Saturday, February 7, 2015


  1. An Open Letter to Archbishop Apuron:

    Dear Archbishop Apuron,

    I hope you were able to listen to Pope Francis' recent message on the role of fathers. It is one that resonates with families, in the traditional and pastoral sense. Though I am not a father, I can easily connect to the Pope's words because for years growing up in this archdiocese - we have had no "Father." Instead we have a man, dressed in the cloth and takes on the title of Shepherd, who has been absent from his ministry as pastor and father to us all.

    "Firstly, fathers need to be present in the family," said Pope Francis. This brought me to tears as I knew at that instance our church on Guam was lacking a father. Like a father who constantly leaves his children, you have done the same. After Sunday Masses, you jet off to your next appointment. You speed through Christmas and Easter Masses to get to your other "community" to celebrate with them. Over the years you have failed to be present among us to share in our joys, in our sufferings, in our pain, and in our triumphs as a family.

    For this reason, we have not grown as a church family. Rather, we find ourselves struggling to survive, looking for guidance, and struggling to find a place in our very own home.

    "The father is always present," reminded Pope Francis.

    The recent controversies in our church have been troubling and trying not only for you, but for all of us as well. We find ourselves fighting with each other, defending our positions, and seeking truth in the way of the True Church - not a particular ecclesiastical movement. Whether clergy or laity, we must all be held accountable for our actions but a father must always treat his children with dignity. In this regard the handling of Fr. Paul, Msgr. James, and other priests who have gone or may still be here was just outright wrong. As a father, in your meager attempt to maintain your "fatherly role," you treated them unjustly and unfairly. No child should ever have to experience being slapped in the face publicly and in a manner that takes away their dignity and threatens their ability to minister.

    Pope Francis had this to say, "The father who knows how to correct without demeaning is the same who knows how to protect unstintingly."

    Archbishop, you know that your priests will never be able to seek your aid and protection. Unless they hope to be incardinated or are loyal to you because of their membership in the Neo Catechumenal Way. Because you see, your absence and your actions, have rewritten the definition of obedience in the religious and cultural contexts. The faithful on Guam are no longer settling for what was "culturally acceptable" to never question the archbishop or the church. As a people, pleading to find a father for us, we can no longer be pushed to the side, abandoned, or left to fend for ourselves.

    Though I remain anonymous, for now, I can no longer accept that is happening within our church and the public perception as a result of our infighting. For too long and for too many, families are struggling to find a relation and relevance with a faith that was planted here over 400 years ago and a Church that has withstood the seasons for over 2,000 years.

    Like an abandoned child, or a child with an abusive father, or a child whose father is negligent, or a father selective of his children, or an absent father, at some point that child must find something or someone to be a new and more suitable father. A father who will be a "mediator[s] of faith in goodness and justice, and of the protection of God."

    I continue to offer my prayers for you, archbishop, and our hurting church. St. Joseph, Pray for Us.

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