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This is a special birthday presentation to the Archbishop from Fly on the Wall at the Chancery.
A close friend of the Archbishop wishes to present him with a special birthday surprise. You could call it a walk down memory lane. It goes back to a bio written about the Archbishop in 2003, and it shows some telling points of view on how he views his relationship with his fellow Capuchins, and how we see that even in 2003 he was blind to his own faults. The biography is very long, and contains many quotes directly from Apuron, but I’ll start with just a short section on his “Relationship with Clergy”
Relationship with clergy
The above experience over the poker machine exemplifies the strenuous relationship Apuron has had with his brother Capuchins. At a critical time when he needed their support to outlaw poker machines, they criticized him for politicizing the church. In a moment of candid self-reflection, Apuron articulates the possible reasons for this strained rapport with his religious brothers:
“I think they [the Capuchins on Guam] know me as Brother Tony and Father Tony and they saw me as being elevated above them, [when I became a bishop]. Even though they professed the fact that we will support you [as bishop] because you are one of us, you are a native, especially the expatriate, in reality they don’t. The ones that give me the hardest time are non-natives. Some of them have left and moved on, sad to say. But even of the native ones, I really detect that they pay courtesy, but in their hearts there’s always, I don’t know what it is, whether it’s judgment against me, or whatever, or probably the way I administrate. Because I’m very, very pastoral. I don’t really like to sit behind a desk and just administer the diocese, or the archdiocese. I like to go out and touch people’s hands, visit them when they’re sick, comfort them when they’re dying, do weddings The Lord will judge me later on, but I feel it’s a pastoral reason and people are so honored when they do that, and I’m not doing that just to give me a tall hat or whatever. I really do it out of genuine concern. And when I do it I know that they understand.”
(Tim's note: So typical of the archbishop's run-on rambling answers where you wonder what or who he is talking about.)
He is further saddened because he believes that St Francis, whose charism the Capuchins try to embrace, would do whatever the Church would want. But Apuron finds that some of his Capuchin brothers will resist this call to be faithful and obedient to him as Archbishop. They will not go with what he, as spiritual leader says, for sometimes they will interpret some of the Church’s teachings and pronouncements differently.
(Tim's note: Thank God they do!)
These differences of interpretation also manifested itself in 1999, when Apuron, through a Decree, “erected” the Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary. In that Decree Apuron referred to the call by Pope John Paul II for a ‘new evangelization which is needed as a response to the demands of the present circumstances which are changing rapidly.’ Thus he embraced the Neocatechumanal way and established a seminary for young men from Spain, Italy, Philippines, Poland, Venezuela, Canary Islands, and the United States.
(Tim's note: LOL. Yes, for young men everywhere except young men with real diocesan vocations from Guam!)
Although Apuron personally thinks that this is the way of the church to help people who are struggling with their Catholic faith, his brother Capuchins have made a pact that they will not support the Neocatechumenal community. Some have even chided him. He has responded by pointing out the positive values of the latter community; these men were being formed in community and they were really strengthened by the Word and celebrations of Reconciliation and Eucharist. It continues to cause Apuron disappointment and has at times distanced him from his own Capuchin community.
(Tim's note: There it is again, folks. Apuron believes that the Neocatechumenal Way is "the way of the church.")
Further comments from From Fly on the Wall:
Archbishop says he does not like to administrate, he would rather be out with the people. Sadly, when problems arise, as they have, our shepherd is nowhere to be seen. And Adrian, on the other hand, feels that administration is most important, and pastoral activities are merely auxiliary. Hmm. That may explain the tension these days at the Chancery.
As far as the Capuchins trying to follow St Francis? We the people of Guam are eternally grateful for the wonderful work they do. They truly are following the simplicity and joy of St Francis.
But, please Archbishop, have a wonderful birthday celebration Franciscan style by throwing a $200 happy meal celebration. You make a wonderful example of St Francis – NOT!
Clap, clap, joy,joy.
Reporting live from the stench filled walls of the Chancery in Agana, Guam, this is McFly signing out.