Monday, June 30, 2014

IT'S TIME TO TALK ABOUT THE LETTERS TO THE "THREE FILIPINO PRIESTS"

Copied from Diana's blog:

Diana June 28, 2014 at 9:05 AM 
Dear Anonymous at 8:42 a.m., Tim Rohr wrote on my blogsite in March when he invited to meet with him. From his comment, I see a lot of emotion in it. From his comment, I also see that it has more to do with the Archbishop than it does about the Way. 
http://neocatechemunal.blogspot.com/2014/03/controversy-and-reconciliation_11.html#comment-form 
As for the priest, he is supposed to be obedient to the Archbishop. He took a vow of obedience. This means that IF THE BISHOP TELLS THE PRIEST TO OPEN HIS PARISH FOR THE WAY, THE PRIEST SHOULD OBEY THE BISHOP. (my emphasis)
*****
The person who copied and left this as a comment on my blog (here), speculated that "Diana" might be spilling the beans about the real reason Fr. Paul was fired. Of course, we don't need any speculation at this point. Not a person outside the kiko-clan believes that his firing had anything to do with anything other than Fr. Paul's resistance to the Neocatechumenal Way. But the comment offers us some other insights.

First, as I have posited already, the Kiko's are ready to drop the Archbishop should he become too much baggage. The Way is the Thing, Kiko is their bishop, Apuron, for now is merely useful. Notice how here (and elsewhere) "Diana" looks to separate the Archbishop's actions from The Way: "I also see that it has more to do with the Archbishop than it does about the Way."

This explains why the Kiko's want to milk Apuron and this archdiocese for all we're worth (including stealing the Yona property) while he still is able to affix his signature to pieces of paper. Kiko has demonstrated that he has no use for bishops who are of no use to him. Archbishop Apuron is, sadly, just one of many.

Second, Diana's blurb about obedience affords us, once again, to examine what this "obedience" is. We have said previously that no one, not even a priest who has taken a vow of obedience to a bishop is required to remain obedient when the bishop himself has demonstrated disobedience to the authority from which his own authority flows. 

In other words, a bishop's authority is not autonomous. His only authority is his office, and his office is only valid insofar as it is in union with the Church to which that office belongs. By demanding Fr. Paul to accept the Neocatechumenal Way without regard to canon law and liturgical norms, the Archbishop violated the authority of his office, and Fr. Paul had a responsibility to oppose him. 

In Fr. Paul's case it was not a direct order from the Archbishop, since it is the Archbishop himself who takes orders. But it was the authority of the Archbishop's office that was used to bully Fr. Paul by those who give orders to the Archbishop. 

Fr. Paul did exactly what he should have done and what every other priest is required to do: require conformance to the norms of the Church. The Archbishop has no authority to modify those norms at will. Thus, he and everyone else who celebrates the current form of the neo-Eucharist is OUTSIDE the Church insofar as they persist in that error. 

To refute this and stop the controversy and division, the Archbishop has only to produce the document permitting the questioned practices. Because the liturgy is the property of the universal church and not this or that group, every aspect of the liturgy is centrally governed. And any variation, in order not to cause scandal, is documented and published for ALL to see. 

But while the order to accommodate The Way and permit its illicit liturgical practices did not come directly from the Archbishop, the 2008 order to the Three Filipino Priests, to not only accommodate the Way, but to directly participate in its illicit practices, DID come directly from the Archbishop. 

In his letter to one priest, Archbishop Apuron wrote
I am now asking you…as Archbishop of Agana to accompany this...Community as their presbyter for their Celebration of the Eucharist every Saturday evening at 7:30pm.  If you decide you will not serve, I will have to let you know now, that your time in this Archdiocese will be for only one year from the above date.
To the other two priests, he wrote:
I would like you (name of priest) to seriously consider following the next series of catechesis which will take place in (the priest's parish) and committing yourself to the community that will later be formed as its presbyter as well as other communities born from hereon in the parish. Unless I see this desire manifest in you within the coming years, I may ask that you go elsewhere….If you do not agree to the above, then you are free to begin to look around for a benevolent bishop to accept you into his arch/diocese.
Archbishop Apuron himself KNEW at the time he wrote these letters that the "Eucharist" he was demanding these priests to celebrate was, at the time, NOT YET approved. We know this because he concludes his letters with the following:
I am very certain that Rome will promulgate the Statutes of the Neo-Catechumenal Way within a few weeks now. I am enclosing three letters of three Ordinaries in the Philippines who have endorsed The Way prior to Our Holy Father's definitive endorsement of The Way. 
Archbishop Apuron recognizes that the Holy Father, Pope Benedict, had YET to definitively endorse The Way, but yet demands that these priests respond in the affirmative to a demand that would cause them to be complicit in an act that, as of December 1, 2007, was definitively illicit. 

Let's review that. The date December 1, 2007 is critical because that was the deadline given by Pope Benedict through the Congregation for Divine Worship on December 1, 2005 to the NCW to rid itself of liturgical practices that were not in compliance with church norms:
In the celebration of the Holy Mass, the Neocatechumenal Way shall accept and follow the liturgical books approved by the Church, without omitting or adding anything. 
This first instruction was to be immediate. There was no period of transition granted as there was for distribution of Holy Communion:
On the manner of receiving Holy Communion, a period of transition (not exceeding two years) is granted to the Neocatechumenal Way to pass from the widespread manner of receiving Holy Communion in its communities (seated, with a cloth-covered table placed at the center of the church instead of the dedicated altar in the sanctuary) to the normal way in which the entire Church receives Holy Communion. This means that the Neocatechumenal Way must begin to adopt the manner of distributing the Body and Blood of Christ that is provided in the liturgical books.  - Congregatio de Cultu Divino et Disciplina Sacramentorum , Prot. 2520/03/L, From Vatican City, December 1, 2005 
The Archbishop's letter to the three priests is dated March 28, 2008. So nearly four months after the deadline, the NCW continued to persist in its disobedience to Rome with Archbishop Apuron not only officially promoting and participating in this disobedience, but ordering his priest to disobey Rome as well. 

We know that the NCW had disregarded the deadline. In response to the public outcry over the demands of the Archbishop, I had written a professor at Redemptoris Mater Seminary, the intellectual center of the Neocatechumenal Way on Guam, to get the straight scoop. This is what I was told:
4/27/08

Dear Tim:  All of the directions contained in Cardinal Arinze's letter have already been put into practice.  The only exception is the manner of receiving communion.  
And why was it not implemented? According to the same source:
Kiko was granted an audience with the Pope in May, 2007, and discussed the issue. Kiko proposed an alternative method which would meet these problems and which the Pope then accepted.  The statues (sic), which incorporate the other provisions of Arinze's letter, were then amended to reflect this modification. 
And how do we know that the Pope "then accepted" the "alternative method" proposed by Kiko? Well, from Kiko, of course. SURPRISE! 

As stated above, the liturgy belongs to the universal church. It is the sacrament of unity. Any variation has the potential to cause disunity. This is why Rome carefully guards the liturgy and when variations are granted for cultural or pastoral reasons, Rome officially signs off on them in a public manner so as not to cause scandal and disunity. 

The idea that a liturgical norm as central and as important as distributing and receiving the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ would be modified in a private conversation between the Pope and Kiko and officially but privately permitted is simply NOT possible. 

Like the Archbishop, my seminary source was counting on the final version of the NCW Statute to permit Kiko's anomalous method of distributing Holy Communion:
The fact that the statues have been delayed is most unfortunate.  I trust their publication will go a long way to remove any suspicions.
BUT, it was not to be! Other than to remain in one's place, THERE WAS NO OTHER permission granted in the final Statute. Neocatechumenal communicants were to RECEIVE exactly as the rest of us. And to EMPHASIZE this, the original letter from 2005 was incorporated into the Statute

Nearly ten years later, Archbishop Apuron persists in participating and promoting a celebration of the Eucharist that is NOT permitted. In opposing Rome, from the day of his infamous 2006 radio speech, to this day, he has, by virtue of his disobedience, effectively abdicated his office relative to the governance of the liturgy, if not his office entirely

The Archbishop, sadly, has chosen to follow a different authority, and we rightly reject his choice. 

To put an end to any of these allegations he has only to produce the permission that Kiko says he has. If there is such a permission then the Archbishop has encouraged scandal by letting these errors persist without instructing the faithful. If there is no permission, then he has encouraged disobedience to Rome. 

And Fr. Paul, and every other priest has a duty NOT to obey, for there is a higher authority to which they are bound. 




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