Tuesday, January 13, 2015

KUAM. JANUARY 12, 2015


  1. A House Divided

    We are a house, a church, divided. From clergy to parishes, to organizations and even, sadly, within our families.

    This division is so severe and so damaging that a delegation was sent from Rome to intervene. The Archbishop may call it whatever he wants but for me it was clearly an intervention. A call for action if you will to bring back the peace and harmony that had existed within our beautiful island faith for generations.

    I come from a small parish that thankfully is not run by a neo priest. But we do have some neo parishioners who used to attend Mass but rarely attend anymore. My family has buried our dead at this parish, baptized our children, married our loved ones. We have been involved in nearly every single aspect of our beloved Parish and never once have we ever been invited or informed of the neocatechumal way and any of their activities.

    If we had been invited, we surely would have attended. At least give it a try and see what it was about. Instead, we only heard the whispers of this secret organization with their strange Masses and "traditions." As for the Archbishop, we rarely would see him except for fiesta time and occasionally confirmation. Even then he would not greet anyone. Instead he would stand back and hold his ring out for you to come and kiss his ring. No "hello." No "God Bless you." Not even an inquiry into your name. It was as if we never even existed in his world. Maybe it's because we are not Neo. But then again, how could we be when it was all such a big secret?

    Honestly, I probably would have been more receptive to the movement than my husband who is very traditional in his faith having been baptized in our parish, baptizing our children and Godchildren as well as having buried his father and siblings there as well. But the difference between us and some other couples who have suffered marital problems over "the way" is that I believe that as a married couple we must take our walk of faith together as one.

    So here we are now - an island and a Church divided. So much back and forth over he said - she said. He did this and they did that. Our people are losing faith. We no longer feel comfortable or even at peace in our own home - our Church. But what concerns me most is our children. Our next generation of priests and nuns and those why want to serve our Church. What will this do to them? How can they serve a Church so divided and filled with so much pain and strife? The leaders they had looked up to have been silenced and removed from their posts. The Archbishop appears to only concern himself with the select few in The way. What happens when they all leave to foreign lands? What will become of our children - the future priests and Monsignors and possibly even bishops? I know already of one young Chamorro who has lost his desire to eventually join the priesthood. It is absolutely heartbreaking.

    I don't have the answers to how this sad situation on Guam will ever be made whole. But I have faith in the delegation from Rome that eventually they will take action. Whether it's the easy route that leaves the Archbishop to serve his remaining term until the age of retirement but in the meantime remove those around him who could be leading this charade or possibly even something more actionable such as remedying the situation with the RMS and restoring Monsignor Benavente which would restore hope to the people of Guam. Either way I pray for resolution. Our time on this earth will fade but the real test of our faith and resolve is what we leave behind for our children and all generations to come. As it is said in Mark 3:25 25 "if a household is divided against itself, that household can never last."

    My prayer is for peace, for reconciliation, for those who have been wronged made whole again and for our House to last for generations to come.

  2. Speaking of kissing rings-- did you notice in the video how the Archbishop lets someone kiss his ring and scurries off into his waiting car without saying a word?

  3. Anonymous at 1:36 PM --your posting, that I myself couldn't put into words like you have, YOU HAVE NAILED IT. Now, after reading it, I feel speechless as if I had just attended a funeral. The loss of something/someone "THE CHURCH" is dying down and needs to come ALIVE! Thank you! This really touched my heart. I will plant it in my heart, nurture it for when Lent Season arrives, like Jesus died and will rise again.

  4. Our House will rise again. Amen!

  5. to Anon 1:36. Your concerns are shared by most of us. to wit, look at the traffic on Junglewatch it averages over 10,000 visits a day! Your concerns reflect our own feelings and frustrations. I support the followers of the NCW who feel that their path to salvation is via the Way, and God Bless them for thier choice. By the same token NCW should also respect our desire to keep our traditional way of worshiping. I am concerned feel that Kiko and company have a grand design to convert our island to the Way why else would they have presently 44 seminarians. We are not producing enough Diocesan and Capuchins priests to fill our needs.
    One way to promote peace and understanding between NCW and Traditional Catholics is to have Archbishop Apuron allow each parish the opportunity to vote on whether to reamin traditonal or become a member of the Way. This way the decision of the majority can prevail and both sides can worship as to the dictates of their consciences.

    1. I believe that allowing each parish to vote may cause more division than ever. Since every parish then will be visibly divided. Besides, so long as the bishop wants the NCW in a parish it can’t be stopped. This is because the NCW has a charter approved by Rome: its Statute. And every Catholic on Guam should know what it says.

      While we cannot keep the NCW out, we can hold the bishop responsible for demanding that it conform to its statute. There’s fat chance of that since our bishop regularly violates it himself, but that’s where you need to do the hard work of documenting these transgressions and compiling the case against the bishop and the NCW.

      We then pursue the recourse that is available to us according to canon law, but we also demonstrate that we are willing to take civil action as well. This is how we got Rome’s attention in the first place.

      Bottom line is Catholics need to do the hard work of studying and knowing these things. Here is the statute. Start reading:


    2. I truly applaud the spirit and charity of Anon at 9:42 am; Jan 14…. but I believe the response from Tim Rohr makes better sense – if you wish to take time to study and analyze it. To profess to live the life of a Neo fully is often contrary to (and sometimes contradictory to) some of the teachings (theology) and practices (liturgy/rubrics) of the Roman Catholic Church. Having each parish choose which set of rules to follow and worship only tends to accentuate the division of belief and practices within the same church. I cite but a few examples here:

      (1) The Catholic Church teaches us that the Mass is a true sacrifice, not just a celebratory memorial of the Last Supper – that is why we refer to it as the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; we worship in awe and silence especially at the Consecration, whereas they sing and dance around their bedecked table, not an altar, in celebrating the Eucharist;

      (2) We believe in Purgatory, else why do we pray for our deceased loved ones (“May –would that - his/her soul, and the souls of all the Faithful departed , through the mercy of God, rest in peace”) if they are already at peace in Heaven or already in Hell;

      (3) We Catholics do not believe that Christ is a sinner, as some (maybe most, if not all??) NCW catechists teach. Christ is God, was born sinless of a sinless Mother, and died for our sins, not His – that is our belief. To believe otherwise is heresy;

      4) We firmly believe that we are guided in our Faith by the one infallible shepherd, the Pope, the successor of St Peter, and his bishops and priests; the NCW leadership (and by extension, perhaps many a Neo member) pledge their allegiance, fealty and obedience to Kiko Arguelles, their “responsibles”, their “catechists”; and their prysbeters;

      (5) Our own Archbishop Apuron is a member of the NCW and as such is a member of “the community” just like anybody else; technically, he would have no place of prominence; he is just a member, like everybody else; whereas we hold our Shepherd in high esteem when he is present at our functions;

      etc., etc., etc.

      So, inasmuch as I agree with the fraternal charity approach of Anon at 9:42 am; Jan 14, I respectfully disagree with his solution of letting each parish and its parishioners (composed of Neos and non Neos) choose their own way to believe and worship God within the Catholic Church.

      I respectfully propose instead that we all come together as one family, believe and worship the same way, and live the One Faith as One Flock under the One Shepherd.

      Before I close, I want to say that I respect the inclination and choice of every Neo to stay Neo, or others to join the Neo. Just don’t call yourselves “Catholic” because there is only one true Catholic Church – the one our fathers, grandfathers, and forefathers bequeathed to us over the centuries.

      In the spirit of ecumenism, we have learned to live with our other Christian brethren (JW, SDA, Baptist, Lutheran, and others) – and though our spirit is more often than not the same – worshipping God - we mutually respect each other’s faith, traditions, and practices – and they do not call themselves Roman Catholics. Neither should the Neos who wish to follow the Way of Kiko Arguelles, over what Jesus Christ had told us: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Light”.


  6. archdiocese will rise again from the ashes of destruction.