Friday, 19 December 2014
Deacon Steve Martinez Fired for Being Part of Concerned Catholics GroupWritten by Janela Carrera
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 is latest to squabble with archbishopPosted: 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.