Sunday, March 6, 2016


Apparently at least one congregation was given a lecture today by its pastor about obeying the bishop. The exact words, as reported to me, were:

"If you are against the bishop, who is the anointed one on Guam, then you are on the other side and not on the Church's side." 
First, if this was said during the time reserved for the homily, it is a blatant liturgical violation. The General Instruction for the Roman Missal makes it clear that the homily "should be an exposition of some aspect of the readings from Sacred Scripture or of another text from the Ordinary or from the Proper of the Mass of the day.." (GIRM 65)

The GIRM is specific about this because, in the past, the time reserved for the homily was often abused by pastors to lecture their captive audiences on a pet peeve or something other than what was in the readings for the day, which is exactly what seems to have happened here. 

Thus the departure as reported above is an example of exactly what the Church does NOT want the homilist to do. 

Aside from disobedience to the GIRM, the statement is completely wrong and contradicts the teaching of several saints and doctors of the Church. When priest, bishop, or even pope errs, we have a duty to resist. 

So says St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274):
"There being an imminent danger for the Faith, prelates must be  questioned, even publicly, by their subjects.  Thus, St. Paul, who was a  subject of St. Peter, questioned him publicly on account of an imminent  danger of scandal in a matter of Faith.  And, as the Glossa of St.  Augustine puts it (Ad Galatas 2.14), 'St. Peter himself gave the example to those who govern so that if sometime they stray from the right way,  they will not reject a correction as unworthy even if it comes from  their subjects....  The reprehension was just and useful, and the reason for  it was not light:  there was a danger for the preservation of Gospel  truth....  The way it took place was appropriate, since it was public and manifest.  For this reason, St. Paul writes:  'I spoke to Cephas,' that is, Peter, 'before everyone,' since the simulation practiced by St. Peter was fraught with danger to everyone.  (Summa Theologiae, IIa IIae, Q. 33, A. 4) 
        "Some say that fraternal correction does not extend to the prelates either because man should not raise his voice against heaven, or because the prelates are easily scandalized if corrected by their subjects.  However, this does not happen, since when they sin, the prelates do not represent heaven, and, therefore, must be corrected. And those who correct them charitably do not raise their voices against them, but in their favor, since the admonishment is for their own sake.... For this reason, according to other [authors], the precept of fraternal correction extends also to the prelates, so that they may be corrected by their subjects."  (IV Sententiarum, D. 19, Q. 2, A. 2)
(It should be noted that "fraternal" and charitable correction was attempted many times by many people. The Archbishop has ignored it all.)

And look what St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) wrote to Pope Gregory IX:
"Most Holy Father,... because He [Christ] has given you authority and because you have accepted it, you ought to use your virtue and power.  If you do not wish to use it, it might be better for you to resign what you have accepted; it would give more honor to God and health to your soul....  If  you do not do this, you will be censured by God.  If I were you, I would fear  that Divine Judgment might descend on me....Alas, Most Holy Father!  At times obedience to you leads to eternal damnation. (Letter to Pope Gregory IX, 1376.)
Read more here.

In the case of Archbishop Apuron, we have a prelate who publicly rejected a direct order from the pope as delivered by the Cardinal Prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments. 

We have in writing, a letter from the aforementioned Congregation, demanding that the Neocatechumenal Way conform its communion rite to the liturgical books. In January 2006, Archbishop Apuron publicly rejected that demand and just as publicly called into question the credentials of the Cardinal Prefect who spoke in the name of the pope. 

Not only has Archbishop Apuron never admitted this as a mistake, I and several others were called into a meeting with the same archbishop present and asked to lie to cover for him. I refused. 

Archbishop Apuron persists in open rejection to the authentic Magisterium of the Holy Catholic Church by continuing to both celebrate and participate in the illicit communion rite of the Neocatechumenal Way, never producing any evidence from the Church's legitimate Magisterium of an indult permitting the practice. 

As St. Thomas says above, we "subjects" MUST question this "prelate." We HAVE questioned him and he has fled from those questions and now pretends not to know why his subjects are now protesting. 

And given ever more serious examples of his abdication of the true faith - such as  sponsoring in his diocese a priest who taught his own diaconate candidates that "Jesus was a sinner," we are right to fear with St. Catherine: "Alas, Archbishop! At times obedience to you leads to eternal damnation." 

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