Friday, August 8, 2014

MY REPLY TO MS. DEBORAH TORRES IN TODAY'S PDN (with additional reply)

The letter by Ms. Torres:

My reply:

Deborah, can you imagine Jesus telling anyone to "check out the stats" in order to authenticate himself? Your experience is valid and you are welcome to it. You are not welcome to invalidate the observations of others simply because you have had a different experience. Simply prove Chuck's observations wrong with something other than "check out the stats". In 360 A.D., St. Jerome wrote: “the world groaned to find itself Arian”. He wrote this because the majority of the church's bishops had apostatized, opting for the better "stats".


P.S. Fr. Adrian, I am saving a special letter to respond to yours. Good luck today on Travis' show. Try to use something other than stats. And try to tell the truth. 

And here's an additional reply. I did not want to bring this up out of respect for Chuck and his family. But I have received several emails in regards to this and in support of Chuck. So I decided to address Ms. Torres on the matter as follows:

Deborah, I just realized that you said this:

"The archbishop, who allowed The Way to come to Guam, saved me from suicide as I journeyed through the suffering of a divorce. But of course you have never experienced this, you have no idea, and I pray you never will."

Chuck has too much integrity to take you on and probably attributes your statement to gross ignorance. Let me just say that Chuck most certainly has an idea and he and his family have suffered greatly in this arena. Sadly, it is you who have "no idea" and with this statement, you have just verified the arrogance of the Neocatechumenal Way that we all are now becoming increasingly aware of. 

27 comments:

  1. Was she that weird lady that was terminated at the credit union and the Department of Revenue and Taxation? If she is, she has no credibility. That is probably why she is in the cult.

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  2. I have no quarrels with people walking the way. If it has helped a person change for the better then who am I to judge this part of the NCW.

    The thing that bothers me is why so many use it as a crutch and a shelter. Once you have achieved your goal, then it is time for you to move on. The NCW has shown you the path to accept and renew your faith. The community becomes your family, your support group, and what ever you see them to be. There comes a time when everyone needs to clip their wings and fly. Can one actually say, I can now live accordingly and not depend on anyone?

    For me, my help and my strength comes from God and no one else. I may need a shoulder to cry on once in a while, and that is fine. The NCW members have become dependent on one another. This is not healthy at all especially for the mind. What would happen if the NCW was to be told one day that they had to celebrate with the regular parishioners and there will be no more Saturday celebration of their own? Would you then be able to cope with it?

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    1. If it ever went that far how many would follow Pope Francis and how many would follow lay Kiko?

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    2. And this is why there are steps inThe Way. There is a beginning, a middle and an end. It is much like being born. You cannot run as soon as you are delivered. You must be able to crawl, stand, walk and then run as you develop over time. A child cannot fully understand everything there is to know about faith and Catholicism. They must go through baptism and confession and 1st communion and such. They take their time to develop and mature. The youngest, or newest of catechumens doesn't know everything and therefore they must undergo steps over a long period of time to learn about themselves, their relationship with God and their faith.
      Of course it's a crutch or a shelter for some. Not all of them, but some of them are wounded and they need that brace to heal. I didn't go in all broken up and suffering, but I did have a void that I could not understand and nothing seemed to fill it. It's not even just in The Way. Some find solace and healing through traditional mass, talking with priests, some use 12-step programs and other secular means. Some have the resolve to handle their problems on their own and some desperately need someone's help, whether it be another human being or God and through the Church or a secular group.
      To answer your question in reference to shutting down Saturday Celebration of the Eucharist, I cannot speak for all, but I am most certain that we would attend traditional mass. We are still Catholics, just the same as everyone else, and we still need to celebrate, praise God and fulfill our sacrament and obligations. As far as coping? I am sure it will take a period of adjustment for some. They truly enjoy the Eucharist in The Way and it is has different elements in it in terms of how the physical setup of the room is, the songs, the admonitions, and such. When you know and do something for so long, it takes almost anybody a period of adjustment to get used to things. When I was away from community for several years, I had to adjust to the traditional mass and when I returned to the community, I had to readjust to that as well.

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  3. Neo is a cult! The members are ashamed to admit it!

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    1. The "neo" in a loose way may resemble a cult to the outside person. I remember that that was my very impression of The Way when I first saw it. I can certainly see why most people or some people would see it that way, but a person should experience things first hand to really get an understanding of what is going on, the context of it all and such. For people that claim it is a cult because they know someone who had a bad experience or they themselves had a bad experience is not indicative of the people or the experience as a whole. If I hated an experience, I'd probably speak ill about it with others as well. I've had both good and bad experiences in The Way, but I am committed to sticking it out and seeing what the end result will be.

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  4. "The archbishop, who allowed The Way to come to Guam, saved me from suicide as I journeyed through the suffering of a divorce. But of course you have never experienced this, you have no idea, and I pray you never will."

    Poor Ms. Torres, clueless.

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    1. It was, in my opinion an effort with the best intentions, but it was executed poorly. I am sure we can all agree that both sides are extremely heated up right now and very defensive.

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  5. Suicide? Over a man? What an idiot! No man is worth it.

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    1. my reply in no way supports the ncw, however, there is no need for judgements regarding a persons state of mind.

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    2. I wouldn't say she's an idiot. That's kind of heavy handed. People kill themselves over any number of things. Losing a job, blowing a high profile account, because they are extremely depressed. SOme people just aren't as strong as others and find help and healing in their own way.

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  6. For what it's worth, here's my response to Deborah.
    ---------------------------------
    Deborah, the Catholic faithful on Guam and elsewhere are quickly learning the ways of "the Way". The hundreds of men and women that participated in the prayer service for Monsignor Benavente know full well that the hatchet in his back and in the back of our brother Fr. Paul Gofigan have the words "Neocatechumenal Way" engraved on them.

    And as for stats, things may not be as rosy as you suggest. http://thoughtfulcatholic.com/?page_id=29888
    --------------------------------------------------------

    On Travis's show last night I said that I have found that whenever I ask an NCW member some questions, they respond with a testimony. I then said that I valued testimony, and that I had one of my own. But when further pressed with questions, they answer with more testimony!

    I have found this time and time again. But the really annoying thing is that I have found that they don't seem to count my testimony or yours. If the narrative doesn't have the NCW at the center, it really does not seem to count to them.

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  7. She didn't even refute anything that chuck discussed. A nonresponse. She also said "The archbishop, who allowed The Way to come to Guam, saved me from suicide as I journeyed through the suffering of a divorce. But of course you have never experienced this, you have no idea, and I pray you never will." deborah Torres, out of love for you, I must say, YOU have no idea. Shame on you. Do your research before you start making personal judgments. She is the only one who sounds angry actually. I read both articles.

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  8. of course they are getting angry, the house of cards is falling apart.
    Why is it, that in their testimonies, it is never Jesus Christ or God that saved me but the neo saved me?
    is this not a sign of a cult? she said she will never leave the church, but your communities don't obey her either...
    1997... that makes it 17 years? shouldn't you be ready to return to parish life like the statutes say is the goal?
    They say don't judge, go to a scrutiny, but isn't that what you just did to Chuck White?
    So who is calling the kettle black?

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    1. Actually, it's somewhere around 30 years so, technically, she is not ready to return on her own. But, she is of her own free will as are all that are in The Way and if she felt she was ready, I am sure she would have left of her own accord. And even then, maybe she just likes it anyways, regardless of statutes.
      I won't lie, even for me her approach lacked tact, but I am sure her intention was good nonetheless. She is just supporting The Way, much like parishioners have stood up to defend Monsignor Benavente. Everyone is right in their own mind.
      Most will say that The Way saved them, but they all have a very clear understanding that it was through God's grace that The Way saved them. I'm sure she just meant that it was through that avenue as opposed to another means that she was saved, still under the grace of God no matter which way it was.

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  9. NEO CATS PLEASE STOP WITH THE DANG TESTIMONIES...we understand the "beauty" that the Way brings. What we are concerned with is the Liturgical infractions and the division and favoritism that the Archbishop and the Way causes in the Church. JUST ADDRESS the LITURGICAL MESSUPS AND DIVISION AND SHUT UP ABOUT THE REST. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS. God Bless you Tim and Chuck. Keep up the great work

    *As another friendly reminder a Testimony about the Way does not address the concerns above*

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    1. The testimonies are incredibly important and relevant. It is important that we are seen as regular people just like everyone else, with all of the same concerns and problems. Mr. ROhr has said that he doesn't have problem with 99% of the members that walk in The Way, but the problem is that they have all been dragged into the problem and there is an immense negative view on The Way as one. I know there are some people tout there that have had a negative encounter with a member of The Way or had their own bad experience in The Way themselves, but it is not indicative of the people as whole. Mr. Rohr's problem is with, maybe, three or four people. The Bishop, Father Pius, Kiko and one other and how things are conducted, but through constant negative portrayals in the media and on the internet, it has created this image ALL members of The Way are eating babies, drinking goat's blood and stealing money and such. The testimonies are important to let people see what good The Way has done for individuals that enjoy it and the potential good it can do for others out there that might be looking for something like this and want it. It's important to let people see that they are just like everyone else and that the problem is not with the neo or the communities or the people themselves, but with certain individuals within the whole and that is important to address. The members of The Way on Guam aren't the one who caused Monsignor Benavente's removal, it isn't their fault. Those who are upset have only a few to blame. Please keep this in mind. They are just regular people doing their own thing.
      If you have had a problem with members of The Way, please remember that the entire group is not like that, just like not every parishioner has the most loving of hearts as can be seen on some of these blogs.

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    2. You say it is important to let people see the good the Way has done. Wonderful. But then why not show the good the Mormon church has done, the Jehovah Witnesses, the born again church that meets in the gas station? I know people in these churches and their testimonies to changed lives are entirely convincing. Why not just join the church that has the best conversion testimonies? Apparently, from what we hear ad nauseum, that's all that matters to authenticate the Way. Well then if that's all that matters there is no reason to become or stay Catholic. Let's just all go to the church or way that makes us feel the best.

      As I've said elsewhere, there is only one reason to be Catholic and that is because it is true. In fact, as we have learned from the great saints, embracing a true faith can often mean a much worse life. Mother Teresa even speaks of this. After fully embracing Christ, she felt abandoned and alone for the next 50 years until her death. It's a dark night of the soul experience that many saints speak of.

      In short, the problem with the Way is that it is rooted in the teachings of a man, or more specifically a woman, Carmen Hernandez. She's the theologian of the two. She has crafted a personal vision of Catholicism that is severely at odds with what the church actually teaches, especially in regards to the nature of the sacrifice of the Mass and the nature of the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

      However, most people in the Way would not know this because they have nothing to compare Carmen Hernandez' teachings to. All they know is that their lives are better or happier. But is this what Christ promises us?

      The sad fact is that each and every member of the way is responsible for the division in this diocese in a material sense because that membership has given license to Giuseppe Gennarini to order Archbishop Apuron to do the horrible things he has done and continues to do against our church and his priests.

      If you will not see this then you will see this. Archbishop Apuron is going to slash and burn his way through this church because that is what he is being ordered to do by those who truly control it....and control him.

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    3. I hear you and I understand you. Yes, I know you are saying that we are inherently culpable because we are not holding the Bishop accountable, but why so much anger from the people towards us as a whole? We are still Catholics. Yes, I know, in your eyes, we are not true Catholics, but we are Catholics nonetheless and we are trying to bring people back to Mother Church, back to God just like you and others try to do in your own way.
      Why so much disgust with us? Why aren't fingers pointed towards other denominations that are NOT bringing islanders back to Catholicism (Again, I know, you don't see us a true Catholics)? They certainly do a great deal of good in their own way I am sure, but they are not Catholics trying to bring our islanders back to the one, true Church. The one that even The Way belongs to. The one that both sides of this "division" can both agree upon as THE one, TRUE Church. We are trying to reach as many people as possible, that want it. If it's not for them, then may peace and God be with them however they go about their lives.
      Even if you have a difference of opinion and are upset with Kiko's practices, can't you find it in your heart enough to let the 99% that you don't have problem with, the ones that have no hand in the affairs of the Diocese and are simple people trying to turn their lives around, do their small part to help Mother Church bring them back?
      The island, it's people, the Church, the government, everyone, has somehow allowed the other denominations to set foot on our shores and do their thing in peace. Isn't there room enough for one more? One more that is on your side?
      I implore you, Mr. Rohr, please, if your problem is with 1%, do not take away from the other 99%. Please. Both sides, all of us, have an immense amount of good that we can do. But, to focus on the removal of The Way on Guam would devastate so many. By removing The Way, and I like to think it wouldn't have an effect, but what if that meant that people wouldn't be able to cope? What if it meant that they left the Church altogether? All because they lost that one bit of hope that they had, that helped them. You've heard the testimonies over and over. Some written nicely, some that could have used tact, but they all shared a common theme; they found God again and were healed or are on the road to recovery in the Catholic Church. Not another denomination and maybe not in the traditional mass, but still the Catholic Church.
      Please, Sir.

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    4. We are not looking for the removal of the Way on Guam. We are looking for the removal of the leadership that refuses to comply with the Statute given the Way by Rome. But even so, the fact that it supposedly takes 30 YEARS to "graduate" and become a true Catholic tells us that the WAY is about something else.

      And why is there so much disgust? I can only think of the disgust in Archbishop Apuron's voice on KOLG in January of 2006 when he expressed his DISGUST for a certain Cardinal who had only, in the pope's name, delivered a directive to the leaders of the Neocatechumenal Way to conform their liturgies to the liturgical books. Listen to it for yourself here. This is where the DISGUST began. It began with Archbishop Apuron's DISGUST for our church and its magisterium.

      http://www.junglewatch.info/2014/02/by-what-authority.html

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    5. I understand you, but now, the issues that you have with the Bishop and the 1% has spilled into the open, in which many people have taken that focus and have broadly applied it to all members of The Way, causing them to believe that we are all responsible and demand the removal of us from the island if not the parishes alone.
      The Way is not a perfect. It is ever-evolving. It is not the same Way as it was when it began. I am sure that many changes have been made over the last 40 years, coming down from Vatican directives, and I am sure that many more changes will come. I am sure that the Vatican will see to that and I am sure that Kiko will make those changes with time, just as he has over the years. Hasn't the Vatican, itself made changes over the years? Didn't Vatican II come about to make changes in the Church in order to address changes that needed to be made? The Church we know today is not the same as the Primative Church, in terms of how things are done. The Spirit may be the same, but some of the practices and some doctrines, statutes, etc. have changed over time to reflect changes in time, society, and individuals, right? I'm sure with patience, even The Way will make the changes you seek to address. I am sure that the Vatican will make sure of it when and how they see fit to deal with it if they have a problem with it in time.

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    6. You are VERY wrong if you think that it is "I" who have issues with the bishop. I am just the visible person. There are THOUSANDS who have issues with bishop. He has abused people for decades.

      As for the changes, you DO NOT get to make those changes yourself. There is a procedure for changes that must be honored otherwise you are outside the Catholic Church. An example of this procedure was the recent denial of the request to move the sign of peace. The request was submitted and studied for nine years. And finally Rome ruled. By the way, the Neo permission to move the sign of peace is noted as only being "ad experimentum" in your statute. So the recent ruling means that it applies to the neo as well. But of course, we don't expect you to comply.

      Funny. You say that the Vatican will deal with the problem. Why are you giving them one?

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    7. Okay, okay. A better phrase could have been "those that have an issue" with the Bishop. I should have taken better steps to be more sensitive, just like I am sure that you did not mean me as an individual when you said, "Why are you giving them [a problem]?" My apologies.
      When I refer to changes, I mean changes over the years to fall in line with teachings, doctrine and statutes as taught and handed down from the Church. I'm sure that when Kiko first started out, he didn't know everything and was doing things his own way and the Vatican sent messages or representatives to him to say, "Hey, you need to do it this way" and that he made those changes to fall in line over the years. The Church has had millennia and centuries and decades to change things within itself. All I'm saying is that the Way is still young and has had to make changes along the way as well to follow what the Church dictates. There have been changes made to address problems of the past and there are still problems that need to be addressed and fixed I am sure, but I was just saying that if we're all patient, I am sure that changes will be made to rectify the problems that people have with how The Way celebrates mass.

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    8. That's the problem. The church DID say "you need to do it this way" and he said NO.

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    9. Changes in the Church is not the same thing as changes in a movement. Besides, change is the wrong word. Return is more appropriate, as in return to the liturgy of the Church you profess to follow.

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  10. If the Vatican has a problem with Kiko, they will make it happen. In due time. In God's time. Let us have the patience to let these things be resolved in their time. God is allowing these things to happen for a reason, I am most certain of it. Perhaps it will be a wonderful thing. We just have to give Him time. The Vatican knows what they are doing and they know what Kiko is doing as you have pointed out. If the Pope and the Vatican truly feel that The Way is not conducive to becoming a true Catholic, I am sure they would or will publicly denounce it and shut it down. If this is how they feel, then they will do so in their time in the manner they feel is appropriate, right? Patience, sir. Let Him work in His time.

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    1. Apparently you do not understand how the Vatican works. The Vatican doesn't have a police force that monitors the world, and the Neo is only one of over 100 similar groups. The Vatican expects groups like the Neo to conform to their statutes, and usually only learns of problems when complaints begin to be filed.

      For fifty years, clergy sex abuse of children raged. It only became a scandal when public clamor got loud enough about it. And Rome only acted when it started to cost the church something. I witnessed this myself in Los Angeles. I, along with my father, were one of the people who the bishop slammed the door on when we went to complain about the sex abuse in our parish. 30 years later, the same archdiocese had to cough up 600 million dollars to pay for the scandals my father and I tried to report.

      Our own archbishop likes to tout his sex abuse policy. But that policy only came about in 2002 when the abuse of children had become too large to ignore. The archbishop knew about the sex abuse of children by members of the clergy long before AND DID NOTHING.

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