Sunday, December 21, 2014


According to Deacon Martinez, he was accused by Archbishop Apuron of violating the following canons:

Can. 1369 A person who in a public show or speech, in published writing, or in other uses of the instruments of social communication utters blasphemy, gravely injures good morals, expresses insults, or excites hatred or contempt against religion or the Church is to be punished with a just penalty.

Can. 1373 A person who publicly incites among subjects animosities or hatred against the Apostolic See or an ordinary because of some act of power or ecclesiastical ministry or provokes subjects to disobey them is to be punished by an interdict or other just penalties.

Can. 1374 A person who joins an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty; however, a person who promotes or directs an association of this kind is to be punished with an interdict.

In referencing these canons, Archbishop Apuron is accusing Deacon Steve Martinez of:
  1. exciting hatred and contempt against the Church,
  2. inciting animosities and hatred against an ordinary (himself) and provoking subject to disobedience, and
  3. joining an association which is plotting against the Church.
Upon learning of these accusations, Deacon Martinez asked Archbishop Apuron and the Vicar General for evidence of any of the above accusations. Answer: NOTHING.

Now, let's take a look for ourselves. 

For the first two, we will have to assume that Deacon Martinez is guilty of "exciting hatred" and "inciting animosities" because while he was still the Sex Abuse Response Coordinator he insisted that the Fr. John Wadeson case be held up to the scrutiny of the Archbishop's own sex abuse policy and had already begun to proceed with the investigation, which of course led to his being fired from that position.

As for joining an association with is plotting against the Church, a reference to the Concerned Catholics of Guam, the CCOG, which was only officially formed a week ago, has yet to do anything other than hold its first press conference. 

Read for yourself what was published and see if you can find any evidence of the CCOG plotting against the Church, unless of course you want to classify holding Archbishop Apuron accountable to his own policies as plotting against the Church, which is how Apuron apparently sees it. 

The letter from Archbishop Apuron to Deacon Martinez accusing him of the above and giving him the ultimatum to resign from the CCOG or suffer censure was delivered on 12/17/14 and Deacon Martinez was given until the close of business on 12/18/14 to comply.

In threatening Deacon Martinez with "censure", Archbishop Apuron incurred cause for his own censure by violating Can. 1341 which says: An ordinary is to take care to initiate a judicial or administrative process to impose or declare penalties only after he has ascertained that fraternal correction or rebuke or other means of pastoral solicitude cannot sufficiently repair the scandal, restore justice, reform the offender.

As with Fr. Paul and Msgr. James Benavente, Archbishop Apuron did NOT care to engage in "fraternal correction" or "other means of "pastoral solicitude". In fact, as with Fr. Paul and Msgr. James before him, Deacon Steve had no idea why he was being called to a meeting with the Vicar General. In fact he thought the meeting might have to do with a new assignment. 

So aside from Apuron's reprehensible bullying, confronting Deacon Martinez with the ultimatum was canonically illegal. In addition, Apuron also violated Can. 1347 §1 which states: A censure cannot be imposed validly unless the offender has been warned at least once beforehand to withdraw from contumacy and has been given a suitable time for repentance.

Deacon Martinez was NOT warned before given the ultimatum nor is less than 24 hours "a suitable time for repentance." Perhaps the soon to arrive Secretary for the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples will, in turn, censure Apuron (after a suitable time for repentance of course). 

And there is also the issue of the other officers: Greg Perez, Dave Sablan, and Vangie Lujan. The above canons apply to Catholics who are within the jurisdiction of the bishop, NOT just clerics. In accusing Deacon Martinez of violating the above canons (or at least Can. 1374) Apuron is de facto accusing the other three officers of the same. 

However, because Apuron is a coward (all bullies are) he is only going after someone he thinks he can publicly flog (a la Gofigan and Benavente) and who can't fight back. 

There is more to the story.

As per Apuron's December 17 letter, Deacon Martinez was given until the close of business (5pm) on December 18 to resign "or else". However, late in the afternoon of  December 18, Deacon Martinez received a call from Fr. Adrian advising him that the Archbishop had moved the deadline until January 12, 2015. 

It appeared at first that Apuron, by moving the deadline, was willing to proceed more reasonably. However, we now can see things a bit more clearly.

The strange eagerness of the chancery to tell the media about the impending visit from Rome is dated December 18. The visitors from Rome will be here January 4 to January 10. The new deadline for Deacon Martinez? January 12.  Hmmm. 

Obviously it appears that Apuron, having received notice of the Roman visitors on December 18,, the day after he threatened Deacon Steve, realized the catastrophic repercussions should the "defrocking" of Deacon Steve hit the press just before the visitors arrived, and hurriedly told Adrian to advise Deacon Steve of the new deadline so he could smile at the Romans and then beat up Deacon Steve after they had departed.

However, Deacon Steve had no other official information other than the Archbishop's December 17 letter, and Adrian's phone call was only a phone call. And why should Adrian be trusted anyway? In addition, Deacon Steve had written his own letter to Apuron requesting to discuss the charges and (as expected) Apuron did not reply. 

Thus, Deacon Steve's ONLY option was to either resign from the CCOG by 5pm, December 18 or suffer "censure". 5pm, December 18, came and went and still no word from Apuron and no resignation from the CCOG by Deacon Martinez. At that point the "censure" automatically went into effect. 

But now we have Apuron and Adrian out there saying "We know NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING." However, the tables are turning because more and more people are saying of Apuron, Quitugua, and Cristobal: "LIARS, LIARS, LIARS." 

It is coincidental that the three Romans will arrive near the Feast of the Epiphany, Three Wise Men from afar... Too bad they will not find "peace on earth" in the Archdiocese of Agana. Anything but.

Note: Archbishop Apuron had imposed a gag order on Deacon Steve in his December 17 letter. However, as Deacon Steve shared in his December 19 letter to Apuron acknowledging the censure, he considers Apuron's gag order no longer applicable and thus the information, shared here, is being made public. 


  1. This is another reason why AAA needs to be removed. Can you imagine what Deacon Martinez has been going through all his dedication to the Church and trying to serve with dignity. If you ever meet Deacon Steve you will see how great this man is. People, we all need to stand up for our church Before it is 100% Neo and then it will be too late. Don't be scare to take a stand.

  2. It's interesting that the Canon that mandates obedience to our pastors and bishops, Canon 212, includes two very important sub-sections:

    §2. The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.

    §3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

    I would like to point out one more Canon, so that your readers know that they, and Deacon Steve, have the right to defend themselves:

    Canon 221

    §1. The Christian faithful can legitimately vindicate and defend the rights which they possess in the Church in the competent ecclesiastical forum according to the norm of law.

    §2. If they are summoned to a trial by a competent authority, the Christian faithful also have the right to be judged according to the prescripts of the law applied with equity.

    §3. The Christian faithful have the right not to be punished with canonical penalties except according to the norm of law.

    1. Thank you Chuck for identifying the specific canon laws and subsections which allow and protect the rights of the Christian faithful. Based on the public comments that Deacon Martinez has made, it is clear that he has followed the norms established. He is such a good man and servant of God who has made his opinions known truthfully and without malice..

    2. Thank you chuck for your informative comment. I'm not as able to communicate as clearly as you do but please let me share some thoughts on the obedience issue. Firstly, every priest and deacon must be faithful to the promise of obedience made to his ordinary on his ordination day. In our church today, there are many situations where our bishops have failed the people of God and sometimes in disastrous ways. The question then becomes are priests deacons to be obedient to a bishop who has lost his moral authority to lead. When a conscience of a priest or deacon dictates in conformity to a higher law, the law of God, Natural Law, that something is wrong he must follow the natural law of God manifested through conscience. I read and reflected on Deacon Steve Martinez over the weekend, and I come out in full support of him, because he clearly shows us the importance of law. Deacon Martinez followed his conscience, believing that concerned Catholics can gather together , to find constructive ways to build bridges and bring healing. Through prayer, reflection, he came to the conclusion that things are not in order in the archdiocese, and to continue to follow a dysfunctional order is not in line with his conscience. One follows ones conscience , one follows the natural law when you believe an ordinary is wrong and not acting for the common good of the community. Conscience and natural law is much higher than any obedience to ones bishop.
      Through the medium of Junglewatch I would like to write to my brother priests. For many on Guam I understand the feat of the dictator must be strong. But just stop and look at the disaster of your local church. There comes a time when for the common good of the people you serve that you have to say, enough is enough. We cannot continue living in this fear and anxiety, and pain, we have to speak out in public, without fear, because it is the only way we can bring about the necessary healing in the entire western pacific. To remain silent to the real issues thinking we are obedient servants, while the church is surrounded in this unhealthy, dysfunctional, almost psychotic mentality, is not contributing to the growth of a healthy, dynamic living church. Infact the church on Guam is very sick very unhealthy, and to remain silent will make it sicker as the months go on. Guam's native clergy are the future, they need to join force put away fear, and stand up for truth and justice. You see the injustices to our brother priests and deacons, and yet silence reigns. Where is the priestly support for those who are suffering because of a dictator who abuses his ecclesial power. The time is now to stand up and amend the grave injustices that are taking place. This is not disobedience it is doing exactly what Pope Francis asks of us. We are to go out and create a mess, so that renewal, healing can take place. Time to stand up brothers, and defend what is true, good, and beautiful, our catholic faith, our love for Mother church, our sacraments, our devotions, and the support and care for each other.
      I expect criticism for my vocal thoughts, but as you now know by now Father Matthew is not for turning he stands by what is true, good, and beautiful, obedience to the law of God, to the law of the Church, and when God is on your side, no one can do anything against you.

    3. Where is Fr. Blockley incardinated??

    4. Agana Archdiocese now provides the world with a perfect picture of what happens in any diocese when the local bishop loses a sense of Spiritual Fatherhood to priests and people. Catholic's expect their bishop's to be symbols of unity, men of prayer and service to the poor.Bishop's are expected to foster unity and brotherhood and care for priests. Unfortunately, Guam no longer has a shepherd who leads his sheep, rather a man who destroys priests and deacons, causing disunity and peace to the people of God.

  3. Marilu Diaz MartinezDecember 21, 2014 at 8:42 AM

    Yet again -- another round of wearisome hot-air-gibberish-chatter-charges against another non-neo lodged by the unprincipled kikos at the chancery!

    Who do these unprincipled think they are fooling? They're certainly not fooling the faithful of our local Catholic Church because we all know and we all see that this hierarchy at the chancery cannot but bow down to, give into and be imprisoned under the clutch and domination of the desperado ultra kikos of the ncw!

    Their actions clearly demonstrate and confirm the absolute fact that these kikos and ultra kikos are scared of and threatened by Fr. Gofigan, Msgr. Benavente, the former diocesan finance committee members, the former volunteer staff of the Cathedral Museum and now, Deacon Steve Martinez -- so much so that they use the only resort they have and the only ethos they subscribe to and practice: “might makes right”!

  4. Deacon Steve in my opinion is a realistic, but high moral man. I have personally witnessed him defend the church and the arch-bishop in his person in the past. I can only imagine the sense of betrayal he feels at Apuron's actions towards him. Be strong Steve.....


  5. For a bishop to have so many personal issues with a number of clergy is a sure sign something is now wrong with the administration.

    1. Can we get a big AMEN to 3:39pm? A-M-E-N!!! Praying for each one as he remains at his post under horrible circumstances...

    2. I agree that if a bishop has that many issues with the clergy and resorts to terminate his staff, something is not right. Maybe the problem is not with the clergy but rather the head of the organization. Hint, Hint......AAA!


  6. As a priest of another diocese following the unfortunate turn of events on the American island of Guam evident that a series breakdown of ecclesial relationship between the ordinary Anthony Sablan Apuron Ofm cap and the catholic clergy exists. In these particular cases Apostolic Pastoral Visits begin to try and amend the situation from becoming the cause for the disunity of the church. However, in this particular circumstance it does now appear Archbishop Apuron is the present cause of grave disunity between the ordinary and the clergy. Apostolic visitors will need to discuss an immediate solution to the disturbing events unfolding between the Archbishop and the Catholics of Guam. Never before in the American Catholic Church has an ordinary insulted so many priests as on the Island of Guam.

  7. Latest squabble on KUAM and reinstatement of Deacon Steven until further notice? I would bet a monkey's uncle that as soon as the papal entourage leaves, Deacon Steve gets canned again. Apuron needs to keep the gag order on for security sake because of the Apostalate visitation. Trying to be shrewd again AAA. Seems fishy to me.

    Do the investigation on Deacon Steve now! Why wait until after the Apostalate visit to make a decision. Ai adai, you think you are smart!

  8. Tim can you comment on the 6.12pm comment.

    1. In an update I just received, apparently Apuron has moved the deadline for Deacon Steve to resign from the CCOG until 1/19/15. Apuron has not rescinded his threat of censure and his demand for the resignation, he only moved the deadline. HOW STUPID. We all know why he did this. He caught hell this weekend and hell is the last thing he needs with Rome breathing down his neck. As already mentioned, he is going to trash Deacon Steve as soon as the Romans are gone, just like he trashed Msgr. James as soon as Archbishop Krebs left last July.

    2. I will comment on my own comment..don't you see a pattern of the heirachy? They print something, make a statement , and then BOOM.. It backfires! So they have to try at the least to cover their tracks and make it see, that they are being reasonable!

      I wonder if the people Adrian was greeting at the airport last night were a bunch of advisors or just plain old seminarians from Hawaii!

  9. It could not be more obvious apuron is having grave issues with his priests and a deacon.
    It also could not be more obvious how he only has despicable trouble with non neo clergy.
    Again it could not be more obvious how he uses the same mind set of disregard and bullying methods to treat all of them. No notice for discussion and a threat of cruelty.
    No apparent personal knowledge of cannon law and obviously no support of someone else

    At least it will be easy to pin point his consistent pattern of negative behavior. I hope someone will have the sequence written down to make it easy for the visitors to see.

  10. Once a liar, always a liar. Sounds more like someone trying to save face in the midst of controversy. I'd have to agree with Tim here that once the delegation leaves, Tony will revert to his old ways. May God continue to bless you in all that you do Deacon Martinez.

  11. It's time for the people of Guam to stand up for what's right. Don't be scared of AAA, there is definitely something going on with him that is making him do these things he is doing. I'll say it now, I have lost all respect for AAA and will make that perfectly clear when I see him next. Kiss your ring, nope... refer to you as archbishop, nope...all you'll get is a look of disgust from me. Deacon Martinez is a better man than you'll ever be and to attack him for standing up to what is right, shameful. People of Guam, you need to have your voices heard. Speak out against Tony's wrongdoings. Its time for a change in the leadership of the Archdiocese of Guam, only then will the healing of the Catholic Church begin.