Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A COMMENT WORTH REPOSTING

Originally posted as a Comment here. Anonymous January 7, 2014 at 2:57 AM

I have been rereading this article and subsequent comments. Having known Father Paul for the better of 35 years, I know he is a profoundly honest and dedicated person, who chose to become a priest on Guam after a long hiatus on the mainland, in order to serve his people and make a difference in their lives. While he is too prudish to put forward his own achievements prior to dedicating his life to the priesthood, Father Gofigan has had a storied academic and professional experience that surely has prepared him better than most for the challenges lying ahead. I cherish the long and fruitful talks we have had in the past on the complexity of ethics in the workplace and the different cases we had been exposed to. I am sure nobody at the chancery has this level of courage, knowledge or political acumen. Judging by the ill written and timed communications from the Archbishop, it would appear that they are well over their head.


On the front of the NCW it is interesting to note that their appearance on Guam and the subsequent heavy handed push by their backers on the island coincide with their "manu militari" expulsions both from Korea and Japan by the local Archbishops of these countries. Soon after these events they "retreated" to Guam where they found unconditional support from Archbishop Anthony Apuron. This is also when a series of strange transactions started occurring with entities close to the Archdiocese and/or the Archbishop that have raised questions and the interest of several groups outside the island, both within the Church, and outside of it. 

It would appear that Father Paul's poorly executed expulsion from his parish and the attempts to silence him have had the opposite effect.

The arrogance and self gratification of the staff at the Chancery have turned this otherwise non-event (per-se) into a political and administrative fiasco for the Archbishop, but also by extension (in view of their close proximity at every level) for the NCW. 

Rome is now in the middle of this fray, and whole sections of the wall of silence built by the Archbishop and his minions are crumbling under the battering rams of the multiple revelations that have come as a result of this affair. Mrs Arroyo (Patti Arroyo) understood well, and was able to lift part of the curtain that subsequently led to the widening of the debate started here and in the parishes. This story is now followed with passion by Catholics here on Guam and in the Marianas, but also in the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Korea and Japan. People are aware of it in the USA with dozens of priest following daily, three former Archbishops (one being Father Paul's former mentor) and at least one Cardinal. I know first hand that this story is also followed in France, Spain and Belgium as well as in Italy. I have been contacted by two Priors from Catalunya for more details. Persons of great renown at the Catholic University in Louvain are also eager for details.

The Catholic faithful on Guam should take heart in knowing that they are not alone, that this is shining light where there was only darkness, and that despite the injustices, the truth will prevail, thanks to their courage and their prayers. 

We also owe a great debt of gratitude to Mr Rohr and his family for his dedication to the truth and to a more just and fair Church that will serve and not be served.

NOTE: Because this comment references the event/letter which instigated the main thrust of this blog, we are reposting it here, noting 1) that Fr. Paul DID OBEY the order to terminate the employee, contrary to the Archbishop's accusation, and 2) the Archbishop NEVER CONSULTED Fr. Paul about his concerns over the former employee's presence about the parish after he was terminated. 





22 comments:

  1. The infamous letter above dated 07/16/2013 is a letter the Archbishop has nightmares about every night. No doubt he is very upset at allowing his advisors to convince him this was the way to get to their dark goal.

    Instead of doing the right thing and admit he was wrong, retract the adverse action against Fr Paul, and move forward, our spiritual leader on Guam did the unthinkable. He covered his tracks, he dug in his heels, and he started weaving a web of lies. All because he could not accept he was wrong.

    And now, thanks to the freedom of thought, and courage of Mr Rohr and other commentators, we see that many other facts are coming out which show that very serious problems exist here at home. It is indeed encouraging to know that our cries are being heard globally.

    We cannot relent though. We cannot stop until a light has been shone on every dark deed done. We must continue to pray that Rome will react and at least send someone to investigate what has been happening here on Guam.

    Are we for real? Could these acts really be happening? A simple investigation will show that yes, most of what is being said is easily verifiable. Once Rome sees this, then we must pray, and pray very hard, that they will agree with the good people of Guam that these acts are not acceptable for the bride of Christ! The Church must rise above the sunken morality of society, we must demand more from her than this. God expects more from us as well.

    I pray that everyone with knowledge of problems will post what they know so that the voice of Guam will thunder in St Peter's Square.Anonymous for now because we have reason to fear, but pray for the strength to reveal the truth proudly and openly when Rome makes a second historic visit to Guam!

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  2. Janet B - MangilaoJanuary 7, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    Thank you Anon, Jan 7, 11:41. You have said exactly what I feel, but have too much passion for. My kids tell me to tone it done, but I cannot. Everytime I think about what this man has done my blood boils. There is no way I can respect him...but I do try to respect the office.
    At least Anon has put very clearly what most of us feel.
    Tony, Adrian and David - I will also pray for you.
    Fanohge Chamorro!

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  3. • Father Paul asserts in his letter that he did terminate the employee. However, our investigation has revealed that the person continued to have an active presence at the parish as a volunteer. The person had keys to the facilities and had an active role on church grounds in different keys.

    The matter of the KEYS is the archdiocese solid evidence against Father Paul.
    If the man was terminated and keys were returned then fine. If the keys were still in his possession then it is a different story.

    I have heard Father Paul's sermons on different occasions within different parishes and what he says catches my wholehearted attention. He is a man who is very spiritual and compassionate . Good luck to you Father Paul. My prayers will be that Rome hears the cry of all people who are backing you up.

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    1. interesting comment. You say he is guilty and then hope that Rome hears the cry of the people backing him up. Regardless of the conflicting positions, having keys does not make one an employee. You'd have a really hard time making that case in front of a judge, but the chancery will soon have their chance. The real CRIME though is that if this man having keys was really an issue WHY DIDN'T THE ARCHBISHOP SPEAK TO FATHER PAUL ABOUT IT FOR TWO YEARS? No need to answer. We know why.

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    2. To anonymous January 07, 2014 @ 4:53pm

      Regarding the "KEYS" issue: I know of quite a number of people past as well as present who have keys to parishes or keys to social halls or keys to the restroom facilities for that matter...and they are VOLUNTEERS of the parishes and not even employed within the parish. Having keys to a parish is not grounds for solid evidence or employment.
      If that were the case...then we should start paying CCD Coordinators, money counters, church cleaners, techas, etc...but in reality they are volunteers...people willing to give time and energy to the parish and worthy of trust. Fr. Paul willingly gave this guy a key because Fr. Paul saw in this man that he was worthy of trust! He gave this guy a second chance in society when most people would rather turn a blind eye towards him. Fr. Paul did what was right...he showed corporal as well as spiritual works of mercy towards this man. Fr. Paul was doing what he was taught to do when he discerned becoming a priest.

      Archbishop Anthony and whoever else was involved in the scandalous acts towards Fr. Paul and this man did the very opposite! They publicly humiliated a man who is trying to right the wrong he did in his life by giving his life to the church...by changing his ways. Where was the forgiveness in all of this? Our very own archbishop going against the teachings of Christ! There was no spiritual works of mercy from our very own archbishop to this man...and yet he is still our archbishop....how sad.
      Fr. Paul is a good priest worthy of representing Jesus to the people of Guam and yet the Archbishop stripped him of his status and his parish. They not only blackballed Fr. Paul, they also gave him an ultimatum to leave the island...and still we call Anthony our archbishop.
      We talk a lot about obedience to the church and obedience to the priests and obedience to the Archbishop. Yes, we have to be obedient at all times because this is what our faith teaches us. But truly, and don't get me wrong, does it also mean we have to be obedient even if we know in our hearts that what is happening is wrong? If we, as faithful Catholics, all kept silent all throughout history whenever there was problems within the church or regarding the faith then there would be no cause for martyrs right? Now is the time to defend our faith...speak up for what is right and just but most of all...pray...pray...pray!

      Fr. Paul, know that you are well loved and we continue to keep you in our prayers. To the man who was wrongfully accused, may you continue to keep Jesus in your heart, your home and in your family! You and your family are WELCOMED into the church ALWAYS! Even though I may not know you personally...I can proudly say, "I call you brother", for we all should be brothers and sisters to each other.

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  4. springs of living water. We are a group of men and women who for ten years have worked with victims of sexual abuse on Guam. Our members today are in California, Guam, the Mariana islands, the Philippines, Italy, France and the united Kingdom. Our members have remained silent working at their own healing for many years.

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  5. I'm not saying that Father Paul is guilty. I do not have the authority to judge anyone. All I meant was the Keys are the focal point the Archdiocese is banking on.

    Word on the street is man is to be terminated; man was terminated;
    man had keys therefore not terminated in a sense; therefore this is disobedience to the Archbishop.

    This is what the Archbishop and the NCW are hoping for.

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    1. This is the Archbishops problem. Not the NCW. Do not speak on behalf of the members in the way because i like Fr. Paul yet I am a member. I never said he was guilty nor do i side with the Archboshop in this matter. So how can you say Im hoping for this? You think every member of the NCW sides with the Archbishop? Think again.

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    2. To anonymous January 17, 2014 @ 7:11pm

      Let us look back in history.... Before the NCW came into existence on Guam....archbishop Anthony was well loved and well respected. The churches were filled...the people were happy...the faith was there and there were no confusions or no doubts.

      Since the arrival of The NCW movement to Guam...our people are divided...our churches are slowly emptying....the priests are divided..there is chaos and confusion and, most of all, our archbishop has lost most, if not all, the love and respect due to him by the very same people who loved and respected him!

      NCW is the very reason why the archbishop acted out in this way. NCW is the very reason why the people of Guam no longer care much for the archbishop. NCW is the very reason why people are divided. Do you see the connection?

      And you still choose to be a member??? May God have great mercy on Kiko and Carmen!

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    3. I choose to stay a member because I do not divide myself from my parish. Though I've been involved with the NCW since I was a kid, I do not have the mentality that many accuse a member to have. I am a Catholic like everybody else. Yes you can say there's a connection but you can't claim it as fact. The action of a handful of members does not reflect us as whole. You can say I'm blind, but I see no division. Of course you are entitled to your opinion, but from the looks of it, your problem is with the Archbishop himself. Also, you shouldn't speak for others, because many still love and respect him, neo and non neo.

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    4. It has assisted me in my faith as well. Made me stronger with my bond in God. Increased my love. Softened my heart towards others. And taught me never to put my pride in the air, for God has made us equal. An image of him. His creation. You may dislike the NCW and I accept that. Just know I do not divide myself and I see everybody the same. I'm a sinner, your a sinner, were all sinners. Let those without sin cast the first stone. Until the day of judgement, we may never know what God has planned. So until then, we shouldn't argue. But love one another. Help me and pray for me. Because that is truly what we all need. Forgiveness and love.

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    5. Who is talking about "the actions of a handful of members"? What we (regular Catholics) have said over and over on this blog is that the archbishop and his Neo priests regularly invite Neo speakers to proselytize to us regular Catholics at Mass; and that during these speeches these speakers inform us -- quite clearly, if implicitly -- that as regular Catholic we are part of an inferior, and in fact defective, church. This is not the doings of a few misguided Neos, this the Neo leadership on Guam; and if you spend a few hours on the Web researching the topic you will find that the view espoused by these speakers (who are speaking at the behest of the archbishop and the likes of Msgr. Quitugua) is consistent with generally held Neo beliefs. Do you think it is wrong for the archbishop to be espousing these views? Do you think that the archbishop in espousing these view -- albeit, through proxies -- is dividing the Catholic church on Guam? If you answer "no" to any of these questions I sincerely would like to know why. If you answer "yes," then I'd like to know why you characterize this problem as "your problem," that is, only a problem for regular Catholics? If you are truly a Catholic isn't the archbishop's conduct also problematic for you?

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    6. Anonymous Jan 8, 2014 @ 3:47am

      I did say MOST, If not all, lost respect for the Archbishop. I never said all lost respect and majority of them happen to be non neos.

      I respect the title he holds....but I do not respect the man behind the title...

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  6. Correct Maria Rose.

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  7. The division caused by the Neocatechumenal Way is not an opinion, it is a plan. The leadership of the NCW believes that our church essentially apostatized after Constantine and was only restored with Vatican II. This is a heresy, a major one. Their agenda is to destroy every part of the church that does not comport with this view. We have already said that most NCW members are themselves individually good people who only want to deepen their faith. But you must wake up. You have been preyed on. The lie that is the NCW is grossly evident in the refusal of its leaders to comport with its statutes in the matter of celebrating the liturgy.

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    1. Well said Tim! We need to bring out the Hidden agenda of the NCW, which is only revealed to members who reach a certain "level". Essentially they are calling Christ a liar. Didn't He say that I will be with you always, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against you (His Church)?
      To Anonymous January 8, 2014 at 3:47 AM, If you have been "in" the NCW since you were a kid, have you not been catechized enough to return to the larger community (parish)? This is the goal of the NCW is it not? At least that's what they told Rome. The fact that no one has returned to parish life exposes the true motives of NCW, which is what Tim has stated above. Unfortunately for now, I have to remain Anonymous, lest I experience a more arduous and painful closure to my involvement in church life.

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    2. I'm guessing my second post didn't go through, but my second post stated that I am still involved with my parish even if a member. The agenda you speak of is your conspiracy. It's not fact. Your mind is set, and so is mine. I can't change you nor can you change me. The only ones making a division are those who simply claim there is a division. You don't have to like the NCW. And just because I'm a member, does not mean I agree with everything the Archbishop is doing. It is an assumption, that just because he's a member himself, were all going to agree with him.

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    3. Your liturgical practices continue to violate your own statutes, which means you take instructions from Kiko and not from Rome. That's a fact. If you would like to prove us wrong please provide the following documents:

      1. The document that allows you to continually celebrate the liturgy outside a consecrated space (not allowed by canon law except with special permission and on special occasions.)

      2. The document that allows you to receive the sacred species and not immediately consume it as the rest of us are required to.

      This has nothing to do with anyone's mind being set. It has to do with your leadership deciding that they can do as they wish. But feel free to prove me wrong. Provide the documents and I will stand corrected.

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  8. Correct archbishop Apuron has covered up abuse on Guam. He needs to resign.

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  9. Not just archbishop Apuron former bishop Tomas camacho of Saipan has a history of disturbing behavior.

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  10. Sorry Maria Rose, I'm not trying to argue with you, but I have a different recollection of the 1980s. I was around, fresh back from college and active in my parish, as I am today. Archbishop started out OK. People really missed Flores, and we knew right away that Apuron was no where near the calibre of Flores. But in the beginning Apuron didn't do anything really upsetting to us laypeople, so we just told ourselves we had to accept him for who he is and not expect him to be another Flores. My priest friends later told me Apuron was also sensitive about being compared to Flores and would express his frustration about it. Then came the signs of showmanship; his musical solos at funerals, weddings and other Masses (at the request of the family or whoever, he would say), the perm, the CDs, the me-me-me remarks. Left a sour taste in many of our mouths. Then the Renew issue. Where you around for that? I was a CCD teacher at the time. I heard from priests that Apuron said it was optional, and when Yona parish said they wouldn't take the option, Apuron demanded the pastor's resignation. Then Apuron backed down from that. Renew was more or less a failure. I mean, how often do you hear today that something wonderful going on now in our parishes is a fruit of Renew? So Apuron's troubles, especially with his priests, started somewhat early. But many laypeople didn't know about it, unless they were active in the parishes and heard the priests talk. As far as I know, there were never any glory days under Apuron from the very start.

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    1. You'll hear no arguments from my side. At that time I was young and still going through CCD classes...I guess I was sheltered from his "me and everything" moments. I only knew of him when he started singing and I never even knew he was the archbishop. I was led to believe people loved him because of his musical talent and so I figured people must really love him even more because he is the archbishop. When the NCW came into play and he started "walking" Pandora's box opened up on the island. Now we definitely need St. Michael to help us!

      Thanks for sharing your insight with me....now I really see his true colors shining through...

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