BEN MENO REMARKS ON RADIO (#3) – July 6, 2015
A translation by Joe R. San Agustin
of Mr. Ben Meno’s call-in radio talk to show host Jesse Lujan
Manana si Yuus (Good day). To the two of you there at the radio station (former Senator Jess Lujan, radio host and another person), and to all who are listening. Let me indicate to you who is calling in – Ben Meno, from Inarajan.
I’d like you to understand -- I am not calling in to the radio station so that I can be heard on the air, but rather so that we can understand each other, and give each other information about the things we are facing – the good things, the sweet things, the fragrance, the foul smell, as well as the bitterness. I’m referring to the problems we (our Church) are facing. Right? OK?
Please let’s make this very clear, Senator, (unless you’ve changed [your Catholic religion]) Quite often, you and I would meet in church or in procession (Jesse Lujan: “No, I haven’t changed.”)
You know it, and I know it, that Archbishop Apuron had issued a letter in yesterday’s (Sunday’s) Umatuna Si Yu’os.
My dear people, I’d like you to understand this. First of all, that I am a sinner from the time I was born up to now, and I will die and be buried anywhere with that stigma – but because of my baptism, that original sin in my soul had been removed.
If you read the Archbishop’s letter, he was writing “a Personal Letter to the People of God” – thank you for that. But as you read on, Senator, he (the Archbishop) said that he is being attacked from the media and from the community. And he said that yes, it was he that is being attacked!
I urge you all – let’s all get together. As you read his letter, it is correct – let us remove the bitterness, the hatred, and every ill feeling, and let us unite. That is absolutely correct! No, I do not hate the Archbishop; I never said that I hate him – no! What we are asking of the Archbishop - we, the Faithful who are devoted to God - we are asking for those 10 items – 10 questions that are being asked. It is important that we see and we hear the truth - (his responses to these items).
He is the one who created these issues; not the People of God. He is the one who is holding the Staff (of authority); he is the one who is guiding the Catholic Church. Now he says that he is being attacked through the media (and I am part of that because I did write a letter through the media – and another one is coming out).
My dear people – and you, Senator – Not too long ago the Supreme Court (of the U.S.) made its decision and passed in into law that it is OK for Peter and John, Mary and Ann, to get married. I am not in favor of that; I am opposed to that. For me, that is wrong. The Archbishop is right when he said that “how is it that what God made, the Supreme Court can now change”. My question is – or rather my opinion is – “to each his own”! If you love God, follow God’s law. If you love Hell, then follow the law of the land.
The point here, Senator, is that the Supreme Court is created (and its justices empowered to make decisions), but it does not mean that whatever decision they make is right. That is not right for us Catholics (if it is counter to our Faith), though it may be right for those who do not believe in God.
And he (the Archbishop) is saying that he has been appointed Shepherd to lead us by the hand and to guide the Catholic Church in the Faith. And that is true; and I believe it. And I support him in that.
But how is it that you (Archbishop) fired your advisors (Finance Council)? How is it that you fired Father Gofigan – and I am going to quote what you said: “Go find a bishop that can take you!” You called him in for a meeting [to give him his walking papers!], and in the meantime you sent someone to change the locks to his room. And when Fr. Gofigan got back to his rectory room, he could not enter because the locks have been changed!
You removed Monsignor Benavente because you said that he abused his powers. When I read that, [I knew] it was you who said this, and had it published. It was not I who is attacking you. What you put in the paper, and what you said, is what we are objecting to.
And land in Yona (Redemptoris Mater Seminary) which you gave away – The Carmelite Sisters were involved. They gave you money (to purchase the property) – and you gave it away! You opened a seminary in Maloloj! We can’t even afford the upkeep of the seminary in Yona (RMS). You are the one doing these things; you are the one deciding these things. Nobody is attacking you!
No one is attacking you, Archbishop. All we are asking you – all the Concerned Catholics is asking of you – is to give response to those 10 requests being asked of you. Where is the money going to; what is it being used for? You are complaining that the people do not want to give money to the Catholic Charities. Well, if I am to give you money, then please show me to what good my money is being used for. This has always been the case – accountability. You are being asked by people as a parish, as members of the church, as people of God. You have a duty to tell us what you are doing (with it).
You were asked by the family of Monsignor Benavente to meet with you. You refused! You are asked by other people to meet; you refused! How are these things so? You are the one doing these things! People are not against you because they hate you – we truly love you. You are the one who does these things – and why is it that now you have turned (the tables), and you wish to wash your hands, and say that you are being attacked? Nobody is attacking you!
You claim to be the Father of us all (Saina)? Then open your door! Open your door, and bring these people inside, because they are people, not gods! This is your obligation – to open the door, and spread out on the table those things that need to be discussed, so that there can be understanding, togetherness (inafamauleg), and faith within the Catholic Church. But you are the one who is dividing, who is breaking apart, who is muddling things.
And just because you are given authority in the Church…. (don’t forget: I was just saying earlier about the Supreme Court that not everything that comes out of it is right – you admit that yourself) It doesn’t mean that because you have been given authority….. If Eddie Baza Calvo who is voted into office by the people says/does something bad, doesn’t mean we just have to say “Amen, Cracker Jack!”. No way, Jose!
You used St Peter as an example (in your letter), who denied Jesus three times despite his warning by Christ before it happened (“Peter, before the cock crows, you will have denied me three times”). But Our Lord Jesus Christ didn’t say “Get away from here, you Satan!” He said to him: “Peter, I shall build my church on this rock, and whatever is heard on earth shall be heard in Heaven; whatever is received on earth, shall be received in Heaven. And I shall give you the keys of the kingdom… and you watch over it (the church)”
But St. Peter was a sinner. You even alluded in your letter that St Peter was not an educated person. YOU are an educated bishop! So what then? What are you trying to say? What do you want? Listen and heed the urgings of the Concerned Catholics. If you indeed wish to have unity, peace, harmony, love within the Catholic Church – and I shall not ever abandon my Faith. I shall stand firm, I shall strengthen my Faith. So respond to what is being asked of you! Because there is nothing evil; there is no sin in what is being asked. Respond to what is being asked! Remember that you are human; you are not God! You are a human being! We ask to come together and answer the 10 questions that we are asking you to respond – and you refuse! Yet you put in your letter yesterday that the media and the people are attacking you. Nobody is attacking you! This is your doing. You fired your Finance Council, you fired the priest (Gofigan), and you removed the monsignor (Msgr Benavente). Please understand that, Bishop. [Quasi-chocking] And I pray for you every single day. And I will ask the Holy Spirit – like you said – that we should unite. So don’t say that you are being calumniated, that you are being maltreated. Do what is being asked of you so we can understand each other, that we can get along with each other, that we can love each other. Please - clear and loud – People of the Land, People of the Faith, Parents, Children, Catholics! – Good Day (Manana Si Yuus). I hope I have not hurt anyone. – Ben Meno.