Wednesday, February 25, 2015


And what ministries? I don't see any worthwhile programs coming out of the Chancery. I think the best thing they have done, if they did indeed do it, is bring Steve Ray out to Guam. We need more of that.

@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.[9]

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.[9]

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.[53] 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.[10]


  1. Sounds about right. Many received this kind of treatment.

  2. While he was here, Steve Ray used a powerful analogy of an oak tree to make this point. Click here to listen to or download that clip.

    If you liked that, then here's a link to ten short but wonderful clips taken from Steve's talks while he was here ==> Steve Ray's Clips.

    1. Thank you, Chuck, for the link to Steve Ray's Clips. I listened to all of them with joy and plan to listen to them again during this Lenten season. I especially liked the ones about "The Sacrifice of the Mass" and "Mary the Ark of the Covenant." I attended many of the talks Steve Ray gave when he was on Guam, though I guess I missed the one Tim described. I guess I better dig out the book "Crossing the Tiber" by Steve Ray that I bought back then. Like him I was a Baptist who converted to Catholicism with intense enthusiasm decades ago.

  3. Diana must not know this story because she praises Steve Ray in her blog.

    1. Steve was extremely gracious and complimentary towards Apuron when he was here. He spoke very highly of him and edified his office. This is why he was so crushed when Apuron treated him the way he did. But then welcome to the club.

  4. did a talk by a Guest to the Archdiocese turn it's attention to AAA? It's like the Neobutts present had a hidden agenda to turn attention to Apuron. This is so embarrassing, the Neobutts lack of hospitality that the Marianas is known for culturally. This is just a good example of how a shepherd can't control his "goats". He just left without saying anything to them. Where was his leadership? I forgot, in the Neo world he isn't a leader but just a peon. I guess the Neobutts couldn't handle the TRUTH about their movement being antiquated. Mr. Steve Ray is owed an apology, but we all know he has to stand in a long line behind those who have been waiting years for one from AAA and the Neobutts. Humility is really not their strong suit.
    I don't know anything about Steve Ray, but now my curiosity is piqued to find out more. I have viewed online videos of converts to Catholicism and they have been educational and insightful. Kudos to Steve Ray for telling the Neobutts like it is. I guess they weren't expecting him to know more than their "priest'. I guess RMS doesn't cover the writings and encyclicals of Popes. Go figure.

  5. God Bless Steve Ray! I am so sorry that he was snubbed by Archbishop Apuron like this. I remember viewing his blog and seeing the praise he had for Guam and Archbishop Apuron. When he was here, he shared with people that since becoming Catholic, he had such love and admiration for the clergy of the Church because they were from the line of the true apostolic succession of Christ. We all laughed at his stories about how he would tackle priests and bishops with his hugs. Understanding from that context and now the knowledge that he was snubbed and treated so ill by our Archbishop, there are no words, but wow! That is totally crushing. I feel bad Tim that you held this knowledge for so long. If only you knew then that this was only a preview of what Guamanian Catholics and clergy would eventually experience for themselves.

    Anyway, thank you for bringing Steve Ray to Guam. Before he visited the island in 2005, it seemed as though there was a mass exodus of the Catholic faithful to New Covenant Life Church. NCL was the "in" place to attend Sunday services so when Steve arrived, I likened his visit to the cavalry arriving to saving the day.

    Steve was so inspirational. As an excellent teacher and storyteller, he presented in such a way that he held the audience captive. Everyday Catholics, such as myself, walked away with a fire and new found appreciation to defend Mother Church. To this very day, I reference his lessons that he gave in 2005 at that very pulpit in Cathedral Basilica.

    Steve shared so much of himself during his visit, including his personal life, with the people of Guam. Despite his visit ending on a sad note, I hope he knows that his time on Guam was not in vain. He reached so many people just like me and helped us become better Catholics.

    1. I think your post should be forwarded to Steve Ray. :)


  6. Dear JungleWatch:

    Just found this on Catholic News Service - Vatican City

    Vatican gives tips on preparing homilies, tying them to catechism

    By Cindy Wooden

    "In the broadest sense, the homily is a discourse about the mysteries of faith and the standards of Christian life," says the Homiletic Directory published by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments."

    "Dated June 29, 2014, and approved by Pope Francis, the directory was released at the Vatican Feb. 10..."

    "Pope Benedict XVI had asked the congregation to draw up the directory after many participants at the 2005 Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist and the 2008 synod on the Word of God requested a handbook to help priests with their homilies.

    Because of "the integral bond" between the homily and the Eucharist and because the homily itself is "an act of worship," the directory reaffirms church discipline that only ordained ministers -- bishops, priests or deacons -- are to deliver the homily at Mass.

    "Well-trained lay leaders can also give solid instruction and moving exhortation, and opportunities for such presentations should be provided in other contexts," BUT NOT AT THE MOMENT AFTER THE READINGS AND BEFORE THE LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST AT MASS, it says."

    (Can google for whole article)

    May we all be ONE.


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