract or make the facts any less truthful. The criticisms are valid.

I do agree that the sarcasms are not warranted but they are understandable considering the nature, gravity, and magnitude of the subject matter. We are talking about the bride of Christ, the Catholic Church, and it is incumbent upon the faithful, especially our bishops, to steer her in accordance with the teachings of Christ and her bride, and when we deviate, and deviate gravely, then anger and sarcasm are understandable responses and should be overlooked. So let’s look past the anger and sarcasm and focus on the core of the issue that triggered the anger and sarcasm in the first place.  

I would now like to add some of my personal observations and thoughts about the Neo.  

Sunday, December 22, 2013

DEAR MR. GET-TO-IT

Mr. GET-TO-IT challenged me to publish his lengthy comment. Of course he didn't need to challenge me at all. The comments are open and are immediately published upon submission. But to make sure he knew I published his comment I also published it as a post. One person has already replied at length, but I wanted to take the time to address his questions, since he raises some good ones.

Tim - Then let's get to it. If you know something then stop the speculation and come out with it, otherwise stop stringing us alone like somebodies fools. I am in the Neo and I have seen all that you have written. Although I don't necessarily agree with you, you at least lay out your facts so people can judge. But is it so irresponsible to string this out and allow all kinds of other neer do wells to comment on things they know absolutely nothing about.

I am not sure what it is that I am stringing out. I have been fairly consistent from the beginning that the central issue as regards the NCW is the decision by its leadership not to comply with Rome in the manner of distributing Holy Communion.  In fact GET-TO-IT's comment is made on the post THE CENTRAL ISSUE where I thoroughly clarify what the central issue is and after the post AND YOU WONDER WHY PEOPLE ARE MAD where I thoroughly document this decision not to comply. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

AS EXPECTED

As expected, because there is no refuting the facts I lay out, opponents have taken to personal attacks on me and my motives. The typical theme they choose is traditionalists against the NCW. This is some serious grasping. You will not see anywhere in this discussion any encouragement to become a traditionalist, whatever that is. 

I certainly have encouraged people to find another parish if they can no longer worship in peace and good conscience at the one they attend. I have not recommended any other parish in particular. 

According to my opponents, my aim here is to rid the island of the NCW. If that was my aim, I would not have kept quiet all these years. I had the evidence in hand - as documented - from 2006 onward. I had little care to use it and really could care less if the NCW did not follow their norms. As stated on several occasions, it didn't affect me. Guam had bigger problems in my estimation, and my record on addressing those bigger problems stands on its own. 

The reason the conversation has moved from Fr. Paul to the NCW is easy to understand. Everyone knows the Archbishop's agenda. It was only a matter of time before Fr. Paul would be in the firing line. He is the pastor of the largest parish on the island and has resisted the establishment of the NCW in his parish for several years. Fr. Paul knew this was coming. Everyone knew this was coming. And come it did. The Fr. Paul affair is just a microcosm of the larger war that has been going on for over a decade. 

I am in possession of several documents relative to the Fr. Paul affair but have refrained from posting them in order to allow the case to go to Rome where it will be reviewed by the Congregation for the Clergy. From the looks of it, it doesn't look good for the Archbishop, and the appeal even goes so far as to posit the possibility of ulterior motives in the firing of Fr. Paul. Well, we all know what those are, don't we. 

The real question the NCW needs to be asking is not about my motives but "Why have we not conformed to our own statute?" Perhaps the Archbishop has the answer. Ask him. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

PAGEVIEWS


YOUR EMINENCE. MY SECOND LETTER TO THE GRAND MASTER.

Following is my second letter to Cardinal Edwin O'brien, Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, of which both I and Archbishop Apuron are members. 

The letter consists of a cover letter in email form and an attachment in the form of an essay. Everything is copied here. 

Bear in mind, that after receiving my two letters, the Grand Master took no action. And while he yet may, there is still no refuting the points I make. And if anyone would like to try I will produce the evidence...which is a lot uglier than my letter.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

LET'S REVIEW

Let's review. 

In 2005 you were told by Rome to conform your liturgies, especially in the manner of distributing Holy Communion, to the liturgical books - meaning you were to do as the rest of us. You said "we will not obey", and you did not. 

In 2008, your statute was approved with the same demand that you conform your liturgy to the liturgical books. You said "we will not obey", and you did not. 

This Saturday you will go to your Eucharist and you will receive communion in a manner not in conformity with the liturgical books, and in doing so, you will say "we will not obey", and you will not. 

This is why we cannot take you seriously as Catholics. 

*****

Again, I copy here an article from INSIDE THE VATICAN dated May 2012, 4 years after the Statute of the NCW was approved and you were expected to conform to it. (Highlights mine.)

NOTE TO NEOS

The neos who post here are very sure that they are in the right but for the most part do not want to identify themselves. One must wonder why. You have the archbishop and the whole chancery on your side. What is there to fear? If you believe your are correct then have the same courage as I do and identify yourself. Or are you cowards?

Those who oppose the neo have legitimate reason to fear. They have seen how the archbishop acts towards those who oppose him. But you neos, he's on your side. There is nothing to fear. Come out of the shadows. Speak proudly. Put your name on your comments. Show us who you are. We are waiting. 

The comment moderation is off. Anyone can post directly. Have at it. Use your name, first and last, your parish, your community, your "responsible", your catechist. Why not? Stop your cowardice. 

LETTER NO. 2 TO THE GRAND MASTER

Before I post my second letter to Edwin Cardinal O'Brien, Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, of which I am a member, I want to repost his letter to me, which was prompted by a visit from Archbishop Apuron in an effort to bully me into silence. Of course, the Archbishop could have just invited me to have a personal talk, but the pastoral approach is not his way, as we have seen all too often. People are bullied. I am just one. Here is the letter from Cardinal O'Brien and I will provide a link after the letter to my first reply, already posted.


Read my first reply here. The second will be published tomorrow. 

Continued at YOUR EMINENCE. MY SECOND LETTER TO THE GRAND MASTER.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

THIS IS CLASSIC. NO COMMENT NEEDED.

"Do you know what is the funniest thing about all this? That one day this blog will disappear, one day Tim will die, janet will die, Mary will die...Anonymous will die...and yet Jesus Christ will be announced and many people saved through the Way..." - A Friend

There you go my Catholic friends. There it is. This is what they are taught. Reminds me of my born again friend who believed Catholics weren't saved and were going to hell unless they joined his church. Time to leave the neo parishes, put your wallets away, and WALK. Walk away. 

P.S. I was waiting for the motivation to publish my second letter to Cardinal O'Brien. This comment provided it. Stay tuned.

DEAR MR. "GET TO IT"


I will have my own analysis of Mr. "Get to it" 's comments, but this commenter does a pretty good job. You can read Mr. "Get to it" 's original post here. The following comment, which I am copying here as a post, can also be read as a comment here. Mr. "Get to it" has had about 30 comments so far. By the way, we'll call Mr. "Get to it" Mr. I.B. for short. He'll know why. 

*****



Dear Mr. “Get to it”:

It seems that you have not read the postings and comments carefully because you were dismissive of many of the arguments and points that were logically and forcefully made as just the ranting of “jealous” people. Here is what you said: 
If there is a division here on Guam, isn't it just possible the division is caused by those not in the Way, spawned by jealousy? But they are not willing to put in the hours and hard work we do. 
Please look at the comments that addresses the issue of the causes of this division, one of which is that the archbishop has chosen to join the NCW, be subservient to it, and devote extraordinary attention to such a tiny group at the expense of all non NCW people (see the comment on the analogy of the 5Th Grade Teacher’s Class). If you were the leader of an army and decided to devote all your attention to one small unit and ignore the rest of the army, will that cause dissension and division among the ranks? Of course it will. A leader is supposed to lead all, not just a select few. Don’t forget: #*^@ rolls down hill and there is plenty of it right now.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

SO WHO VOTED TO KILL THE BABIES?

Bill 195-32, signed into law as P.L. 32-090, mandates normal medical care for a child who survives a failed abortion. Children who survive failed abortions are drowned, beheaded, have their spines snipped in half, or are left to die in the clinic trash. "Yea" means save the baby. "Nay" means kill the baby. Remember in November.





NOTE: The two marks in the Nay column next to Senator Muna Barnes's name means she passed twice (didn't vote). You can ask her yourself why she did this instead of immediately voting Yea.
Ph.: (671) 472-3455/6, e-mail: senator@tinamunabarnes.com 

SOMEONE ELSE IS RUNNING THINGS

The situation in Agat these last few days exposes something many of us suspect: SOMEONE ELSE is running things. 

The Archdiocese has an official policy, promulgated in its Statute, relative to a funeral Mass in the presence of cremated remains.

Fr. Jason Granado, the pastor, who denied the funeral Mass to the subject family, could not have been ignorant of that Statute. As a priest ordained and incardinated in the Archdiocese of Agana, and especially as a pastor, it is unthinkable that he did not have a copy of the Statute or at least know where to find it. 

Before I go on, let me say that I know and like Fr. Jason, and have known him since his earliest days at the seminary. Also as a resident of Agat, I see him from time to time in social settings and he appears to be well liked by the parishioners. In short, he is a good and sincere priest and of a kind and compassionate disposition.

So then why the refusal of a funeral Mass to the grieving family? 

The Church allows for only two possibilities: 1) the cremation of the remains was inspired by motives contrary to Christian teaching (Can. 1176 § 3), or 2) a funeral Mass had already taken place.

According to the family member, the family is deeply Catholic and never would have done anything purposely contrary to the Catholic faith (which is why they desperately wanted a funeral Mass). The remains were cremated for economic reasons. Their loved one was killed in the states and the remains had to be transported back to Guam. There was also no prior funeral Mass, the family wanting the funeral to be held on Guam.

So we have the following:
  1. The promulgated Statute of the Archdiocese of Agana allowing for a funeral Mass in the presence of cremated remains
  2. No canonical impediment to the celebration of a funeral Mass in the presence of cremated remains.
  3. A pastor who could not have been ignorant of 1 and 2 but still refused a funeral Mass in the presence of cremated remains.

Thus, unless the Archbishop was willing to violate the Statute he himself promulgated, the only possible answer is that Fr. Jason is taking orders from someone else. I think it's the latter. And I further think that this sad little episode gives us a peephole into a much larger problem...much, much larger. 


Statutes of the Archdiocese of Agana, Part II, Chapter 4, Section 61.2

"In the event that the family of the deceased has the body cremated prior to the funeral mass, the funeral rites are to be celebrated….in such cases, the urn of the ashes may be brought to the church placed in the center aisle on an appropriate suitable table with the lighted Paschal candle. The Eucharist and customary prayers of commendation are conducted as if the casket were present. Burial takes place at the cemetery with the usual prayers."

- Statutes of the Archdiocese of Agana, Part II, Chapter 4, Section 61.2

Promulgated July 1996. So unless there has since been an update...

HAVE AT IT!

Anonymous challenges me to "get to it" and thinks I don't publish comments that challenge me. I published his comment, but I'll do better than that, I'll copy it here as a post so that nobody misses it. (I'll leave all the incorrect spelling and grammar.)

*****

Tim - Then let's get to it. If you know something then stop the speculation and come out with it, otherwise stop stringing us alone like somebodies fools. I am in the Neo and I have seen all that you have written. Although I don't necessarily agree with you, you at least lay out your facts so people can judge. But is it so irresponsible to string this out and allow all kinds of other neer do wells to comment on things they know absolutely nothing about.

Over all on Guam, the Neocatechumenal Way does more than any other group on island. When the Archbishop asks for help, who responds to his request? The communities respond. When he needs a priest he can rely on, who does he call, a priest trained in the Way. They are the pastors of the future, they are the way the Church on Guam will recover. The good we do far exceeds any bad that people accuse us of. All this infighting must STOP!

Monday, December 16, 2013

PAGEVIEW UPDATE


THE CENTRAL ISSUE. AND IT IS NOT FIXABLE.

This post, AND YOU WONDER WHY PEOPLE ARE MAD, has so far received 42 comments. Of all the things posted on this blog, this post deals with the central issue. Let's repeat it and not stray from it:


  1. In the manner of distributing Holy Communion, the Neocatechumenal Way, more specifically, its leadership, has chosen not to conform to its own Statute, and in so doing, has set itself up outside the magisterium of the Church.
  2. Legitimate magisterial authority, first in the letter from the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Sacraments, and second, in the direct message to the Neocatechumenal Way by Pope Benedict, was publicly discredited by Archbishop Apuron. 
  3. The continuation of the offending practice, under the auspices of the Archbishop, since 12/1/2005, is a clear sign that the Archbishop respects an authority other than the pope. 
  4. By discrediting legitimate hierarchical authority, the Archbishop, in effect, forfeits his own. The people are now just beginning to speak up about it. 


This is the central issue. And it is NOT fixable.

There is one more point. Until now, individual members could be excused for their ignorance. They were simply following what their leaders told them. That is no longer the case. Continued complicity with the offending practice in the manner of distributing Holy Communion is a act of disobedience to the Church for which they are now personally culpable.

AGAT UPDATE

The family of the murdered man was given an extra 30 minutes for the viewing (1 hour instead of just the original 30 minutes). However, still no funeral Mass, only a Memorial. For the original story go here.

For those wondering about why have a viewing at all if the remains are already cremated, it's really not about the "viewing" since closed casket viewings are not uncommon. It's about paying respect to the person who died and respect to the family.

The diocesan policy really does need to be clarified. There have been other funeral Masses in the presence of cremated remains here on Guam. Does each pastor get to decide for himself?

FAT MAN'S RULES OF THE HOUSE OF GOD

From the blog of Fr. John Zuhlsdorf here:

I redirect your attention to Fat Man’s Rules of the House of God. Fr. Hunwicke, and many other priests, know that this Rule applies:

VIII. THEY CAN ALWAYS HURT YOU MORE.

When you are in the hands of high ecclesiastics, you had better steel yourselves to the fact that when the pain starts, they are just getting started."

*****

Hmmmm. "When you are in the hands of high ecclesiastics, you had better steel yourselves to the fact that when the pain starts, they are just getting started." 

That sounds very familiar: "It is to your advantage to resign immediately rather than experience a more arduous and painful closure to your assignment..."

Fr. Paul, it sounds like you better "steel" yourself...if you haven't already. They've only begun to hurt you. Sounds like "the rack" is next. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

THIS JUST IN FROM AGAT

It was reported to me this morning that a local pastor is refusing to allow a funeral Mass for a person who was murdered in the mainland and whose cremated remains were returned home to Guam for burial. 

According to the family member, Fr. Jason, the pastor of the Agat parish, has told them that because the body isn't present, the family could not ask for a Funeral Mass but only a Memorial Mass. The family member also reported that they are being given only 30 minutes for "viewing" because there is no body (just the cremated remains). 

TWO THINGS WE CAN DO

Relative to the challenges posed by the practices of the Neocatechumenal Way, I am often asked "What can we do?"

I have long wanted to answer as I am going to answer now. In fact, I've tried, but my words have usually been met with a shrug. Perhaps, now though, more will be willing to give this some consideration. 

My answer is not directed to what we can do about the NCW, but what we can do about ourselves, specifically, our own practices as regards the Eucharistic celebration. For the NCW has only taken our own abuses and expanded upon them. 

Here are two practices that were allowed by the Church, only as concessions, but through our ignorance or disobedience, have become unofficial norms which were then expanded upon by the NCW.

Saturday Night Mass
As we know, the NCW holds their Mass  (they don't like to call it that) exclusively on Saturday night. Individual members may also attend with the parish on a Sunday morning, but that attendance is more of a gesture since their "Sunday obligation" has already been fulfilled at their private liturgy. (Yes, I know they are not technically private, but in practice they are.)

PAGEVIEWS UPDATE


Saturday, December 14, 2013

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU DEFEND

An anonymous defender of the of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary says this:

How can you deny the "selfishness" of not wanting to contribute to the formation of "foreigners". Yes, the reality is that because of the "missionary" role of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary, the newly ordained may indeed at one point have a calling to go on mission. This does not mean that we will never see them again. To think that they we have invested our resources in to something that does not benefit us is of the contrary. The missions benefit not only us on this island but the whole world entirely. The faith was brought to this island in the form of missionaries. In a sense we are only returning to the world what has benefited us. (See the full comment here.)

MY RESPONSE:

Dear Anonymous defender. The real issue is not that we want these priests from RMS to stay here. In fact, because they are not prepared at this seminary for parish life let alone the duties of a pastor, it is better for them they are sent elsewhere rather than be stuck in jobs that they did not sign up for.  I can say this because the Neocatechumenal Way blatantly views the parish model of Catholic life as dead and the NCW model of the small closed community as the new model of Catholic life. In fact, I have been told this on numerous occasions. 

ZOLTAN THE ANONYMOUS

Ah! As I suspected, our old friend Zoltan is back under the name, Anonymous. Here's his latest:

Thank You Tim for finally posting my comment. I guess my intuition was correct, you would hold out on it for another time.
I admire the special time you have taken to dissect my comment and look at each section. You didnt have to do that, it was plain an simple.
I also see how as simple as it was you still decided to take my comments and amplify what apparently is not my intent.
When you told me, "take it to your leaders in Agat", and then just recently you told me about the "old gas station now turn chapel(victory)", to me it meant that your were guessing I was from Agat.
You referring towards my offering of "Peace be with you" as TYPICAL leaves me a bit troubled to see you as a Christian Man acting in this way. I offered it to you freely and wholeheartedly. I guess you dont need it or even want it.
Peace be With You!
I guess I should take the advise of another comment and just take this to prayer. We need a miracle to change our hearts.

For the record, you can thank Zoltan for everything I am now posting about the Neocatechumenal Way. His insults first showed upon on my Facebook page and I engaged them there. But then he decided to take his fight to this blog where he has continued his personal attacks. As you can see from his above comment he has some doubt that I am a "Christian Man". 

TODAY IS SATURDAY

The Neocatechumenal communities will once again be celebrating their Eucharist. Will they distribute Holy Communion in conformity with its Statute and in obedience to Rome or will they continue to obey Kiko?

TYPICAL

The following comment can be found here. My response is in [brackets in red].

Tim has brought up problems within the NCW that need to be fixed and according to his records have been ignored for some time. When will this happen? Just as someone mentioned, Rome is slow. In the same manner, the NCW is probably deciding on a way to best handle this delicate issue. Delicate because it has helped people so much, to change in an instance is not good.

[The NCW was simply ordered to change its practice. The directive was given on 12/1/05. It is now 12/14/13. We can hardly call that "change in an instance (sic)." Sorry, but the NCW does not get EIGHT years to decide how to handle this "delicate" issue. The Statute is what it is. The leaders of the NCW decided not to comply. But the truly evil thing is that they led the members to believe that they were in compliance. This was a lie. A premeditated lie. Even if you change your practice now, you can't change the fact that your leaders, for 8 years, have chosen to disobey Rome and LIE. You now need to ask "What else have they lied about?"] 

A LETTER TO CARDINAL O'BRIEN FROM HOWARD

Mr Rohr: I don’t know how to get a hold of Edward Cardinal O’Brien, but I hope you can pass this message along to him.

Your Eminence, Cardinal O’Brien:

Warmest Greetings from Guam, or as they say here, Hafa Adai! I am a former resident of Baltimore living in Guam for just under two years. Having grown up in Baltimore, a classmate and lifelong friend is now a priest in Baltimore, Fr Andrew Aaron. He speaks extremely fondly of you, about your leadership, your compassion and pastoral care, and your great love for the flock entrusted to you. The people of Baltimore miss your abiding presence. This message is sent to you in the hope that you can help out the people of Guam, in your capacity as Prince of the Church.

I understand you wrote Tim Rohr a while back asking him to cease his blogs which were causing the Archbishop to appear in a bad light. However, in going through Tim Rohr’s web site myself, http://junglewatch2.blogspot.com/ , I find that what he has done is to expose a big problem here on Guam that Holy Mother Church should be concerned with. While the information revealed is painful and difficult to accept, I have found Mr Rohr’s information to be straightforward, accurate, and unbiased.

The comments added to the blog site are independent of Mr Rohr, from various people within the Archdiocese. Unfortunately, most people are afraid to reveal their identity for fear of retribution from the Neo Catechumenal Way and from the Chancery, and perhaps from neighbors as well. I do not have such fears.

It is interesting to note that very few people were courageous enough to comment back in July and August when the issues started to be revealed by Mr Rohr. However, more recently, you will note a huge increase in comments from the average Catholic in the parishes. Some support the Archbishop, and many are growing increasingly hostile to the situation here in the Archdiocese. This I do fear, especially since the Archbishop’s approach to this situation is to remain completely silent. This ongoing conflict has almost seemed to embolden him. Just recently he has changed direction in a previously stated policy of not sending diocesan priests away to missionary service outside of the Archdiocese. This timing has only added fuel to the fire, since people have been assured by His Excellency that money donated to the local seminary would not be used to train priests to be sent off-island. We ourselves are considered a mission territory by the Church.

He also recently issued a decree to restrict deacons from wearing clerical attire. While I am not sure what the policy has been in other parts of the world, this change has also sparked dismay at his timing. Many problems exist here on Guam. We are a leader in cohabitation, we are a no-fault divorce state, and our divorce rates are among the highest in the nation. Abortion is easier to obtain on Guam than any other location in the US. So many problems, and this is where the Archbishop chooses to start reform.

I do not know Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron, and have never had the pleasure to speak with him, but I have heard him at our fiesta and at other masses. He seems like a likeable type. However, if you look at some of the stinging comments being made, you will get a completely different picture of him. While some of these comments may be over-reactions or not in line with reality, many of them are undeniably true and correct. Many of His Excellency’s statements have been proven to be either misleading, or outright false. But what is most troubling is his open defiance on Catholic radio KOLG to a letter written by Cardinal Arinze (who was prefect for CDW at the time), where the Archbishop questioned what credentials Cardinal Arinze had.

I have seen the letter which you wrote to Mr Rohr. I am assuming that this letter was most likely prompted by a visit His Excellency made to Your Eminence during his visit to Rome in September. If you have not already, I encourage you to review the blog site mentioned above for yourself. If my guess is correct, you will find a vastly different picture of what is going on in Guam, versus what was first presented to you in September which prompted your letter.

Your Eminence, the real purpose of my appeal to you is to plead for you to intercede for the people of Guam. Since His Excellency is not addressing the multitudes of problems that are causing a large schism on Guam, we are hoping that Rome can send an individual or a team to Guam to explore the matter and deal with the problems where ever they may lie. We love our Church here on Guam and desperately seek help to heal it before the wound grows larger and the infection spreads.

God’s blessings in all that you do,

Howard Gunther
Tamuning, GU

TIM'S NOTE; For anyone who would like to reach Cardinal O'Brien, his email address is: gm@oessh.va

Continued at LETTER NO. 2 TO THE GRAND MASTER

Thursday, December 12, 2013

AND YOU WONDER WHY PEOPLE ARE MAD?

In defense of the NCW, Anonymous says:

Tim has responded to me by saying, I've been misled. So far, and in all honesty, I haven't. I entered the NCW with many criticisms and everyday I find out that many of the misconceptions have arisen from individuals who did not understand something that was said or something they saw and decided to leave without clarification. 

Of course no one in the NCW is going to say they are misled, so this person's defense holds no water. So let me tell you how you are misled.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

MORE INFORMATION

Here's an interesting comment:

If you haven't already, check out the Wiki entry for Cardinal (Edwin) O'Brien. He appears very much to be a faithful, courageous and orthodox defender of the faith. Obviously, he has to take claims of scandalous conduct by a knight against an archbishop very seriously; and, without more information, accept the view of the archbishop and admonish the knight. So, his letter to Tim does not diminish my view of him. I just hope and pray that this situation will induce the Cardinal to more closely examine the Church on Guam. In addition to the Church being cleaved into two competing churches, there are problems that have been 25 years in the making that desperately need to be addressed.

The key line in this comment is "without more information". Well, the Cardinal was given more information, twice. And I have not been "admonished"…as apparently the Archbishop was expecting. There has only been silence from the Cardinal. Maybe it was because of the "more information"? I am holding off on posting the "more information" in my second letter. However, I am sure that the Chancery has a copy. 

Given the gravity of the Archbishop's accusations against me to the Cardinal, and given the lack of a reply, there can only be one of two conclusions: 1) The Cardinal is lax (hardly!), 2) the Cardinal sees the problem. He may still choose to kick me out of the Order, especially now that I have posted so much more. But I think he sees that all I am really trying to do is prevent the indiscriminate destruction of a priest...and maybe even a whole diocese. 

For Cardinal O'Brien's letter to me, see this post. For my first reply, go here

Some have asked what I want out of this...as if getting something will make me go away. I want nothing. And it's too late. But it would be nice if the Neocatechumenal Way actually conformed to its Statute and its leaders come clean about why it hasn't. If they don't, then I will. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

THE FOUR F'S THAT CAN DOOM YOUR MARRIAGE

Here is an interesting insight into the problems facing marriage today by Cardinal Sean O'Malley (The Four F's that can Doom your Marriage.) The first problem is the easy availability of divorce made possible by no-fault divorce laws. No-fault divorce came to Guam in 1998. The record shows there was no opposition from the church. Today, Guam leads the world in the number of divorces per capita. (4.7 divorces per 1000 population, 2010 Guam Statistical Yearbook vs Russia 4.5 per 1000, 2011 United Nations Demographic Yearbook)

And while we're on the subject, here's a few other things we should know about Guam:

THIS IS WHY

I am turning the following comment into a post because it demonstrates how MANY people have responded. There are many groups in the church. No other group has been given a regular platform at Sunday Masses with a captive audience with the clear blessing of the archbishop to do its recruiting. 

I think I was at the same Mass. I had no knowledge at the time about the NCW, but there was no doubt that the speaker believed all of us were dead Catholics. I flared with anger, not because of the man's comment, but because the Mass was abused for a commercial and I and others were taken advantage of. 

Let's be clear, the priest did not ask us to stay for a talk after the conclusion of the Mass and the final blessing. He DELAYED the conclusion and the blessing till after the talk. He abused both the Mass and the people present. 

The man's point was no different than what I had heard from people who had left the church and "found Jesus" elsewhere. I had spent years battling anti-Catholics, and here I had to listen to someone bash my Catholic Faith in my own church AND AT MASS!

Monday, December 9, 2013

YES, VIRGINIA, CATHOLICS DO PRAY TO MARY

And when we do, here's what we say (and why we say it):

http://www.guampdn.com/article/20131209/OPINION02/312090015/-Hail-Mary-uses-quotes-from-Scripture

And, by the way, there is good theological reasoning for calling an end of game desperation pass a "Hail Mary"and not an "Our Father."

Sunday, December 8, 2013

LOTS OF COMMENTS TODAY

NO LONGER A MISSION DIOCESE

President, Catholic Extension Society
One wonders if the chancery has notified the Catholic Extension Society, from which it receives quite a bit of funding annually, that the Archdiocese of Agana no longer needs its money.

The Archdiocese of Agana is classified by the CES as a mission diocese, qualifying it to receive grants to the tune of at least a quarter of a million dollars per year. 

According to the CES, to qualify for mission status the archdiocese must be able to demonstrate that it cannot sustain itself without outside funding.

Apparently we can. Not only can we now afford to sustain ourselves, according to today's U Matuna we are now wealthy enough to sustain two seminaries one of which is organized solely for the purposes of sustaining a missionary outreach to the ends of the earth. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

HUH??



The announcement* that now Guam will have two seminaries and that four locally incardinated priests will be sent "on mission" is astounding. Guam Catholics are going to have some VERY SERIOUS QUESTIONS! 

But for now, just a couple of small items. 

I
The article (U Matuna 12/8/13) entitled: Four diocesan priests go the missions ends with the sentence: "Archbishop Anthony is on the right track." 

Aside from the fact that the "right track" is yet to be determined (we will see how the people of Guam respond to their money being spent elsewhere - more on that later), the appearance of a blatant subjective comment in a supposed news item is jolting, completely out of place, unprofessional, and, by the use of the overly familiar "Archbishop Anthony", evinces that the author (unnamed) is simply waving the flag for a particular group.  

FEWER FATHER FLANAGAN'S

Fr. Flanagan, founder of Boy's Town

At the end of the classic 1938 movie BOY'S TOWN, Fr. Flanagan hugs a repentant and tearful (and previously terrible) Whitey Marsh. Holding him and consoling him he says: "There are no bad boys." And the movie ends. 

As I watched this movie last night for the first time in years, I couldn't help but compare those words to the words of the newly appointed pastor of Chalan Pago Parish.

Addressing the youth at the recent Eucharistic Congress he said:

Watch for men, they will say anything to get you and then they will treat you like an orange. They will suck all the sweet juice out of you and when there is no more juice left and you are dry they will spit you out and throw you away.
There is, of course, the shock of hearing a priest speak in this way, i.e. sucking out the "sweet juice" of women and all that. And certainly one can make the case of the inappropriateness of such remarks. But beyond that, there is the issue of what those words actually say about the man who said them.

Friday, December 6, 2013

PERMANENT DEACONS AND THE ROMAN COLLAR

Decreed December 4, 2013. Effective December 8, 2013:

In the Archdiocese of Agana permanent deacons are to wear normal lay clothing. Permanent deacons do not wear clerical attire (i.e. roman collar). 

An exception was made for one deacon in particular:

"A deacon may wear the roman collar if his official ministerial assignment is in a hospital, nursing facility, or in an institution dedicated to feeding the poor and homeless."

Also:

The proper title for addressing deacons in the Archdiocese of Agana is: "Deacon Jose Cruz", or "Jose Cruz, Deacon", or, "Deacon and Mrs. Jose Cruz"...the salutation, greeting or title Reverend Deacon or Reverend Mister is no longer permitted.

Shall we then address priests as "Priest Cruz"?


From Fr. Z's blog:

Sadly, I think, bishops still have little idea what to do with deacons. The idea of denying the Roman collar to men duly ordained as clerics, while permitting it for those merely studying for the priesthood, as is the case in many seminaries, doesn’t make sense to me. A deacon is a deacon is a deacon.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

WHO SAID THIS?




HEARD AT THE EUCHARIST CONGRESS, SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2013

(Said to the girls present): 

"Watch for men, they will say anything to get you and then they will treat you like an orange. They will suck all the sweet juice out of you and when there is no more juice left and you are dry they will spit you out and throw you away." 

I think I'll reserve my comments for something good later. 


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

THEY AREN'T RUMORS

But I will take it down...for now. The story was not unconnected.

JUST A "REGULAR" CELEBRATION


In response to the post COMMUNITY VS DIOCESE, the following comment was made:

Its comments like these above that spread negative views of the NCW. To blame the NCW that their celebrations take precedence over regular Parish/Archdiocesan/Liturgical Celebrations is untrue.

The response demonstrates the problem. The person, a member of the neocatechumenal way, actually thinks that the novena in honor of the Immaculate Conception and Santa Marian Kamalen, the Patroness of Guam and the Marianas, the highest point of the church year locally speaking, is nothing more than a REGULAR celebration. Absolutely fascinating!! Of course, maybe this is what they are taught. 


Go here to see the full comment and my more complete response.

Monday, December 2, 2013

COMMUNITY VS DIOCESE

Got this in a comment. 

I was at the first night of the Novena last night at the Cathedral and I noticed that the Archbishop was missing. A friend of mine is very active with the largest annual feast day celebration (12/08) and I asked if the Archbishop was sick, because he is normally at the Cathedral for each night of the Novena. She mentioned that he cannot on Saturday nights because he has a Neo mass for his community at his house, and that he cannot on Sunday because he hosts the seminarians and missionaries for a pizza party at his house every Sunday.

If this is true, then do you see the problem?  See the rest of the comment here


Sunday, December 1, 2013

CHANCERY V GOFIGAN: LET'S GET BACK ON TOPIC

Let's review:

On July 16, 2013, Fr. Paul Gofigan was summoned to the chancery. He was handed a letter and told to read it. In the letter, the Archbishop said: 

"...it is my sad duty to ask that you submit your resignation from the office of Santa Barbara Church in Dededo." 

The reason?

"You disobeyed the order given by the Vicar General."

What was the order?

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