Sunday, February 22, 2015

NOTICE TO SEMINARIANS AT JP2

You are being used. I'm sure you know that. I also know that you are trying to make the best of a bad situation. However, we cannot allow "them" to use you to use us. 

If you want the Catholics of Guam to support your current efforts to attain to the priesthood via the Blessed Diego Institute (BDI) - which is the only path Archbishop Apuron is permitting -  then we must require you to present to us the following:
  1. Current and official documentation of the BDI's accredited affiliation with the Lateran.
  2. The academic handbook for BDI or at least a certified copy of its curriculum and academic requirements.
  3. The list of stable or permanent professors and their academic credentials as well village of residence.  
  4. A documented commitment of what percentage of Appeal funds will actually go to the seminarians at JPII.
  5. A documented commitment from Archbishop Apuron to truthfully disclose all the financials related to the Annual Appeal.
If you cannot present this to us then we cannot support the Appeal and until we see these documents I am asking everyone to withhold any contributions to the Appeal. Meanwhile, I would encourage those who care about supporting your vocations to organize and contribute to a trust in your behalf with the funds distributed once the above documentation is presented or you are permitted to attend a seminary with actual credentials. 

If you are unable to obtain these documents then you are being lied to and you are being used to lie to us. Not a good way to begin a path to the priesthood. 

We wait. 

18 comments:

  1. Painful. But necessary. Very painful. There are still seminarians in the world studying in secret, in dangerous conditions. We are living in a blessed island. Let's make this right.

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  2. They know. You can sense it from the way they simply read the prepared announcement. Nothing more or less than the prepard announcement. At least that was the sense from the seminarian who read yesterday at the 12noon mass at Santa Barbara.

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    1. More disrespect of people from Chamorro Archbishop. Seems without remorse. These are people's lives he has strewn all over the place. Let's just say a major seminary on a small island is a failed experiment. Back to study properly on the Mainland. Pope Francis. Are you really, really in favor? Answer us.

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  3. Can someone tell us how many of our local sons are studying at the JPII Seminary in Malojloj? I would also like to know their names, too. Why can't they pursue their studies off-island like all the other local priests on Guam, including the Arch., himself? Can we start a scholarship for them (in their names) so that our funding can't be touched or intermingled with the others?

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    1. I understand there are 5 men. They can't study off-island because Apuron already lied to the pope about having two seminaries so he has to keep them here to keep up the lie.

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  4. These men are being put in an untenable situation. The choice to withhold donations to the appeal is within everyone's right, but to essentially hold these men accountable for producing various documents concerning the institute's finances, in order to receive continued support, is simply ludicrous. The suggestion of a separate fund to support local diocesan seminarians would in fact be a genuinely valuable one... although that's not what this post's "trust" supposes -- it's a bully's ransom. Much of this blog has been in support of local vocations, defending them and shedding light on the state of affairs for those who would like to be formed outside of the current NCW structures. A thorough and truthful presentation of that narrative has consistently been the content of these posts. Let's continue on that trajectory rather than becoming the bullies whom you've worked so diligently to defend us against.

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    1. The seminarians themselves do not have to produce the documents, the BDI should itself produce the academic information and the archbishop should produce the other. The fact is that BDI is a sham and any pretense that these men are attending a real institute is a lie. JP2 itself was set up to bully us into silence. No one is putting them in an untenable situation but the archbishop himself and those who support this farce.

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    2. And what parent would blindly send a son or daughter to a school that could not produce even a copy of the curriculum?

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    3. Requiring documentation in return for funding is hardly a bullying tactic. Ever apply for a grant or scholarship? The application is pretty extensive and requires much credible information. What is different about the request in this posting?

      Even donating time, money or goods to a charity requires some accountability and credible status reporting. Would you blindly donate to an organization without knowing it's mission?

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  5. @ Jose M. I'm unsure how your question affects my comment (Anon. 8:10PM). The two scenarios aren't correlative. Funds to the appeal are donations -- you can give or withhold your contributions as you see fit.

    I agree with Tim's follow-up comment that it's the responsibility of the institute to provide the various information regarding curriculum as well as the obligation of the diocese to be transparent about showing how appeal funds are distributed.

    Having said that, even a cursory read of the original post lends to the following notion: IF the seminarians can't produce these documents THEN funds will continued to be held or placed in some sort of locked trust which is contingent on the documents being produced (by the seminarians or otherwise). Or in the words of the original post:

    "If you want the Catholics of Guam to support your [as in, the seminarian's] current efforts to attain to the priesthood via the Blessed Diego Institute (BDI) - which is the only path Archbishop Apuron is permitting - then we must require you to present to us the following..."

    I think we are all in agreement if we just clarify that we aren't holding the seminarians accountable for the documents (which, I don't think is made clear in the original post). Aside from that, whether it's a $5, a $100, or nil which you drop in the envelope remains completely up to you.


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    1. As you can see I only encouraged those who want to help the seminarians to contribute to a trust until the matter of both the accreditation of their institute and the actual destination of the funds can be worked out. Individuals can put the money into a savings account for that matter. As for who is to produce the documentation, let's go back to requiring the seminarians to pressure their superiors to do so. If they are big enough to ask for our money then they are big enough to ask for simple evidence of the validity of the institute they are asking us to pay for.

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    2. You wrote: "@ Jose M. I'm unsure how your question affects my comment (Anon. 8:10PM). The two scenarios aren't correlative. Funds to the appeal are donations -- you can give or withhold your contributions as you see fit." (emphasis mine - jose)

      Me: It would seem, then, that you concur with my comment.

      You wrote: "Having said that, even a cursory read of the original post lends to the following notion: IF the seminarians can't produce these documents THEN funds will continued to be held or placed in some sort of locked trust which is contingent on the documents being produced (by the seminarians or otherwise)."

      Me: In other words, "as you see fit." (Hardly a bullying tactic - to "see fit" that is.)

      You wrote: "I think we are all in agreement if we just clarify that we aren't holding the seminarians accountable for the documents (which, I don't think is made clear in the original post)."

      Me: Logic would contend that these documents would already be in possession of said institution. I don't think that in the context of Tim's suggestion is he holding the responsibility of accreditation solely on the shoulders of the seminarians. He is asking for documentation that they should have already confirmed on their own.

      If this criteria is how he or others "see fit," (as you have stated as allowable for determining whether to donate or not) then you really shouldn't have an issue with Tim's suggestion.

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    3. @ Jose M. There are two issues at play here. In regards to donations to the appeal, I already said I am in agreement with you. Once again, your contributions are wholly yours.

      In regards to the documents proving the institute's credibility along with the diocesan records showing the use of funds, I stand by my original notion -- namely, that the seminarians shouldn't be held responsible for producing them. It seems that Tim remains set on that track, and has made a new post defending that strategy. Regrettable, but fine. I did enjoy the call to action, however!

      I think I should reiterate that I have always enjoyed the content on this blog. I will continue to watch, wait, and pray with the rest of Guam's faithful. I made my original post because, rarely, but at times, some posts lack basic charity. I'm happy that my comment generated some chatter because it indicates that people are passionate about the Church and her well-being.

      Blessings!

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    4. Yes, apparently with your version of "basic charity", since it amounts to doing nothing but supporting Apuron in his ruse, Fr. Paul would have been history, Msgr. James burned at the stake, and the people of Guam would have continued to have been lied to and stolen from while Apuron danced about his room singing "no one can touch me." No thanks. Meanwhile, let's see if you can save those seminarians you are so concerned about and show us that our money isn't being screwed with once again.

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    5. @Mr/Mrs Anon 6:43PM. It seems as if you are stuck in a notion that the seminarians are not capable of producing simple documents. I think, per your "original notion" you are making much ado about nothing. It's really a non-issue.

      There is nothing wrong, or uncharitable in Tim's request, nor is it something unattainable, insomuch if the accreditation exists. Your comment piqued my interest because of the intelligent nature and charitable rhetoric. However, I could not disagree with you more about the notion that asking for credible documentation to release any support is anything less than charitable.

      As you stated earlier, and at a risk of displaying argumentum ad infinitum, each person is allowed to donate as they deem fit. And in this case, Tim is revealing what he deems fit. Tim is not denying "tuition" justly due to the seminarians, he is stating what he wishes to review in exchange for his support; support that is voluntary and not an obligation. Thus, there is no undue hardship brought on to the seminarians of SJPII in such a request.

      I think that this has been discussed enough. If you truly were wanting to protect the seminarians from actions uncharitable, I suggest you cease searching for your cause here on this blog. You are looking in the wrong place.

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    6. @ Jose M. Thanks for the reply, and I agree -- I suppose this has run its course. Suffice to say we disagree on method and not the end goal. I will continue to keep close watch to the blog, however, simply because it has consistently been the source of valuable content.

      @ Tim. I wish I could do more (perhaps more prayers?). But I'd like to think, at the end of the day, whatever method of purification we choose is consistent with Gospel values. My criticism of your original post really said nothing as to the situation of Fr. Gofigan or Msgr. Benavente. Rather, seminarians who (practically and canonically) share a different relationship with their ordinary than these priests. It was a very particular criticism of a very particular post.

      Blessings to you both!

      A Fellow Concerned Catholic

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  6. It seems to me that the seminarians (the local, diocesan vocations which we endeavor to support) are still unjustly trapped in this scenario. Having seminarians give appeal talks at local parishes is standard practice in many dioceses throughout the United States (and, apparently, Guam). It's not at if these men are out to meet a quota, rather they are doing their part to garner support for the diocese which supports them.

    Even so, the task of asking for monetary support in order to complete the requirements (however ambiguous) to become a diocesan priest outside of the NCW is a far cry from the implausible task of confronting one's superiors about documents which should already be published in the first place. Pressure from a diocesan seminarian at this point is futile -- especially when the formators know where it is coming from, namely, supporters of the CCG and this blog (myself included).

    This isn't a two-option scenario for these men in formation; to either tacitly support a diocese in turmoil (which they themselves disagree with) or take suggestions from a group of lay faithful who actively and publicly disagree with the leadership. It's an impossible line to tow.

    As it's commonly said, the means don't justify the ends. So, yes, let's get these documents to prove the validity of the institute and further investigate into it's mission -- but let's not do so by asking an impossible task of these men who, quite frankly, are not in any position to accomplish it.

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    1. http://www.junglewatch.info/2015/02/lets-see-action.html

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