I cannot tell you what was discussed at my meeting with the Vatican Visitors without compromising their course of action. But I can tell you that there will be a course of action. Frenchie pretty much outlines it in the following comment:
The bottom line is that the Visitors are only authorized to do an investigation and to propose a course of action to promote reconciliation. As Frenchie says, the final assessment will depend on the Pope. And yes, Gennarini and Pius will launch an all out assault to grab as much as they can. Expect it. Don't worry. I won't be going anywhere, and the CCOG is growing stronger and wiser by the minute.
Aside from that, here are some of my other thoughts:
Many felt the Visitors were preprogrammed to side with the Neocatechumenal Way. While Kiko may have his allies in Rome, the Neocatechumenal Way in general around the world is in trouble. Guam isn't the only place where its aggressive and abusive leaders have made a mess. The Visitors know this. And most important, the Pope knows this.
By the way, let's again be careful to separate out the bad guys from the good guys. There are good, well-meaning people who are in the NCW who may have no clue of all the harm their leadership is doing.
And that brings us to the central issue.
The Neocatechumenal Way had an easy entry into Guam not just because of a weak bishop but because of a weak everybody:
- weak pastors who failed to catechize well and who had already long permitted the liturgical abuses which the NCW just took to the next level;
- weak Catholics who couldn't be bothered to take it upon themselves to buy a Catechism of the Catholic Church and study it, or to teach their own children;
- and essentially a weak faith that had already prompted a mass exodus from the Catholic Faith long before the NCW was ever a problem.
In my many months and even years of dealing with complaints about the NCW, I have often been both amused and saddened by the belief that somehow if we just got rid of the NCW or the "three on the hill" our problems would go away.
While both courses of action might help, is getting rid of the NCW or getting a different bishop going to keep your children and grandchildren from leaving the faith? Will it bring back those who have already left, most of whom have left NOT because of the NCW or corrupt church leadership, but because of the general decline of faith and morals in our own homes not to mention the ongoing descacralization or our own liturgies and places of worship?
There are also the practical issues of our general failure to address the private suffering of many. It wasn't just the greedy and those with a lust for power and control who were attracted to the NCW, it was also the "wounded married", the widowed, the divorced, the separated, the lonely, and so on.
You have heard the testimonies: the NCW saved my marriage, the NCW saved my life, the NCW brought me back to the faith, etc.
Why is that?
Because while it is true that we have all we need in the Church and the sacraments, we "regular Catholics" seem unable to live out that life of the Church and the sacraments unless "Father" does something first: unless he starts a program for the divorced and widowed, unless he starts a program for struggling marriages, unless he starts a catechesis, etc.
Well, screw that.
- If you are divorced, invite other divorced people to join you to pray, share and study.
- If you are widowed, then invite other widowed to join you to pray, share and study.
- If you are struggling in marriage then start your own group to help others who are in the same situation.
- Get a copy of the Catechism and invite others to a weekly meeting where you can read it through paragraph by paragraph and pray, study, and share.
You don't need a room at the parish to do this. Do it in your homes, in a restaurant, a coffee shop, wherever. You don't need permission. You don't need a credential. If you run into something that you don't know, then go see "Father". But meanwhile, just get started. If you build it they will come. One by one, they will come.
If we all put as much effort into this kind of thing as we do to planning the next fiesta then maybe, just maybe, things will change, and it won't matter who the bishop is.
Stop waiting for Rome. Stop waiting for "Father". Stop waiting. Start starting. DO what you can DO and START where you're at. That's all I've ever done.