Saturday, March 8, 2014


On Wednesday, March 5, Pacific News Center did a story on Archbishop Apuron's refusal to sponsor Aaron Quitugua to an off-island seminary. Since Aaron did not want to speak to the media, I spoke in his behalf. To get the Archbishop's side, the PNC reporter, Janela Carrera, called the chancery and spoke with Fr. Adrian. Fr. Adrian declined comment and said he wouldn't respond to rumors - though the "rumors" were his own words in an email to Aaron. He later called Janela and told her to look in the U Matuna for the answer to her questions. 

Ms. Carrera proceeded with the story, and as good reporters do, presented both sides, albeit in this case, she had to track down an U Matuna and try to figure out what it was that Fr. Adrian wanted her to read. When you watch the story, you will see that she did a very fair job.

The next day, PNC received an email from Dennis Santo Tomas alleging the following:

  1. That only one side of the story was presented.
  2. That I (Tim Rohr) had said that the Pontifical Lateran University with which RMS is affiliated is not accredited.
  3. That it was the job of PNC news to provide evidence of my assertion that the Lateran University was not accredited (even though I made no such assertion)
  4. That there are two seminaries in Guam and that Aaron "has always had the choice to choose between the two." 

The news director who received the complaint forwarded it to me for my comment, and I replied as follows:
From: "Tim Rohr" 
Sent: March 6, 2014 11:44 PM
To: "Kevin Kerrigan" 
Cc: "Janela Buhain Carrera" 
Subject: Re: Local Teen Denied Sponsorship to Off-Island Seminary, Archdiocese's Reasons Unclear 
It wasn't Janela's job to get the facts. It was her job to present both sides. She called Fr. Adrian to present his side. He declined. Then he called back later and told her to find her own answers to her questions in the U Matuna. She had to work with what was available. 
The reason Fr. Adrian gave to Janela for not speaking with her personally was that he doesn't respond to "rumors." The "rumors" were his own words in his email to Aaron. He chose not to defend them. Janela can't be faulted. She doesn't need to back up MY statements. Janela didn't say the institute was fake, I did. Adrian had a chance to prove me wrong. He didn't take it.  
The bottom line is that Fr. Adrian lied to Aaron about why he could not be sent to an off-island seminary. He was caught in the lie. He had his chance to counter my comments with his own. He passed. PNC did its job.  
Tim Rohr
The news director forwarded my comment back to Mr. Santo Tomas and then I got the following directly from Mr. Santo Tomas:

Dennis Santo Tomas
Friday, March 7, 2014 at 8:11 AM  
I don't care about what transpired between Janela and Fr. Adrian but you have no right to say the Pope's University aka the Pontifical Lateran University is non-accredited unless you provide the factual evidence to prove it. Have more respect for the Holy Father. That's all I ask.

I then replied:
Tim Rohr
Friday, March 7, 2014 at 10:24 AM 
to Dennis  
show me where I said the pope's university is not accredited

Mr. Santo Tomas replies:
Dennis Santo Tomas
Friday, March 7, 2014 at 11:19 AM 
to me  
You said the Seminary is not accredited yet the Bishop from the Pope's University visited and approved of Guam's RMS Seminary which is directly affiliated with the Pope's University therefore it has those same accreditation standatds .

I then replied:

Tim Rohr 
Friday, March 7, 2014 at 12:57 PM 
to Dennis 
Sorry, it does not. Otherwise the Institute could grant degrees, which it doesn't. But that's not what you accused me of saying, is it?  Here is what you said: 
Has Rohr presented evidence obtained from this university that proves that it is not accredited as he so states? 
Let's review. 
1. I did not call into question the accreditation of the Lateran.
2. I called into question the accreditation of the Blessed Diego Institute, simply because there is none. 
Because affiliation is NOT accreditation, only certificates of completion can be awarded, not credits, which is why accreditation is different from affiliation, and in fact where the word "accredited" comes from.  
Thus, unlike college credits, the value of a certificate of completion at other educational institutions is completely at the discretion of those institutions.  
Aaron's concern was that should he be rejected as a candidate for the priesthood - since the decision is not his to make - that his years of study and accomplishments would be recognized by another educational institution. Professor Bosco Corrales confirmed that they do not. 

There has been no further reply from Mr. Santo Tomas, but, as with other comments from neo-defenders on this blog, the comments of Mr. Santo Tomas are instructive. Let's first take a look at his list of complaints:

  1. That only one side of the story was presented. [As already noted, BOTH sides of the story were represented since Fr. Adrian's response was to "go look in the U Matuna."]
  2. That I had said that the Pontifical Lateran University with which RMS is affiliated is not accredited. [As is clearly evident, I only questioned the credentials of the Blessed Diego Institute, not those of the Lateran.]
  3. That it was the job of PNC news to provide evidence of my assertion that the Lateran University was not accredited (even though I made no such assertion) [As already explained, it is not the job of the reporter to provide evidence, it is the job of the reporter to present both sides. And I would say that Mr. Santo Tomas owes PNC an apology.]
  4. That there are two seminaries in Guam and that Aaron "has always had the choice to choose between the two." [As we all know, there are NOT two seminaries in Guam. The only thing we know is that Archbishop Apuron, in December of last year, said that he "will erect" a second seminary. A place to sleep, does not a seminary make!]

Mr. Santo Tomas' next comment (directly to me) provides us with much to muse on. He says:
"I don't care about what transpired between Janela and Fr. Adrian but you have no right to say the Pope's University aka the Pontifical Lateran University is non-accredited unless you provide the factual evidence to prove it. Have more respect for the Holy Father. That's all I ask."
We've already dealt with the fact that I made no such allegation against the Lateran, but the fact that Mr. Santo Tomas continues on this track, despite the evidence, is interesting. He demands that I produce evidence for something I didn't say but says he doesn't care about the evidence about what Fr. Adrian DID say. But beyond that, as anyone who watches contests between politicians on the news knows, no factual evidence is ever required. People present their opinions all the time on the news, right or wrong. 

Now, before we go on, I want to say that I don't know Mr. Santo Tomas personally, but I understand that he is well-placed in the community and generally respected as an intelligent man and even a community leader. Thus, the fact that he so quickly descends into irrationalities and clearly unfounded accusations against me and the Pacific News Center is more evidence of the irrationality that we have all come to experience whenever we try to intelligently engage people in the Neocatechumenal Way. This speaks volumes about what really happens in the NCW. But let us proceed to perhaps the most disturbing statement.

Mr. Santo Tomas admonishes me to "have more respect for the Holy Father." So let's work backwards so we can better understand neo-think. My questioning of the academic integrity of a local neo-run institute, an institute which can't even keep current a list of its faculty, a list which is probably more than ten years questioning of this institute is a direct attack on the Holy Father

This is not new. We are used to this. Every honest question about the neo to a neo is answered in a similar way: an unconnected mad dash to some reference to the pope, be it a picture of Kiko and the pope, a decades old photo of the pope celebrating Mass with the neos, or as Santo Tomas does here, a plain and brazen accusation that my question is an attack on the person of the Holy Father.

But speaking of having "more respect for the Holy Father":

  • How about you neos demanding that Archbishop Apuron actually apologize for his direct attack on the Holy Father in January 2006 when on KOLG he publicly denounced the Holy Father's directive to fix your liturgy when he mocked the credentials of the pope's personal representative, Cardinal Arinze, Prefect for the Congregation of Divine Worship. 
  • How about you neos demanding that Archbishop Apuron not violate the liturgical norms of the universal church by not interrupting our Masses with your neo ads
  • How about demanding that Kiko Arguello actually "have more respect for the Holy Father" by actually obeying the pope's earnest request to fix your liturgy rather than spitting in his face (read it here). 
  • How about all of you neos actually showing "more respect to the Holy Father" by actually, even now, after all these years, conforming to your own Statute as regards the distribution of Holy Communion?

We respect the Holy Father. We are waiting for you.


  1. That representatives of a Catholic hierarchy on the island can stoop so low as to attempt to "pull the wool" over the congregation is another example of desperate attempts to mislead, misinform; and thus again insult the Catholic congregation's intelligence and actually contribute towards widening the division in this Diocese!

  2. Francis=Frank=kiko, so yes the neos do respect the holy father; pope kiko....tongueincheek...just had to, that was a quite a

    1. Glad to be Back to Holy Mother ChurchMarch 8, 2014 at 11:51 AM

      Glad to see that the NCW is not only irreverent, but also totally irrelevant. Just like all NCW commentators, they never stick to the core issues, but always try subterfuge to misdirect. Of course, we should actually pity them, because even though they know they have no excuse or explanation, they still try to play in a jungle in which they are totally unprepared. It shows how trapped they are in this Neo-Web. They cannot personally justify the movement they belong to, they know what the movement does is wrong, they know the Archbishop is leading them down a path that goes away from the Church, yet they persist in their involvement and, worse yet, defense of these errors. There is definitely a strong cult element in evidence here when people know they are wrong but cannot find a way out.
      There is a way out. Jesus provided for a real Church, one that may have some human imperfections, but one that will always be there ready with open arms to welcome you back into the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
      The very first step in any journey is always the hardest. Recall how difficult that first step into the NCW was. I pray you will soon find the strength to take that first step back to the Church of your baptism.
      May the Holy Spirit guide you in this journey just as He guided me in my first difficult step back to Holy Mother Church.
      Life here is fantastic, just as Christ had envisioned it, so take the good you have learned in the Way, and bring it back to "THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE" with a new sense of purpose.
      We wait with open arms!

  3. It is becoming quite obvious that the Neo supporters are looking outside themselves for answers because they can't face the questions posed by Mr. Rohr and others in this blog. They can't because they are fear the answers awaiting them. That is too bad. If the Neocats will only look to what is going inside their movement or organization, they will realized that there are problems that should be corrected. Every organization or movement has growing pains, and the severity of these growing pains, at least in Guam, can be minimized if they address their problems honestly, realistically, and with courage. They may emerge stronger if they allow this correction to take place. But they can't because they have been inculcated from the very beginning that their way is the authentic, true, and only way and any criticism that says otherwise is a sign of holy persecution, a persecution that they believe further reinforces the fact that they are the authentic, true, and only way. If that is a not a cult, then the Holocaust never happened! St. Paul asks us to question everything in order to be able to discern what is the Truth. The neocats are taught to obey without question, which invariably will do more harm than good. When we are asked to open our hearts, it also means to open our minds. If only the noecats would.

  4. It is not a well structured seminary offering a priestly formation for academics, for human and spiritual formation. Worrying that the archbishop is allowing this to happen on Guam. The archbishop, in fact no priest on this island has the academic standard to administer a seminary.

  5. The archdiocese is now a divided church. We cannot rebuild the unity of the church on Guam why archbishop Apuron remains.he is the cause of a great deal of division in this community.

  6. If the seminary isn't accredited, why did Father Adrian's email say the students get a B.A. Degree in Theology?

    1. If you read the whole email correspondence carefully you will see that Fr. Adrian refers to Baccalaureate Degree which is recognized ONLY by the Lateran and recognized only by other institutions if they so decide. Thus the credits earned at Blessed Diego are not transferable to any other educational institution, nor would a B.A from Blessed Diego have any value should a BD graduate want to go on to study for a Master's at a different institution.

  7. These uncertain times here for the Catholic Church on Guam remind me of Don Bosco's dream of the two pillars. He pictured the Church as a flagship steered by the Pope. The flagship was attacked on all sides by smaller ships out to destroy the Church.

    Don Bosco stated: "Very grave trials await the Church. What we have suffered so far is almost nothing compared to what is going to happen. The enemies of the Church are symbolized by the ships which strive their utmost to sink the flagship. Only two things can save us in such a grave hour: devotion to Mary and frequent Communion. Let us do our very best to use these two means and have others use them everywhere." (

    Our situation seems grim, but Jesus promised that the gates of hell would not prevail over our Church. We should heed the advice of Don Bosco and pray for Mother Mary's intercession and keep devotion to the Holy Eucharist.

    Pray for those who are being misled. Pray for Tim and Chuck and all others who sacrifice for the truth. Please just keep praying and trusting in God!

    R. Camacho

  8. Sorry I want to say a few things. But hard to go back to earlier articles on the blog. One, besides the ways the neos dont follow the rules of the mass, I also noticed they use the cloth veil I only see since I was a kid the priest using for benediction. The neo use it to carry the Holy Bible. Does anyone know if this is allowed by the rules? Second. The people of Guam really need to hold back on giving anything to the apeal this year. We need to make our voices heard loud and clear. Third. Not only that but why not send letters with or without our names to the Archbishop stating our feelings. Imagine if the Archbishop gets hundreds and hundreds of letters? Imagine 500 letters in one week!

  9. Stop the money to the bishops annual appeal. When you stop the money it will work. Archbishop Apuron is only concerned with money and material goods, land, and property. Remove these and our voice will be heard. Continue to feed him money the abuses will continue. Very simple. Sure Tim agrees. Stop the money to the appeal.

  10. Tim and chuck will be ok. They are already highly respected by bishops ad priests around the world who follow their writings on this blog.