Saturday, July 26, 2014

SNAP: CA- Will SF let twice-accused LA/Guam priest work?

Today, SNAP has released another statement about Fr. Wadeson This time it is directed at his activity as a priest in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. 

The SNAP statement makes the following four points to which I will add comment:

"First, San Francisco Archbishop Cordileone should tell what he knows about these allegations and explain why Fr. Wadeson was apparently allowed to work as a priest here even though he was ousted elsewhere. Not one of his aides. Not one of his spokespersons. But the archbishop himself." 

It appears Fr. Wadeson may have been active in the San Francisco diocese since the early 2000's. Archbishop Cordileone only came to San Francisco in 2012 and 1) may not be aware of Fr. Wadeson's presence or record, and 2) would not have been the bishop who gave Fr. Wadeson faculties to participate in active ministry in San Francisco if in fact he does have faculties. There is the added issue that Fr. Wadeson is NOT assigned to a parish but to a Neocatechumenal Center. And as we already know, the Neo's have their own hierarchy and bypass bishops and pastors at will. What we DO KNOW is that it is Archbishop Apuron who ASSIGNED Fr. Wadeson to the Neocatechumenal Center in San Francisco. Whether he did so with the permission of the then-archbishop is what we don't know. (See pg. 19 of the 2013 Directory for the Archdiocese of Agana). 

"Second, the Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez should explain, in detail, why LA officials banned Fr. Wadeson from ministry. He should release all necessary documents, post them on his website, and keep them there."

Like Archbishop Cordileone in San Francisco, Archbishop Gomez was only recently installed as Archbishop of Los Angeles.  And other than being aware of the report, which came out during the reign of his predecessor, Cardinal Mahony, Gomez is probably not aware of the details of Fr. Wadeson's accusations. However, as we have expressed directly to Fr. Wadeson already, it is time for him to go to Los Angeles and clear his name. Archbishop Gomez is sure to be made aware of today's SNAP statement and is probably eager to comply with the request. So Fr. Wadeson, please go directly to Los Angeles and get this done. 

"Third, the Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron should explain why he let a credibly accused child molesting cleric work unchecked in his archdiocese and why he suspended him this past week."

This is major. The people of Guam would have had no problem welcoming Fr. Wadeson into our fold had Archbishop Apuron vouched for Fr. Wadeson's innocence from the beginning. We probably would have had no problem accepting Fr. Wadeson and his story even now had Archbishop Apuron stood by him - though there would still be the issue of favoritism. But Archbishop Apuron did neither. He incardinated him in spite of Fr. Wadeson's record and then canned him when that record became known. If Fr. Wadeson was not guilty of those accusations then the bare minimum required of Archbishop Apuron would have been at least to speak up for Fr. Wadeson. But he did not. Fr. Wadeson put a good face on it, saying he was leaving "the country" to not further harm Apuron. But Apuron already hurt Apuron as much as Apuron could possibly hurt Apuron. And now he has an even bigger problem. If Wadeson was not guilty, why fire him? If he was guilty, why incardinate him? Of course the answer will be silence. 

"Fourth, the head of the religious order, Divine Word Missionaries, Provincial Fr. Tom Ascheman to which Wadeson belongs should also take steps to ensure Fr. Wadeson does not present himself as a priest." 

Fr. Wadeson is no longer a member of the Divine Word Missionaries. He sought and received exclaustration from the order in 2000 once he got the go ahead from Apuron that he would be received into the Archdiocese of Agana. However, SNAP would not have known this because Fr. Wadeson, in his retaliatory comments in the Pacific Daily News yesterday, falls back on the support of his former Provincial, Fr. Tom Ascheman S.V.D. But of course we really don't know if Ascheman actually believed in Wadeson's innocence, we only have Wadeson's statement that he did. 

I don't know about you, but if I was accused of something as serious as what Wadeson was accused of. And if I had something, anything, any sort of a statement that would help me clear my name in a pinch, I would have it in writing and I would produce it immediately. 

However, Wadeson is a devout follower of Kiko, and as we have seen, Kiko followers live in an alternate universe, with their own hierarchy, their own sense of justice, their own moral right and wrong, their own liturgy, their own catechism, their own theology, and perhaps their own eschatological reality. It's not even just a different church or a different religion. It is a completely different reality. But sometimes Kiko's reality clashes with actual reality, as the Wadeson case demonstrates. And the reality is that this our Archbishop will throw you to the wolves no matter who you are. 


  1. Tim, two things bother me about Fr. Wadeson's letter to the PDN.

    1) He says the allegations were "without foundation", rather than "I. am innocent. .." "without foundation" means "without evidence" which is a considerably weaker statement.
    2) He refers to the accusation in the singular. I thought there were more than one.

  2. Explained so well .

  3. Interesting point Chuck.