Friday, July 18, 2014

SPAGHETTI FOR EVERYONE AND GUAM IS THE PROBLEM

The minutes of the clergy meeting with Archbishop Krebs, Tuesday, July 15, 2014
"The people will know." 
-Archbishop Martin Krebs, July 14, 2014, to the clergy of the Archdiocese of Agana.
(Extra commentary in red.)

Father Mike Crisostomo begins by reviewing the CARA Action plan. (Note: These plans were put in place as a result of the 2010 CARA study on the Archdiocese of Agana. They were shelved immediately after the facilitators left, just like the recommendations of Archbishop Krebs were shelved as soon as he left. The Archbishop has demonstrated time and again he has no interest in unity. And until now, he could keep that lack of interest hidden.)

The first recommendation of the plan is the creation of various boards to assist the Archbishop in decision making. 

Fr Pablo Rodriguez (Rector of the Seminary) asks if we are like a corporation then? (Note. According to the Archbishop's reasons for not including the Seminary in the Archdiocesan financial reporting, the Seminary is a legal entity completely autonomous from the Archdiocese. One wonders then why the Seminary rector, or any member of the clergy at the seminary, an autonomous institution, should be included in a discussion that involves the governance of the Archdiocese? But then, we know why.)

Fr. Adrian Cristobal, the Chancellor, states the Presbyteral Council has had ongoing discussions regarding the boards. (Really ???????. The action plan recommending the boards was composed in 2010. It is now 2014. So they've had ongoing discussions for four years????? Either that's a lie or the Presbyteral Council is grossly incompetent.)

Fr. Mike Crisostomo speaks about the benefits of a proposed Clergy Personnel Board.

Now watch the Kiko's circle the wagons around the Archbishop. A board, any board, would build in a layer of accountability and limit the Kiko's power. Can't have that. 

Fr. Pablo Rodriguez says we are small, we do not need boards, we can just go in and see the Archbishop whenever we need to. (Sure. But it's what happens after that's the problem.)

Msgr. David C. Quitugua, Vicar General, points out that Fr. Richard Kidd had said he recently had good discussions with the Archbishop and that a personnel board isn't needed (apparently because one non-Kiko priest had one good discussion). He said the Archbishop has an open door policy. (Right. Like the open door OUT he showed Fr. Paul.)

Deacon Steve Martinez says that advisory boards are good, that they would help to relieve the Archbishop of mundane issues, and that they also provide an opportunity for appeal or redress of decisions. (Oops. That's the problem!)

Fr. Adrian then repeats that we are small and that one on one relations with the Archbishop are best. (Right. That's been working so well, hasn't it?)

Deacon Bill Hagen (who is also a business man and understand the role of boards) points out that boards help to insulate the Archbishop. (He means this in a good way, so that the Archbishop won't get himself in trouble so easily.)

(The Kiko's apparently feel that they are losing ground so...)

...they say that they are able to see the Archbishop whenever needed and neo-Deacon Larry Claros questions why we can't use the existing Presbyteral Council and College of Consultors (two "boards' which already exist.)

Deacon Bill Hagen points out that people bypass the boards and because the Archbishop does not want to disappoint he is prone to accept things he shouldn't. (Yes. We have seen this, which is why boards should not be permitted to be bypassed. That's why they are there. But the Archbishop has demonstrated he is even willing to bypass the canonically mandated finance council and ignore his legal counsel as well...when it comes to doing the will of the Kiko's.)

Archbishop Krebs, after hearing all of this (and probably being aghast at this prattle) finally weighed in with a hammer that put an end to the discussion. He said that boards are most important and that they are canonical and non-negotiable. He then added that Pope Francis has been criticized for having too many boards. But due to some bad experiences in his past as a Jesuit superior when he made decisions without counsel, he now believes in and employs several boards. (A good example is the "board" he recently constituted to help him reform the Curia.) BOOM! That put an end to discussion on the need for boards. 

(So now we'll see if the Archbishop will take the wise council of Archbishop Krebs and follow the example of the Pope. It still staggers the intellect to think that in a time when Pope Francis is pushing for greater collegiality, that our Kiko's are pushing for the opposite. Funny how they use Pope Francis whenever he's useful  but discard him when he gets in the way. But then we're used to that, aren't we.)

Fr. Mike Crisostomo then pushes on to the next topics:  clergy unity, breaking down barriers, the climate of fear amongst the non-Kiko clergy, and the imposition of the Neocatechumenal Way on people.

A few Kiko priests expressed surprise saying "What fear? What lack of unity?" (Ummm, yah.)

Then the Archbishop states (remember Archbishop Krebs is present) that he had never imposed the NCW on anyone, it was all voluntary, always. (Ummm, right. What Archbishop Apuron doesn't know is that Archbishop Krebs has in his possession the letters he wrote to the three Filipino priests in 2008 demanding they serve the Neocatechumenal Way or get out of the diocese.)

Deacon Steve Martinez then spoke about his experience during his diaconate formation when he and several others were given the ultimatum to join the NCW or not be ordained. He also mentioned the ultimatum given to the Filipino priests.

The Archbishop (remember Archbishop Krebs is present) apologized if there was a "misunderstanding" (!!!!) and said it was always voluntary and that any Filipino priest who wanted to be incardinated simply had to get a letter from their bishop releasing them. (Okay, here, read the letters for yourself.)

Fr. Adrian Cristobal, Chancellor, said that the Archbishop, in ordering the diaconate candidates to join the NCW or else, merely wanted them to listen to a catechesis, and also apologized if there was  a misunderstanding (remember Archbishop Krebs is present). SMH, SMH, SMH

Deacon Len Stohr and Deacon Bill Hagen then both verified that the candidates were told to "walk" and that it was not voluntary.

Fr. Adrian Cristobal (now caught) then said the only thing he could say: that he couldn't remember, but apologized if that was how it was conveyed. (SMH! Oh, and remember, Archbishop Krebs is present. Is there even a remote possibility that he would have apologized if Archbishop Krebs was NOT present? They've had TEN YEARS  to apologize. Right.)

Deacon Larry Claros then spoke about his obedience and how much the Neo had helped him but that his wife did not join.

Fr. Richard Kidd responded to Deacon Claros saying he was happy for Larry but that he too (Fr. Kidd) was told to walk. And when he did not join the NCW, his entry into St. Patrick's Seminary (in California) was delayed for nearly 2 years.  (Yes, making life "arduous and painful"is the Archbishop's standard MO for those who do not submit to the Kiko's as he has.)

Several Kiko-priests then default to their standard testimonies testifying to how the NCW has saved marriages, helped children, and how one priest tried to commit suicide before joining the Neo. (Ummm, really? What assurances do the people of Guam have that the priest, who we must presume operates among us, now has a completely clean bill of mental health? Oh, yah. He joined the Neo. Done.)

Fr. Jeff San Nicolas pointed out that regardless of what was conveyed, the fact is that people felt pressured to join the NCW and this needs to be acknowledged and accepted and the NCW must recognize the feelings of others. (Thank you, Fr. Jeff. But a voice of reason is hardly appreciated it seems.)

Deacon Bill Hagen then spoke about the NCW method of psychological entrapment. (Good way to put it, Deacon Bill. There are plenty of Neo escapees willing to back up your point.)

Fr. Richard Kidd then suggested that there be separate vocation directors for the NCW and the Archdiocese. (This makes sense. The NCW has a completely different mission than diocesans - thus the two separate seminaries...ahem.)

Deacon Steve Martinez said that he was in the NCW twice, once voluntary, and the second time forced, and that the imposition caused the diaconate to lose some men that would have been good deacons, and wondered how many men who would have been good priests have also been turned away. He said this is an example of how a board could help. (Of course when it comes to vocations, the Archbishop already has a board: his catechists).

Deacon Frank Tenorio began speaking (as he did at the previous meeting) about his love for the Archbishop, but Archbishop Krebs stops him saying that they didn't need any more testimonies, but needed solutions. (WOW!) Deacon Tenorio then said his solution is fidelity and obedience.  

(In fact, because the Archbishop has never been challenged before by his priests - at least not like this and with the exception of Fr. Paul's legal challenge (his challenge does not put him outside fidelity or obedience) - it can be said that fidelity and obedience by the clergy has been the status quo. And so apparently the Nuncio paid us a visit to see for himself how well that wonderful standard is working!)

Msgr. David I.A. Quitugua (the elder) then pointed out that Archbishop Apuron IS the problem, saying that he is a father who shows partiality, that he needs to change his allegiance to the NCW, that even though the Archbishop chooses the NCW for his personal spirituality that as a bishop he is not a private person and must be a father to all, not just the Neos. He said that the people see this favoritism. 

Several Kiko-clergy then state that the Archbishop is very fatherly and that the NCW is not imposed and that they are obedient, etc., etc., etc.

 Fr. Efren Adversario then pointed out that people are hurting...and to not be blind but ask why they are hurting, that this is not about the clergy present, but about the people whom they are ordained to serve. (Wow. What a thought. Thank you Fr. Efren. Someone actually thought about the rest of us: the Church.)

Fr. Jeff San Nicolas then spoke about his education in administration and how boards are an important part of any structure and that the Chancery is set up wrong, that the Vicar General and Chancellor are overloaded, and the governance of the Archdiocese needs more people.

Archbishop Apuron (remember Archbishop Krebs is present) then got on a roll, apologizing, and explaining that he needs the NCW personally and spiritually, his heart is good, sugar high, fried foods bad, he needs to cut his activities, he goes to weddings, funerals, fiestas, cursillo closings, etc. that he doesn't impose the NCW on anybody, etc., etc., etc. He then added that gossip is evil.

(Hmmmm. Wonder who he had in mind. But of course NOTHING here is gossip. Everything here is fact. And the truth is that we HAVE TO talk about it here because the Archbishop says NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING. In fact, because the Nuncio's meetings with the clergy were published, there should have been at least a statement released. But NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING. Secret, secret, secret. Hush, hush, hush. Problems? What problems?)

After a break, Deacon Bill Hagen states the need to move beyond discussing symptoms and discuss solutions. He stated that the problem is the chancery's management style and questioned how a new one could be created. 

(Oops. That's exactly what the Kiko's don't want. So they launched into default defense mode with more testimonies about how they have been saved by the Neo, and how they feel everybody's pain and hear the cries of the poor, etc., etc. etc. So much for Deacon Bill's suggestion.) 

However, Fr. Richard Kidd attempts to salvage the meeting by saying "let's get back to solutions, anything else is a waste of time." (Wow!)

Archbishop Krebs agrees and say's "let's come up with one solution to start things, something practical." (Gotta love that German penchant for the practical! Something unknown around here.)

Father Eric Forbes suggests a regular schedule of 30 minute meetings between the Archbishop and each member of the clergy, one on one, to discuss issues, ideas, problems, etc. 

Fr. Jeff San Nicholas suggests that the chancery structure be fixed and to reactivate the boards. 

Fr. Mike Crisostomo asks which is it, boards or one on one meetings?

Deacon Len Stohr recommends the appointment of a separate vocations director for those desiring the diocesan priesthood (not Neo). 

Oops. All to practical. The Kiko's sense they are losing ground, so they attempt to once again circle the wagons, piping up about the proliferation of protestant denominations, how they were saved by the Neo (again), the dangers of the devil (outside the Neo of course), their door to door evangelization, and how the Archbishop is already fatherly. (Yah. What father threatens his son with an "arduous and painful closure" to his membership in the family and then kicks him to the curb. Fatherly?")

Fr. Efren breaks up the Kiko-cabal saying "perception is reality", that management must step back and reevaluate, and, since they were nearing the end of the meeting, that there must be more meetings to decide how to progress.

NOW HERE IT COMES!

Fr. Francesco (don't know his last name), a bona-fide Kiko, then lays into the people of Guam saying that our culture is the problem, that we spend too much on funerals, that we spend "meeeellions and meeellions" of dollars on food, that all our time is spent cooking, and that Guam has to change. 

(The crowd falls silent. This was bad. Fr. Francesco just spilled the beans. For this is what all the Kiko's think about everyone who is not a Neo. It is we who have to change. The do not have to change. They are truth and light. We are darkness and wrong. "Judases", they call us. And we spend all our time COOKING!!!!)

Since no one could say anything after that, Archbishop Krebs steps up and restates the two proposals: monthly one on one visits and separating certain duties among boards. He then says that it is up to Archbishop Apuron to decide (uh oh) to have open discussions (good luck). He notes that this was a good beginning but that it is not finished, and that they have to learn to march together. He then wishes them his blessings.

(It's instructive that Archbishop Krebs doesn't even "go there" - where Fr. Francesco just went. But too bad, because this is what Archbishop Apuron believes too. THERE is the problem!)

Archbishop Apuron concludes by reminding everyone that Monday is Liberation Day - a most important holiday - and that nothing can start until after that, etc., etc., etc. 

There is spaghetti for everyone, but most leave. The End. 

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