I erred slightly in saying in my last installment that the Archbishop "would respond". In fact, we don't know if he would have on his own. For what looked like a response from the Archbishop - an invitation to Fr. Paul to meet with him - we learned later was the work of Fr. Mike Crisostomo.
After much reflection, I am deeply disappointed at what I now describe as a pointless meeting this afternoon. I was hoping and praying that perhaps you were finally reaching out to reconcile and start the healing that this Catholic community of Guam desperately needs and wants. Instead, all you asked was that “we cool off ” and let the canonical process run its course.
I am not sure what you mean by cooling off. You made reference to Mr. Rohr and how he was after you, but what does Mr. Rohr have to do with me and the defamatory remarks you made against Mr. Lastimoza and me? Please do not forget that it was you who threatened a “painful and arduous” closure to my assignment at Santa Barbara, and I have to say that you have indeed made it very painful and arduous for me.
There are two problems with this. First, the "canonical process" requires that a bishop make a personal, private and sincere attempt to resolve a problem with a pastor before it ever goes to Rome. No attempt was made.
Second, even at this stage, given Fr. Paul's willingness to reconcile, the Archbishop could have ended the whole saga. In other words THERE IS NO NEED FOR THE CANONICAL PROCESS TO RUN ITS COURSE!
The Archbishop simply could have apologized for the misunderstandings, explained that he was under severe pressures or whatever he wanted to blame it on, and quietly restored Fr. Paul to pastor of Santa Barbara, with certain agreed upon conditions relative to the former employee's presence at parish activities.
While you apologized in a very broad and verbal way, you still did not put your apology in writing and more importantly, did not send anything to the those clergy who heard these slanderous remarks.
You did not do anything to repair the damage already done. As I mentioned to you in our meeting, my Advocate, Fr. Dacanay SJ has recovered from his ailment and is now able to continue to represent me.
Therefore, I will continue to press my case, both canonically and civilly. I will continue to take any and all steps to salvage my name and vocation which you have gone out of your way to ruin.
January 16, 2014
I misspoke. I gave you the benefit of the doubt in our meeting yesterday and in my subsequent letter where I said you generally apologized. In retrospect, you did not. What you said instead was to make an excuse for your defamatory remarks by saying it was taken out of context or that it was not what you intended to say. Upon checking again what you actually said, there is no doubt that you meant what you said and you meant to ruin and defame my name and that of Mr. Lastimoza in an attempt to bolster and justify your act in removing me on July 16th as pastor of Santa Barbara.
I wanted the record clear on this point.