Saturday, April 26, 2014


Jesus warned us about individuals, especially those in authority, that we should be very wary of their actions when they stray off course. Whimsically, a select few condemn Mr Rohr for bringing to light the dangers of straying from Church doctrine, magisterium, and liturgical norms. 

We should call these the Neo-Ostrich Way (NOW). It is a fitting acronym as it reminds them, and all of us that we need to pull our heads out of the sand NOW! Jesus did not allow himself to be nailed on the cross so we could happily ignore problems and turn a blind eye to abuses. As Christians, we have many rights, but we also have responsibilities. One of those responsibilities for us normal Catholics is to speak the truth, speak out and do our best to make things right. It is a very Christian form of resolving problems.

People in greater levels of authority have an even greater responsibility, like the Archbishop, to speak out and correct wrongs when they occur, teach us the ways of the Church, and of course, to follow said ways. A sacristan minister and friend just showed me the Roman Missal. It is the very thick book you see our altar servers struggle holding up for the priest, and the same book the priest uses at the altar. The red print, called rubrics give very specific and detailed instructions which are to be followed meticulously by the priest, even when to bow, when to put hands together, etc.

Curious sort that I am, I looked at the instructions for the Holy Week we just were graced with. And, as has been the case for some time now, I found several things that the Archbishop, Vicar General, and Chancellor should clarify for my benefit, and that of a lot of others who do not subscribe to the ostrich theory in the NOW.

Here are the specific instructions (rubrics) for the Easter Vigil:

“On this night’s vigil, which is the greatest and most noble of all solemnities, there is to be only one celebration in each church.” In other words, this occasion is so significant, all the faithful from that community should gather as one to observe the Easter Vigil. Some Churches, like Santa Barbara normally have two Saturday evening masses, but on THAT night, they are very specifically told to have just one celebration. So what does our bishop do? He encourages his beloved NOW to celebrate their own separate Easter Vigil. So the Tamuning Parish had two Easter Vigils, one for normal Catholics and one for NOW. Same with Agana, Barrigada, Asan, Yigo, Agat, etc. So much for one solemn celebration! So much for rules! So much for unity of parishes! The NOW wonders why people question their ways…here is an example. My parish had a beautiful celebration with a huge fire. Many parishes pulled out all the stops to make for a memorable and special celebration on that special night. Unfortunately, there were faces missing because they wanted to celebrate in private, in a gymnasium! Will one of the three on the hill explain how this is possible, and how it helps our faith community? I doubt they will, even though they should.

Oh yeah, the rubics had some other stuff, like “The entire celebration of the Easter Vigil must take place during the night, so that it begins after nightfall and ends before daybreak on the Sunday”. Adrian, our Chancellor, submitted the precise directive which all parishes were told they had to follow. It was in the U Matuna several times during the Lenten season, and he made it clear that no vigil mass was to start before 7:15PM. Guess when the bishop’s mass started? If you guessed at 7:15PM or later you would be wrong. He started his mass at 7PM so he could get it over with and then quickly hurry to the Bishop Baumgartner gym to meet with his flock. Yet another example how he has ceded the throne and needs to be replaced. Of course, maybe he has a good explanation which we would all like to hear. Maybe some ardent NOW follower will explain that he has hig blood pressure and needed to get some medication?!?

Out of curiosity, were there any other churches that started their celebration before the directive ordered earliest time of 7:15PM? If there were wouldn’t it be interesting to see they were also NOW parishes with NOW priests that needed to rush off to a more important mass? But we know that Fr Alberto was in no rush. He abandoned Mt Carmel altogether so he could be in Spain with his NOW community there. How do our friends in Agat feel about this lack of support from their pastor. People would like to know. And if you are NOW, respond because we can always use a little humor to brighten our days.

The rubrics also instruct that only one Paschal candle is to be used per parish. So important is the paschal that instructions also stated that the traditional processional cross and candles are omitted for this special occasion. So a question naturally arises in my curious mind. Does the NOW take the Paschal candle from each of their parishes to the gymnasium, hotels, and homes where they celebrate their private Easter Vigil masses? Or do they have their own paschal candles? Well, of course they need to have their own paschal candle, which has a beautiful/grotesque Kiko image on it, which is purchased from a Kiko store.

So to the three wanna be leaders on the hill, can you please explain why the NOW refuses to follow these very specific instructions on the holiest of nights? Are we really that far beneath you that you cannot have a decent liturgy with us? Does the NOW consider themselves a part of the parish or are they a separate entity? Some good questions you might like to pull your heads out and respond to.

As Jesus is fond of pointing out: you hypocrites and brood of vipers! NOW I can see why there is so much venom coming from the Chancery.

Janet B. - Mangilao

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