Thursday, May 15, 2014

THE ILLEGITIMATE REMOVAL OF FR. PAUL GOFIGAN - PART IX: WHERE IS THE POLICY?

We have been told from the beginning that the removal of Fr. Paul as pastor of Santa Barbara was necessary for the protection of parishioners, "especially the youth", and for the "safety of children."
By allowing him to work in the parish, you have exposed the children of the nearby school to a probable threat. (Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron, letter to Fr. Paul Gofigan, July 16, 2013, Prot. No. 013-047) 
A school full of children is in very close proximity to the parish. Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) students, Confirmation students and other youth groups are part of the parish. As the Archbishop clearly stated in his letter and was communicated to Father Paul, this is a serious matter which prompted him to act decisively. It was done with much prayer, with a review of the facts and with the ultimate consideration being the safety of our children. (Fr. Adrian Cristobal, Chancellor, Archdiocese of Agana, press release, July 22, 2013) 
You have caused grave harm to the parish by allowing such an individual with a publicly known record of sexual assault to work in the Church thus subjecting your parishioners, especially the youth, to a potential threat...There is absolutely no guarantee that the registered sex offender will never commit sexual assault again. Had he committed an act of sexual assault on church premises, the consequences would have been catastrophic. We cannot afford such a tragedy. (Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron, letter to Fr. Paul Gofigan, August 20, 2013, Prot. No. 013-057)
So was the registered sex-offender the threat or was Fr. Paul? And so how has the removal of Fr. Paul as pastor made the people of Santa Barbara any safer? Is not the man still a parishioner? Does not the man and his family still attend parish events? Does he not still help out around the parish? 

Did the Archbishop issue a restraining order on him to keep him away from the parish? Are there now security guards at all the Masses to keep an eye out for him and make sure he has no contact with parishioners before or after Mass and that he does not loiter in the parking lot? 

In general, has there been any new policy from the chancery generated by this "very dangerous threat" where "grave harm" and "catastrophic" consequences were narrowly averted by the Archbishop's swift action? Are there no other possible threats in any of the parishes? Are there no other ex-cons who have returned to church? If it happened once it could happen again, couldn't it? 

Isn't it the height of irresponsibility, Archbishop, to perceive and address a possible "catastrophe", as you call it, in a particular situation, and not act promptly to address the possibility of similar catastrophes throughout the rest of the diocese with a policy measure? 

Where is your policy, Archbishop? What are the rest of us to do the next time we see a registered sex offender trying to sneak into Mass with his wife and children? What if we see him assisting at an event? Should we report him to you? Why have you not seen to the protection and safety of the rest of this diocese so that we too can be protected from registered sex-offenders? 

Or was this just about getting rid of Fr. Paul?

Go here for Part X


34 comments:

  1. Where is the policy? There is no policy. Pastors in Guam have to fend for themselves, and watch their backs if they embrace someone like this man---as Pope Francis would---if they are to avoid being ambushed and maligned like Father Paul, UNLESS you are of course in the NEO-NCW. Yes, you are correct Tim. The target was Fr. Paul, and not the trumped-up concern for the safety of the youth and parishioners. How low will the Chancery go to get their way and cover their tracks? This is shameful.

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  2. The NCW brags about how they bring back to the Church the marginalized, the neglected, the downcast, the criminals, and the lost ones. This man and his wife and two children certainly fit the bill. Would Monsignor David or Father Adrian or Father Alberto, all Neo priests, be removed from their positions if they embrace such a person, as their catechist teaches them to do? Of course not. And should the archbishop himself? Isn't he the biggest Neo student of all? Of course not. This further reinforces Tim's point that the target was Fr. Paul and not the safety and welfare of the parishioners!

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    1. Besides who is AAA for not forgiving this man? God forgives, and welcomes anybody and everybody into his house. So what does it mean that AAA doesnt? Is he higher than our GOD? I see and read that he has issues with Fr Paul.

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  3. Yup! The fact that the Chancery didn't do anything for two years further bolsters the point that Fr. Paul is indeed the target!

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    1. The Chancery did not know about the violation for two years. It is clear from the facts. The Archbishop trusted Fr. Paul that he would follow his instruction he gave him in 2011. As soon as he learned about the alleged violation two years later in 2013, he acted. Wasn't it his duty to act? His preliminary investigation consisted of confirming factual elements listed in his letter under 3 points.
      I really wonder how would you argue here, because it does not matter how hard you try, it does not add up to a valid and viable case challenging the Archbishop's decision.

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    2. Okay. Let's grant you your points. Let's let the bishop off the hook for not acting sooner. However, once sued, he will have to prove that in a court of law. But for your sake, let's say you are right.

      How then does the firing of Fr. Paul protect the children and parishioners who are still exposed to the man? Why has the archbishop not issued any sort of policy governing possible similar situations in the future?

      By what authority did the Archbishop act contrary to church law in his unlawful removal of Fr. Paul? Why the tricky locking him out of his office and demand to vacate the rectory? Why not just reassign him? Why not just demote him? Why not call him in and discuss the problem as any decent human being would do and especially a bishop who is required to care for his priests? Why strip him of his faculties? (only later restored after we called attention to it here).

      Why the attempt by the Archbishop to later cast Fr. Paul's relationship with the man as homosexual? Why the accusation (false) that Fr. Paul had a special staircase built to his second floor room so that the man could visit him secretly and bring him booze? (the accusation of the Archbishop)

      The canon law suit brought against the Archbishop by Fr. Paul does not challenge what the Archbishop knew and when he knew it, which is the only point you have. The law suit challenges the illegal procedure in which he was removed and the charge, already proven false, that he did not terminate the man's employment when ordered.

      It is up to the people and parents of Santa Barbara church and school to sue the Archbishop for knowingly allowing themselves and their children to be put in harm's way if the man was the danger that the Archbishop said he was. And it will be up to the bishop, in a court of law, to show that he knew nothing for two years. And believe me, it will all be televised.

      So, okay, let's let you win your little point because it's not even the point. The MONSTROUS behavior of the Archbishop towards his own priest and his disregard for the church and church law is the point.

      And that's why there are 2000 hits a day on this blog...which include yours. :)

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    3. Yes, the Chancery knew for two years!

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    4. To 12:38PM. You claim:“ The Chancery did not know about the violation for two years.” “The Archbishop trusted Fr. Paul that he would follow his instruction he gave him in 2011.” Then you also say: “As soon as he learned about the alleged violation two years later in 2013, he acted.”

      The Archbishop’s basic instruction in 2011 to Fr. Paul was for Fr. Paul to release the person who the Chancery (aka Archbishop) obviously knew to be a registered sex offender, correct? Doesn’t this information included in the instructions to Fr. Paul in 2011 then, have everything to do with the Archbishop’s illegal actions against Fr. Paul in 2013?

      Your defense 12:38PM, is a classic example of all the flimsy, feeble and laughable ways that the defenders of the Archbishop rely on! You even contradict yourself right in your own post!!

      Another example of the fact that in the Chancery’s haste to cover-up an illegal act and crime, they forget to think.

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    5. Okay. I decided to just go ahead and tell everybody. I'm sure the Archbishop appreciates you: http://junglewatch2.blogspot.com/2014/05/tango-in-tagaytay.html

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  4. May we ask if the faculties of Fr.paul were suspended by a formal letter received by him. Thank you.

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    1. No. He was told by the illegally appointed parochial administrator that he could not say Mass or carry on any duties as a priest, and he was removed from the schedule of presiders. It wasn't until he publicly challenged the Archbishop on this that he received the go ahead to say Mass again. The Archbishop knew he did not have sufficient reason to strip Fr. Paul of his faculties but he needed to keep him off the pulpit, so he had him removed from the schedule of presiders. Fr. Paul asked the parochial administrator point blank about whether he was still allowed to carry on his priestly duties and the pa said NO. That order only could have come from the Archbishop.

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    2. Unless a priest receives a formal letter by his ordinary suspending him of his priestly faculties his faculties are not suspended and he is free to celebrate mass. Even if a bishop announces a suspension it remains invalid until he has written the letter and the priest is presented the letter. It seems to us that fr. Paul is not suspended. However, the one who assists the archbishop with canonical problems may need to review.

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    3. Right. This is why when Fr. Paul finally challenged the Archbishop directly as to his "suspension", the Archbishop had to allow for Fr. Paul to be placed back on to the schedule of presiders. It was another sneaky attempt by the Archbishop to bully his priests.

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    4. May we ask if Agana Guam has only one canon lawyer who is presently the vicar General as stated in the national catholic directory. Who is teaching canon law in the r m s ?

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  5. Tim. There must be another reason why archbishop Apuron wanted fr. Gofigan removed from this parish. The facts as presented clearly show this. But then for the archbishop to accuse a priest of his diiocese of having a homosexual relationship is an abuse of his position and authority.

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    1. Maybe he told Fr Paul.to.join the NEO and Fr Paul refused. AAA from all I've read is teying to be God and its his way or the highway!!!

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  6. Not only does an act of slander coming from the Archbishop unbecoming for someone holding that position, but is scandalous coming from a clergy in the Catholic Church, at that.

    ... and what does it say about one's integrity or lack of when one stoops to engage in such?

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  7. Unfortunately the archbishop has a history of making up untruths about priests and people. Many people just moved far away from him why if you notice he has few close friends. Anyone who got close to him always moves away as he hurts people. Only now in this case fr.paul has stood up to a school yard bully boy for the first time in 25 years. May be others will now begin to come forward and tell their personal stories of dealings with the archbishop and his friends on the hill. May be the time is right now to look back on his years as archbishop and look at the pain he caused so many on Guam and beyond. The story needs to be told so people can see the truth.

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    1. Anon may 16 2014 2.37am. Are you open to a phone conversation.

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  8. Mr. Rohr:

    Open up a new link entitled: Tell us your story about Archbishop Apuron. It should make for interesting bed time reading!

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    1. Oh no! Please don't! As much as I loathe what is going on, I still have respect for the Archbishop as a brother in Christ. To anonymous at 8:48, if a sounding board is what you want, create your own blog. You will soon see how vicious it will become.
      Tim, just continue to post the hard evidence and documents and that will be enough. It's already difficult for many of us who still have hope to struggle with the revelations you have presented. Don't distract the message with anecdotal submissions that would malign the Archbishop. It would be counter-productive.

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    2. No worries. I wouldn't do that. I have a specific purpose with this blog and that is to address the ills that have been brought to our island by the Kiko's. If anyone wants to go back further than that, they are welcome to on their own.

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    3. Thank you, Anonymous (May 16, 2014 at 10:46 AM), for acknowledging that Tim provides the "hard evidence and documents" related to his posts, contrary to the Kiko-bots' mantra — here and on "Diana's" Neo blog — that Tim only spreads "hearsay, gossip and superstition."

      It's quite obvious that the Kiko-bots are unable to process the HARD EVIDENCE since it takes more than decoding skills to understand the contents of the documents. Not only must they understand what they are able to decode, they must analyze, evaluate and synthesize all the information to formulate their own ideas — what a novel concept!! Instead they spit out the same accusations that Tim Rohr only spreads "hearsay, gossip and superstition" — no higher order thinking skills required there, just the ability to repeat what they've been taught.

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  9. As a priest in the Archdiocese I find all this speculation very troubling. However, since I was at the retreat in Tagaytay, I can definitively verify that the Archbishop said they were looking at Fr Paul for two years, knowing he was not following his directive.
    Apparently, Tim has the same evidence. There is no question he said this. Should the Apostolic Delegate ask directly all priests present would have to admit this.
    Your excellency, Archbishop Krebs, we hope you can come to Guam to talk to the clergy. We long for your support.

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  10. I am also a priest of this archdiocese and having just read 11.29pm wish to affirm the comment of whoever it is. We priests do not always express to each other our pains and concerns, and yes even fears in the archdiocese. Very often we remain silent about important concerns that we share as brother priests.
    From personal observation of Tim's page, and yes from a distance I do daily open Tim rohrs page because he communicates for us what we priests fear to say. He has become a voice for me, and in my heart he may well be a voice in the desert of other priest in our archdiocese. We know in our hearts what is happening and yet like so many we share in the sin of omission, of failing to do anything when there is a need to act. Tim Rohr cannot act alone and we have to find a way to prudently and with great respect and dignity to work to resolve the challenges our home faces today. We are sons of Guam, we were born here, and most of us will die here. We have a duty to protect our home. From observation I believe there are two priests leaving comments on this page. If there are five priests who will leave a comment of anon conformation of support of this comment and the 11.29pm. Then I will put my neck on the line and take prudent action this week.
    In conclusion, may I sincerely thank Tim Rohr for allowing us to communicate anon on his page at this point in time. It is the only medium available to us at this point in time.

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  11. Thank you my brother priest. I am Anon 11:29PM and I look forward to the day when we can all openly discuss the problems facing our community and our Church here on Guam. I had high hopes that our Convocation in 2010 would be a spring board for progress.
    For various reasons it was not to be. However, I think most of us feel great hope that the Holy Spirit will guide us through this situation, and we can start to talk and frankly discuss between all parties involved how we can move forward.
    To the faithful of Guam. Pray for us as we continue to pray for you.

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  12. I cried while reading these comments from our beloved priests.The people of Guam can express their pains and sorrows about the leadership of our local Church, and yet, our priests are suffering an even greater anguish. They are Guam's sons who can not go to their "Father" because of fear, intimidation, retaliation. Beloved clergy, please know that many of us pray for you. May you find strength and courage from the prayers we offer.

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    1. Thank you 9.24am. Let's act prudently with humility and justly to resolve the issues as priests of the archdiocese.

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  13. I am very concern about the issues facing us today in our local church. I pray that the Archbishop will lead his flock in the right direction because we are all hurting both laity and religious. We all want unity It starts with the Archbishop. He need to right the wrong. "Just like Jesus said, "I am the Good Shepard." He needs to act like one.

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  14. Both religious and laity are suffering. Archbishop! We are pleading for your stand. Please for the LOVE of God, do what is right but more important, Do what Jesus would do?? Will he allow this heresies to continue. No! We pray for you.!

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  15. Archbishop is not a happy man today.

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  16. Recently cleaned up some of the comments. There was someone on this comment string pretending to have been at the retreat. Note: YOU HARM OUR EFFORTS.

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  17. Tim. Can confirm the two comments above are from priests. To our knowledge there are three confirmed priests operating on the page.

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