Friday, April 11, 2014

WHY THE NEOS NOW WANT TO DUMP THE ARCHBISHOP

There appears to be some discussion amongst some in the Neo-communities as to how to delink the fate of the Neocatechumenal Way on Guam from the fate of Archbishop Apuron. 

The goddess Diana

  • The canonically illegal (and now very unpopular) firing of Fr. Paul.
  • The subsequent retaining of a canon lawyer by Fr. Paul and the filing of an appeal to Rome.
  • The Archbishop's later implication at the clergy retreat in Manila that Fr. Paul and a layman were involved in a homosexual affair and the Archbishop's accusation that Fr. Paul had gone so far as to build a stairway to his room in order to receive this man privately (both false).
  • The potential civil lawsuit as a result of the Archbishop's implied allegations.
  • The attempt to convey the title to the multi-million dollar property upon which Redemptoris Mater Seminary sits to an entity other than the Archdiocese of Agana.
  • The canonically questionable firing en masse of the archdiocesan finance council when it objected to the said conveyance and/or assignment (which was within its right to do).
  • The denial of Aaron Quitugua's request to be sent to a non-neo off-island seminary on the grounds that the archdiocese did not have the funds which turned out to be not true when Aaron later was still denied sponsorship to an off-island seminary after he volunteered to finance his own education - leaving everyone to wonder not just about the future of local vocations but the Archbishop's honesty (even though the untruth about finances was actually told by Fr. Adrian). 
These are just some of the things that plague Archbishop Apuron that some in the Neocatechumenal Way now want to distance themselves from. 

For those of us not in the Way, we tend to lump the Archbishop in with the Neocatechumenal Way, and for good reason. However, as we have begun to learn, many in the Way are just ordinary members and do not understand the connection between the Archbishop's above listed actions and woes, and the fate of the Neocatechumenal Way on Guam. 

As anyone can see, the Way and its practices, and whether they are orthodox or heterodox, was not a burning issue with anyone until July 16, 2013 when the Archbishop gave Fr. Paul the ultimatum to resign and leave this diocese or face a "more painful and arduous closure" to his assignment. 

While many of us could see the problems and in fact could see bigger problems coming, there was no real energy to engage those problems. We were simply willing to live and let live and get on with our own business. But the treatment of Fr. Paul quickly brought the decade long tension between the Neocatechumenal Way - which the Archbishop has stridently sided with - and the rest of the church on Guam. 

So why do the Neos now want to dump the Archbishop?

Following the Fr. Paul event, which was quickly linked to his opposition to the Way, most of the subsequent conversation turned towards the theological and liturgical peculiarities of the NCW. And thanks to some of its members, much has been exposed, including the rather startling (for us) belief that the Archbishop has little to no authority over the individual communities!

This was uniquely revealed to us in a comment by the the now famous local Neo member, Zoltan:
"...when a bishop allows the Way to work under its jurisdiction, then the same bishop consents to the faith life and the practices of the Way. So we do not need special permission from the local bishop, or the Archbishop in this case, to participate in and follow our celebrations."
Zoltan, a university math professor, is not unintelligent, and has been extremely earnest in his attempts to educate us about the Neocatechumenal Way. We have no reason not to believe that what he has shared with us is exactly what he has been taught. Many of the things shared by Zoltan which we first found to be outrageous were later backed up by the neo-"goddess", Diana, whose blog is apparently the counter to this one. So barring any authentic disagreement or counter to Zoltan's statement, we must accept it as true.

And upon further analysis, we can see why it is true. The Archbishop is NOT the Archbishop in the Neocatechumenal Way. He is treated and addressed as just one of the brothers, and himself, sits at the feet of the appointed catechist. In fact, this subjection of a bishop to a lay catechist was never better displayed than in Kiko's recent public tutelage of Pope Francis, where "Kiko the Catechist" made the Pope sit alone, center stage, in front of a world audience, while he lectured him for ten minutes about the Way, Kiko's Way.)

Thus we can see why Zoltan and others view the Archbishop as they do. And we can also see, given that he has now become a serious liability, why they now want to separate themselves from him. 

To be continued. 

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