Monday, December 22, 2014

IN THE NEWS: THE DEACON MARTINEZ SAGA

The PNC website was down over the weekend so this is the first opportunity to post this. 

Friday, 19 December 2014

Deacon Steve Martinez Fired for Being Part of Concerned Catholics Group

Written by  
http://pacificnewscenter.com/guam/item/1336-deacon-steve-martinez-fired-for-being-part-of-concerned-catholics-group
Archbishop Apuron reportedly punished Deacon Steven Martinez for being a part of Concerned Catholics of Guam.
Guam - Newly formed group Concerned Catholics of Guam may have just received its first warning from the Archdiocese of Agana as the group’s treasurer, Deacon Steve Martinez has just confirmed that Archbishop Anthony Apuron has censured him.

PNC Contacted Deacon Steve Martinez today who confirmed for us that Archbishop Anthony Apuron has just censured him and suspended him as a Deacon. The move comes just a week after the newly formed organization Concerned Catholics of Guam held a press conference announcing that they plan to investigate the Archdiocese of Agana. Deacon Martinez tells PNC that the Archbishop ordered him on Wednesday to resign as the group’s treasurer and member or face censureship.
Deacon Martinez says the Archbishop gave him a deadline of 4 pm Thursday afternoon, but he tells PNC that he asked Archbishop Apuron for reconsideration. That was not granted, Deacon Martinez says. The punishment is severe enough that Deacon Martinez says he had to cancel performing a wedding tomorrow because he’s been suspended from his duties.
The deacon received the notice ordering him to resign from CCOG in writing, telling PNC that it was signed by Archbishop Apuron and Chancellor Father Adrian Cristobal.
However, when PNC contacted Father Adrian, he told us that he was not aware of any censureship against Deacon Martinez. [My note: It was Adrian and Quitugua who handed Martinez the notice.]
Meanwhile, Father Adrian also elaborated on a press release the Archdiocese issued yesterday announcing a scheduled visit from the Papal Nuncio Archbishop Martin Krebs next month. But contrary to rumored speculations, Father Adrian says the pastoral visit is not investigative in nature. [My note: LIAR.]
Archbishop Krebs will be visiting along with Father Tadeusz Nowak and Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai who is the Secretary of the Vatican Congregation for Evangelizations of Peoples. Father Adrian says this visit is a gift to the people of Guam and is scheduled to happen around the same time that Pope Francis will be visiting the Philippines.
He explains that this pastoral visit quote comes in the wake of a successful visit Archbishop Anthony Apuron had with Pope Francis just weeks ago.” In fact, Father Adrian says that Pope Francis is very happy that Guam has two seminaries."
This news comes amid some concerns being raised by Catholics about the need for two seminaries on Guam. However, the timing of the visit has been questioned. John Toves, the man who accused Archbishop Apuron of abuse says he’s sent his allegations to the Vatican to include the same three delegates visiting Guam next month.
Here is the story from KUAM

Deacon is latest to squabble with archbishop

Posted: Dec 22, 2014 3:51 PM PGTUpdated: Dec 22, 2014 5:25 PM PGThttp://www.kuam.com/global/story.asp?s=27683282by Krystal Paco

Guam - Controversy continues to plague the local Catholic Church as a new riff emerges, this time between Archbishop Anthony Apuron and Deacon Steve Martinez.

It was on December 17th Deacon Martinez tells KUAM he received a letter from Apuron giving him 24 hours to comply with a directive or face censure meaning he would be removed from his position as a deacon at the Agana Cathedral. That censure automatically went into effect the evening of the 18th.

According to the creator and main blogger at JungleWatch, Tim Rohr, Martinez was accused of exciting hatred and contempt against the church, inciting animosities and hatred against an ordinary and provoking subjects to disobedience as well as joining an association which is plotting against the church. But when asked for proof to substantiate the claims Rohr says "nothing".

Then over the weekend according to Martinez he received another letter from the archbishop reversing his removal however that letter came with the warning that he could still be subject to censure until January 19th. Rohr says this means a gag order has been placed on Martinez. Martinez says that all of this stems from his involvement in the newly formed group the Concerned Catholics of Guam. You may recall that the CCOG was formed by a group of parishioners to investigate the recent controversies within the archdiocese.

Over the course of a year there has been the removal of Father Paul Gofigan as the head of the Santa Barbara Church in Dededo, the removal of Monsignor James Benavente as rector based on allegations of financial mismanagement, there was also the closure of the church museum, and most recently accusations of sexual molestation against Archbishop Apuron.

While Martinez's suspension has been lifted it is under the condition that he no longer participates in the group. When asked if he will comply Martinez says he is still looking at what is required of him as deacon. He tells KUAM if he fails to comply with the directives all faculties he holds will be removed.

This latest controversy unfolds as the archdiocese anticipates a pastoral visit from Rome which is to take place January 4th to the 10th. As we reported the archbishop will revisit his threat to censure and determine if Martinez violated any of his directives on January 19th.  

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