Saturday, December 19, 2015


As a bit of a prologue to the post below, KIKO'S VIRGINS, by Chuck White, I'd like to add a few comments. 

Kiko's bastardization of Scripture and indeed the whole of the Christian faith, is only possible because most Catholics simply have no catechetical center of reference. And the fact that Kiko has had such an easy time of spreading his heresy in Guam is not just an indictment on a corrupt bishop and a few fools, but a scorecard on the miserable state of real CATHOLIC catechesis in this diocese for many years. 

Case in point. The Neo's essentially hold a weekly study of Scripture wherein they are indoctrinated with Kiko's interpretations of it. While we may be horrified by what is taught, where else in this diocese do Catholics have access to a weekly study of Scripture? And led by someone solid in the Church's (NOT HIS OWN) understanding of it?

I inserted "NOT HIS OWN" for a very important reason. For it is not necessary to a attend a neo-cult event to hear Scripture twisted. I sometimes wonder if some of our non-neo priests, the ones we are depending on to lead us out of this wilderness and back to sanity when the dust settles, don't spend more time reading pop theology than studying Scripture in light of the "Fathers" (as Chuck illustrates) and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. 

I suppose this little entry will make me a few more enemies (get in line), but the sad fact is that there was already a mass exodus from the Catholic Church of Guam long before the NCW became a central problem. In fact, we can be sure that there are still more Catholics leaving for other "churches" (or no church at all), than are leaving for the NCW. 

(Some will blame "the times" or "secularization," but that doesn't explain why other "churches" are bursting at the seams with ex-Catholics - and some of those churches are far more demanding than anything these ex-Catholics grew up with.)

The problem isn't only with our clerical leadership. Several years ago as my kids began becoming old enough to go to school, I visited a few Catholic schools and asked to see their religion texts. Most of those texts avoided the word "Catholic" in favor of "God's people." I won't get into the full issue now, but is it any wonder why our sons and daughters who are immersed in the idea of "God's people" vs the Catholic Church, eventually believe all religions are the same and there's no reason in particular to remain Catholic? 

A few years ago I was part of a plan to remedy this problem. A catechetical series was introduced into grades 1-8 which put the emphasis back on a Catholic identity and solid Catholic catechesis. The series was the only catechetical series that had been immediately approved by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops while all others had to be returned for revisions. I understand that in several schools the series was soon abandoned because "it was too hard." 

Another case in point. While running a book store for several years I often had Catholic customers asking for a "Children's bible," a bible children could "understand." I had to explain to them that there are no "children's bibles." There are only books with bible stories and then there are bibles. I would show them the "bibles" and they would walk away. 

Meanwhile, the kids over at the other "Christian" schools begin first grade with a full-fledged version of the King James Bible and are tasked with immediately memorizing large portions of it. Apparently a real bible is too hard for Catholic kids. 

I don't know about you but "hard" is seeing your child leave the Catholic faith whether it be for another faith or no faith at all - particularly if you've spent years of tuition money to give your child what you thought was a "Catholic education." 

Yes, Kiko is a freak. But he is also a smart man. He saw the soft under-belly of 40 years of a "God-loves-you" only catechesis. He saw the timidity of pastors to teach the hard truths of the Catholic faith. He saw the rudderless religion of an entire generation of Catholics for whom a real Catechism and a real Bible were "too hard." And he saw his opportunity. He took it. It was easy. It was easy because our lamps had long since run out of oil when we surrendered ourselves and our children to the system of "easy." 

I think you know how to fight back, and it is not just with protests and signs, or even with just prayer. If you want to change some things, then you are going to need to "change some things."

P.S. Perhaps today's Epistle, Isaiah 11:1-5, (Extraordinary Form) can serve as a reminder of how God himself teaches...and how we once did as well: "He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked." 


  1. I agree and like everything else we teach or expose our children to, it all starts at home.

  2. I agree, parents most know their faith in order to pass it on to their children. One cannot simply rely on CCD for their children to learn their faith.

  3. So true. Thank you for the "hard" facts. Spn2

  4. I wonder what passages in the King James Bible first graders were asked to memorize. The language of the KJV is Early Modern English and departs from contemporary Modern English in numerous ways: past tense of strong verbs differs (i.e. "spake" instead of "spoke," etc.); 3rd person singular present tense -eth is used instead of -(e)s; the choice of prepositions and use of the indefinite article, too, are among the ways these two versions of the language vary from one another. All such differences (which are at least a little alienating) would add to the challenge of a first grader memorizing a passage, let alone comprehending and appreciating what was memorized. Or maybe those other Christian schools used the NIV instead.

    1. Hi Tim,

      In almost every other academic discipline, children are required to memorize things which at first have no coherent sense on their own, but are necessary for piecing together larger concepts: abc’s phonics, multiplication tables, etc. This used to be the case in religious instruction as well. Memorizing answers, memorizing scripture verses, were just as essential to the well-trained child as memorizing multiplication tables. Post Vatican II we through “rote” learning out the window in favor of “experiential learning.” It was supposed to increase comprehension and make us all better Christians. 40 years later not only are we religiously illiterate, we are leaving the church in droves. To be fair, “experiential learning” has had the same disastrous effects in the other disciplines, e.g. high schoolers who can’t read.

      Not all schools use the KJV. Some use the NKJV and others the NIV. In any event, they use a full bible...while Catholic kids are stuck with bible stories.

    2. I think the absence of the Bible in Catholic schools is a symptom of a larger problem. Catholics tend to be Bible-lazy and allow their Bible exposure to be limited to the Sunday readings. Although it is changing ever so slowly, Catholics tend not to participate in Bible studies, again limiting themselves to a passive exposure to Sunday readings. I have seen this in Africa, Japan and North America. We need to be shaken up as a faith community the world over! One other thought: one of the reasons why Protestants are more knowledgeable about Holy Scripture is because that is pretty much all they have got, so their services tend to be more scripturally based and less sacramentally oriented (i.e., they don't celebrate a Mass as such).

  5. I asked my sister who taught ccd all during her children's youth why they left the Church. She admitted she didn't know what she was teaching. There you go, People of God.

    1. There is no doubt, there is a big problem in the catechesis of the faithful in the Church, people teaching without fully knowing their faith. You got to have it in order to give it. Catechist should understand that the "Church" is the Teacher, we as catechist disseminate what the Church Teaches with the motivation from St. Peter "Always be prepared to give an explanation to anyone for the reason for your hope." 1Ptr 3:15. Perhaps it should also be made clear, that the efforts of ones catechesis is not a walk in the park. One is taking on a very important effort that can lead one to God or lead one away from God. As Catechist, entrusted with this important task of forming the faith of people, we will be expected to give an accounting to the Lord for any that we lead astray. The eternal life of many are at stake.

      Yes, the Home is the primary place where the seeds of faith are planted and nurtured by the actions of the parents. However in our journey to finding God he has instituted several important gifts in his Church such as the Sacraments that are obligatory for us Catholics to partake of. It is in the Church that we receive the Holy Gifts of God, and the medium of the priests that God gives us Supernatural Help in our life journey.

  6. Not entirely related to this post but the movie "SPOTLIGHT" is playing now at the MIcronesia Mall Theatres and will only be here for a short time. It's about the true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core. Someday, a movie or documentary, may be made about the scandalous Tony and his cronies in the Archdiocese of Agana. Very, very sad but quite possible.

    1. Thank you, Anonymous 11:37a.m., I want to see this movie. Somehow I don't think the archbishop and his adoring seminarians will be watching the movie-too close to reality!

  7. My son attended Harvest from pre-K until 8th grade. We did not to send him to Catholic elementary school because we did not like the fundraising mentality and social class favoritism. At Harvest, each child was required to buy a King James bible and bring it to school. They received a demerit if they did not have their bible for class. Each week, the children memorized scripture verses and were tested. My child at 1st grade could quote chapter and verse (which became lengthier as he progressed through the grades). He also did spontaneous prayer during grace at dinner or when we blessed the family fiesta table. When I placed my child in the parish CCD for Holy Communion preparation, he cried and said he didn't want to go to CCD any more because he knew more about the bible than the teacher (a high school student). The parish CCD children spent their time coloring copied pieces of religious artwork and playing cards. Many times the CCD teacher did not show up for class and my son's class was combined with another class. Due to his Harvest training, he memorized all the Catholic prayers (Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Apostles Creed and Act of Contrition) in a week. His CCD classmates, in comparison, never really mastered their prayers. They were given pieces of paper with the written prayers when they went for their First Confession. I moved my son to another parish with a better Holy Communion CCD program.

  8. Here's a list of the most egregious instances of Kiko's "bastardization" of scripture that we've collected so far:

    1. Jesus's Clay vs. Kiko's Mud
    2. The Passover without a Sacrifice
    3. Zacchaeus and the Sycamore (Luke 19:1-10)
    4. The Ten Virgins and their Oil (Matthew 25:1-12)
    5. The Small White Pebbles of Rev. 2:17

    More examples are coming. Stay tuned.

  9. Whoa whoa whoa...before anyone gets beat up with a Nazified purge of volunteer catechist teachers or aides. The situation in Guam is not unique in the way CCD is conducted in the entire USA. I am not aware of other CCD methodologies around the world but at least I am familiar with Guam and US. While there may be aberrations and slacking on the part of some volunteers, it is up to the DRE of every parish to supervise and correct these. And, yes, I agree that catechetical formation starts at home. Unfortunately some parents drop off their kids like in a babysitting class so that they can go grocery shopping, clean house, etc. Would that they are going through Adult Faith Formation simultaneously as their kids to give them the material they need to share their faith. Classes don't end after the session, parents need to supplement these lessons with action.

    Secondly, I do not think it fair to compare the Magisterium of the Church with the best practices of a sect. The Catholic Church does not subscribe to 'Sola Scriptura' so she has not put sole emphasis on the rote memorization of scripture passages. Instead emphasis had been on rituals, liturgies and other Catholic identifiers that many fundamentalist and fly-by-night Protestants alike do not understand and refuse to validate. To say that Catholics are not as scripture-savvy as Protestants (who write copious notes on bibles rather than allow them to accumulate dust on shelves) is quite unfair. In fact many Catholic scripture scholars have distinguished themselves in interreligious dialogues and publications. To say, however, that we have plumbed the depths of what we can achieve as Catholic Christians is untrue. More can be done in terms of motivating children and adults to know, appreciate and share their faith. We have to put out money where our mouth is. Is the present catechetical system working? Should we invest in salaried catechists? How about an aggressive adult faith formation? Do we even have to subject our kids in Catholic Schools (who study Catholic Theology on a daily basis) into a parish program? These are only some questions that we can start asking once we get rid of this bigger problem of the NCW, whose interpretations of scripture put more confusion and chaos in this already complicated issue.

    The aforementioned comments have validity to start a conversation but these should not condemn or consign to accusation the current pedagogical efforts of our catechists and aides who are sometimes given the least importance in parish programs.

  10. i should have entered the second half of my comment under the "kiko's virgins" post here instead. (i entered that comment before reading this post.)

    the basic point is in the saying: "you cannot give what you do not have."

    how can people--parents especially--teach the good news of Jesus Christ if they didn't get it in the first place? how can people share the love of Christ if haven't fallen in love with Him in the first place?