Agana, Guam - According to the news service Eye of the Ylig, great things are happening in the Archdiocese of Agana.
Upon proclaiming the Holy Year of Mercy for the Archdiocese of Agana and after exclaiming Biba Santa Marian Kamalen Biba! The good Archbishop Apuron decided to lead his faithful flock into the Holy Year of Mercy by his own example.
From atop the Cathedral Basilica, addressing the throngs of grateful faithful on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the great and merciful shepherd showed his sheep what mercy looks like when he publicly restored Fr. Paul and Msgr. James to the positions he had removed them from.
And he didn't stop there. As regards Fr. Paul, not only did he restore the good priest to his position as pastor of Santa Barbara parish, a tearful Archbishop Apuron publicly apologized for threatening him with an "arduous painful closure to his assignment," for locking him out of his parish, for stripping him of his ability to celebrate the sacraments, for insinuating that he was in a homosexual relationship with a former employee, for wrongly accusing him of building a secret staircase at the rectory to facilitate late night drunken sexual trysts, for illegally removing him as pastor, and for banishing him from the archdiocese.
Also - probably additionally moved by Fr. Fran Hezel's inspirational December 8 address imploring unity - a remorseful Archbishop Apuron publicly asked forgiveness from the Lastimoza family for dragging them through a media circus and causing irreparable harm to the family's children and probably hastening the death of Mr. Lastimoza's mother.
In the case of Msgr. James Benavente, the Archbishop was the very exemplar of the Holy Year of Mercy, profusely apologizing to Msgr. James for his relentless public butchering of the "people's priest," and for never permitting Msgr. James the opportunity to defend himself. Upon restoring Msgr. James to his post as rector of the Cathedral and Director of Catholic Cemeteries as well as Director of the reconstituted Archdiocesan Development Group, the good Archbishop welcomed Msgr. James with a tearful hug and a series of mea culpa's complete with several instances of breast beating.
But Archbishop Apuron wasn't done. Determined to lead by example, the Archbishop displayed a written commitment to have the mega-million dollar property he gave away to the Neocatechumenal Way in 2011 returned to the Archdiocese of Agana. Asked why he just didn't rescind the deed himself and immediately return the property, the Archbishop regretfully advised that he was not in control of the seminary and that the final decision to return the property lay with its Gennarini-family controlled Board of Guarantors.
The Archbishop, continuing in the spirit of the Holy Year of Mercy he had just proclaimed, went on to:
- Apologize to the former archdiocesan finance council for terminating them under false pretenses.
- Apologize specifically to, and beg the forgiveness of, former AFC president, Richard Untalan, who had been accused of a "vulnus" towards the Archbishop and threatened with excommunication by the Vicar General.
- Apologize to Aaron Quitugua for lying to him about why he could not attend an off-island seminary and promised to sponsor him to any seminary of his choice in order to make amends.
- Apologize for his public criticism in 2006 of the Prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments and promised to abide by the liturgical directives contained in that instruction.
- Apologize for lying to the Catholics of his diocese for more than a decade about the true nature of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary and promised to make it a truly diocesan seminary.
- Apologize for using his power to incardinate priests to give cover to the twice accused Fr. John Wadeson and further apologized for secreting him away after his record became public. (No word on whether he will advise the faithful of Wadeson's whereabouts.)
- Apologize for his handling of the Fr. Luis affair and promised to make the details of his investigation known.
- Apologize for the misleading publication of an altered Certificate of Title which left out the record of the deed giving the property away forever to the Neocatechumenal Way.
The Catholic faithful of the Archdiocese of Agana are indeed blessed to have such a holy, spiritual, and exemplary man as their bishop and guide. There was even some word that the Archbishop intended to publicly sacrifice a goat as a testament of his true commitment to the Holy Year of Mercy, but Pius the Putrid could not be found.