So at last night's CCOG village meeting in Agana, a representative from the neo-controlled Cathedral showed up, apparently to set us all straight.
However, the attendees essentially kicked him out of the meeting before he could get around to it.
Let me tell you why.
It wasn't because he presented facts that the attendees did not agree with. In fact, he never got around to those "facts" - if he had them.
The reason he was unceremoniously dismissed from the meeting - not by me - but by the attendees, is because he began his comments by insulting his hearers.
He began by saying that they must be careful about listening to Tim, that "Tim is very persuasive", and other such comments.
Here's what the attendees heard: "You are not smart enough to discover the facts and learn the truth for yourselves. You are all stupid followers of Tim Rohr. I am here to save you from the clutches of this evil man."
I honestly had no expectation of what this person was going to say. My past experiences with him had always made me think of him as a peace-maker. I thought he was there to offer a path to reconciliation.
So I almost choked on my tuna sandwich when he began lecturing the people present about being careful about listening to me, as if they had no ability to do so. I almost choked because sitting right in front of me were some of the most esteemed members of the church community, smart people, respected people, humble people.
Apparently he had intended to read us the letter from Msgr. David C. Quitugua which had been inserted into the cathedral's bulletin, a letter which he, Msgr. Quitugua, Sr. Marian Arroyo, and two other members of the parish finance council had signed.
Just to be clear, the letter inserted into the cathedral's bulletin was a different letter than the "Internal Review" which had been inserted into the U Matuna on the same day (Jan 23).
Though it was a different letter, it might as well have been page two of the "Internal Review", being that it began with a reference to the "Internal Review" and essentially consisted of a "piling on" to the archbishop's ceaseless effort to make Msgr. James out to be a crook.
His presentation ended before it started because I asked him one question: "Did you meet with Msgr. James?"
When he said "no" (at least he told the truth), the room erupted into a cacophony of protest, as well it should.
Since last July, the personal integrity of Msgr. James has been constantly and publicly tried, drawn, quartered and impaled without so much as a single opportunity for Msgr. James to speak to his accusers or even receive the allegations in writing.
And so here we are, more than seven months after Msgr. James was removed, and the only thing we hear from his accusers is a repeat of all the accusations, and STILL no attempt to reconcile or work with Msgr. James.
Let's do this again:
Even if everything you mean people say is true about Msgr. James, the real reason the majority of people are turning on you is because of how you treated him and continue to treat him and how you intended to treat him last night.
What don't you get?
Pope Francis recently reminded bishops and priests that: "people will forgive a weak priest or pastoral minister, but they will not forgive a greedy one or one who mistreats people."
Don't you see? Of course you do. You don't care. The destruction of your enemies is all that matters. Well, then know this: for every enemy you attack you create a hundred more. And if there was anyone there last night who was in the least bit neutral, they aren't now.
As the room grew louder, a former senator stood up and took the floor. He said that we should be thankful for the cathedral representative because after listening to him for 5 minutes everyone there had learned more about the real problem than in the hour long presentation I had just given.