The following letter was sent via the Editor for The Guam Daily Post (formerly Marianas Variety).
Dear Ms. Tabornes-Reilly,
You can hardly be faulted for relying on a work published by an anthropology professor currently employed at UOG for your Sunday article: "Death rites in Guam..." (The Sunday Post, 10/25, pg. 5)
However, for future reference, you may want to know that one of the authors, David Atienza, has an agenda to discredit Chamorro culture in order to justify the intrusion of the Neocatechumenal Way into Guam's Catholic Church.
Also, from Eileen Benavente-Blas' column today:
...this past "Sunday Post" covered the topic of death and one article quoted extensively from UOG professor David Atienza's research article on Guam's death rituals. He erroneously states, "At the end of the Mass with the body present, the casket is closed." According to guampedia.com: "The immediate family takes one last opportunity to view their loved one before the coffin is closed and the funeral Mass begins." This is common knowledge.
It's disrespectful and a disservice to the Chamorros and our culture that this error has been published and perpetuated. Does it matter? I'm Chamorro. Yes, it matters. If you're Chamorro, I hope it matters to you too. Respetu y Chamoru yan y kuttura.