@8:00AM. It's interesting you mention Steve Ray since I was the one who advised the archbishop to bring him out. But of more interest is what happened to Steve Ray that no one but I and Steve Ray know about (though Fr. Mike may know since he helped coordinate his visit). Maybe it's time to share it.
Steve came here on his own dime and out of the goodness of his heart. Every year he went to the Philippines to evangelize and for two years, 2005 and 2006, he included us in his itinerary. (I believe the Archdiocese only paid for what it cost him to add Guam to his trip. He did not charge an honorarium.)
On his first trip here, all went well, and he could not sing the praises of Archbishop Apuron enough. But at the end of his second visit to Guam, Apuron shunned him.
Steve wrote me several times expressing his distress. He wondered what he had said wrong. I finally told him.
At a talk he gave at the Cathedral, the neos started getting up and witnessing during the q & a. Steve was only vaguely familiar with the ncw and was not aware about the war that was happening on Guam. This was 2006 and Apuron was fresh off his "I'll stand with Kiko against the pope" speech on KOLG.
One particular neo went on and on and on until Steve finally stopped him. Then a certain neo priest got up and shouted angrily about how the rest of us were not supporting the archbishop.
Steve couldn't ignore what was going on nor could he just go back to his original topic, so he made a general comment about archeologism: the practice of resurrecting early church traditions and ignoring, shunning, or condemning later developments in the church (which is what Kiko does).
Pius XII had warned against the dangers of archeologism (or antiquarianism) in Mediator Dei, and I believe Steve referred to the document. The talk ended in chaos and I seem to remember that the archbishop immediately absented himself, not even staying to thank Steve nor did he speak to Steve again.
Steve was always terribly sorry and hurt about the incident. He had come to Guam at his own expense, had spoken very highly and publicly about the archbishop, and had only good things to say about our church. However, he didn't say the right things about the Neocatechumenal Way and thus was treated like trash by Apuron. What's new.
I spoke with Steve about a year ago when I heard his father passed away. He still expressed astonishment and regret. What a loss for Guam. A world class teacher, willing to come to Guam for free, just because he loved the faith and loved Archbishop Apuron, thrown on the trash pile with Fr. Paul, Msgr. James, and so many others.
Steve did not give me permission to tell this story and would have never wanted it told. But in the context of all the other damage Apuron has done to so many others in the name of the neocatechumenal way, it was time to tell it.
NOTE: Just because Steve Ray will probably never again visit Guam, at least not while Apuron is bishop, it does not mean we cannot have access to his wonderful teaching and unique insights into the Catholic faith. In my opinion, he is one of the very best teachers. And there is nothing like his video series: THE FOOTSTEPS OF GOD.
Please visit Steve's website and support him however you can.
As another aside, here's a bit of info about Mediator Dei and antiquarianism:
Pius XII opposed excesses in "Mediator Dei":
Assuredly it is a wise and most laudable thing to return in spirit and affection to the sources of the sacred liturgy. For research in this field of study, by tracing it back to its origins, contributes valuable assistance towards a more thorough and careful investigation of the significance of feast-days, and of the meaning of the texts and sacred ceremonies employed on their occasion.
But it is neither wise nor laudable to reduce everything to antiquity by every possible device. Thus, to cite some instances,
- one would be straying from the straight path were he to wish the altar restored to its primitive tableform;
- were he to want black excluded as a color for the liturgical vestments;
- were he to forbid the use of sacred images and statues in Churches;
- were he to order the crucifix so designed that the divine Redeemer's body shows no trace of His cruel sufferings;
- and lastly were he to disdain and reject polyphonic music or singing in parts, even where it conforms to regulations issued by the Holy See.
Pius XII stated that exaggerated reforms have harmful effects on Catholic spirituality: This way of acting bids fair to revive the exaggerated and senseless antiquarianism to which the illegal Council of Pistoia gave rise. It likewise attempts to reinstate a series of errors which were responsible for the calling of that meeting as well as for those resulting from it, with grievous harm to souls, and which the Church, the ever watchful guardian of the "deposit of faith" committed to her charge by her divine Founder, had every right and reason to condemn. For perverse designs and ventures of this sort tend to paralyze and weaken that process of sanctification by which the sacred liturgy directs the sons of adoption to their Heavenly Father of their souls' salvation.