- Vincent P. Pereda - RESIGNED May 18, 2016
- Deacon Larry Claros
- Trinie Pangelinan
- Juan Rapadas - RESIGNED May 18, 2016
- Mariles Benavente - RECUSED self May 20, 2016*
- George Kallingal
*"For Benavente, a conflict of interest was also the reason behind her decision to recuse herself. She said she will recuse herself because she is walking in the Neocatechumenal Way, a group within the Catholic Church whose members meet in small community settings to worship...I indicated to them that if we were called to function as a review board, I would recuse myself. I didn’t resign,” she said.
http://www.guampdn.com/story/news/2016/05/20/another-archdiocese-review-board-member-resigns/84642054/So does that mean that the other members should recuse themselves because they are Catholic? What is the difference between the "Way" and the Catholic Church. I think Ms. Benavente just highlighted it for us.
Allow all Catholic voices to be heard
A local TV show, "The Buzz," recently featured the new organization Concerned Catholics Inc. Comments rooted in misinformation about the Neocathecumenal (sic)Way were made by Greg Perez, the guest, and Jesse Lujan, the host. ["misinformation"??? Where would one find the true information about the Neocatechumenal Way? We have been asking for documents for ten years. And we have only been told that "its somewhere." Where is the document permitting your communion rite, Ms. Benavente? Can you at least produce THAT? Until you do, the CCOG is completely entitled to say whatever it wants about the NCW.]
I, too, am a concerned, practicing Catholic. I am involved in the Way, a charism approved by the Catholic Church since 2004. [No. "It" was only "approved" as of May 2008. And the "it" is not the NCW itself, but the Statute to which the NCW is required to conform. Any deviance outside your "charter" as Pope Francis calls it, is a deviation outside the only approval the NCW officially has.] The Way helps me "walk the talk" of being a Catholic, a Christian; a walk that is not easy. I have never left the Church. In fact, the Way has helped deepen my faith. [We are happy for that, Ms. Benavente, but faith in what? Given what we see, especially Kiko's teaching in regards to the Trinity, the absolute rejection of the liturgical books as regards your communion rite, and the obvious separation of the Way from the Catholic Church - which you indicate in your recusal, we must ask: Faith in What?"]
Unfounded statements made during the show include that the Way practices and teaches a different cathechism (sic) of faith and that it is causing a division within the Church. A written reply is insufficient to address these and other one-sided remarks as they can easily be misinterpreted. But a dialogue with those of us in the Way, instead of listening only to critics, might be a more adequate approach to address concerns. [Wonderful, Ms. Benavente. But the only "dialogue" your Way has offered is The Diana, a pseudonym. Please advise on what other channels of "listening" you have proffered to address this alleged misinformation.]
Based on personal experience and direct observation, the Way is undeniably an important, additional, Catholic vehicle helping many to discover or re-discover the power and presence of Christ in their lives. [Unfortunately for you Ms. Benavente, the Catholic Church the rest of us belong to does not operate on "personal experience and direct observation." That would be protestantism which is institutional subjectivism vs the Catholic Church which is apostolic and rooted in the objective deposit of faith.]
These are some observations:
• Most Concerned Catholics board members seem to be affiliated with known critics of the archbishop. Have members considered the possibility that they have been triangulated by factions who have separate issues with the Church? [The board members of the CCOG are Greg Perez, David Sablan, Gerald Taitano, and Vangie Lujan. "Known critics," Ms. Benavente?? "Known critics???" Greg Perez' family has served our church unselfishly for decades. David Sablan has served his parish of Santa Rita for more than thirty years. Gerald Taitano has served just as long at the Cathedral. Vangie Lujan has given countless hours to the service of the church, particularly to the establishment of a museum celebrating our Catholic heritage, a museum which Apuron had dismantled only one day after it opened after years of planning and work. You, Ms. Benavente, accuse these people of being "known critics of the archbishop?" Show that history, Ms. Benavente. Show it.]
• Seemingly, the goal of this new group is to get rid of the archbishop. Will there be any effort towards an objective review of issues? [Excellent question, Ms. Benavente. The initial goal of this new group was to meet with the archbishop and resolve some very serious issues. They have tried on several occasions. But NOT ONCE, Ms. Benavente, would the archbishop meet with them. In fact, the archbishop sent out his decoys to try to divert them and waste their time.]
• How about seeking input from those actively in the Way for balanced perspectives? Otherwise, not all concerned Catholics in Guam are represented. [How about it, Mrs. Benavente? It seems you yourself are doing just that with this submission to the PDN: actively providing input via the public media. Did anybody stop you from doing so? No.]
• How will others know of the opportunity to provide feedback? [Are the neocats that ignorant to think that someone must lead them by the nose to "provide feedback?" Call the radio station, Call the TV stations, write the papers. What do you think the CCOG did? Meanwhile, all you'd done is provide us a pseudonym, The Diana. Perhaps you can lead the neocats to a higher more honest plane of communication.]
• What criteria is being used to determine the factors that are "dividing" the Church? [Easy. The liturgical books which your approved statute demands that you follow. You don't. Thus division. And let this be a message to non-neo clergy who think they can depart from the liturgical books at will. You are even a bigger part of the problem because those attending your Masses believe that you are conforming.]
Have they looked at testimonies from people who have, in fact, returned to the Catholic faith or have converted to Catholicism because of the Way? Have they listened to those who have experienced healing from abusive backgrounds, addictions, and from spiritless lives and those who have been helped to reconcile from estranged relationships, including with God? [Returned to the Catholic faith? What Catholic faith. Your "eucharists" violate the Sacrament of Unity. They are separate and illicit. That places you outside the Catholic faith. And for conversion stories. You can find better ones over at the Kingdom Hall (Jehovah Witness). The point is, your stories matter for nothing when you place yourself outside the charter which permits your existence.]
Will they look at the numbers of those who have answered the call to religious life, sacramental marriages, openness to life, church ministry, itinerancy or mission life? Can they objectively look at the parishes that have publicly denounced the Way saying that they do not want "us" in their parishes? Can they agree that rejection, prejudice and discrimination against those who choose other paths to spiritual growth are factors that destroy any community? [Precisely, Ms. Benavente. We ARE looking at those who have "answered the call to religious life," and we see the likes of Lickin' Louie and OJ the masturbating primatologist. What's more we see other RMS products who are horribly formed, who have no respect for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, who don't even know how to say it, and who, like you, put obeisance to Kiko above service to the Church.]
What about the disrespectful discourses in some of the social media perpetuated by some who profess to defend our Catholic faith? Will they review those websites and assess how name-calling, derision and mockery is a source of divisiveness? [You must be in the same cabal with Zoltan. So you're against free speech too. You want to police what we say on social media. Typical. Since in the neocat way your speech and actions are constantly policed. And since this point is aimed directly at me, I will respond to you direct: There is no disrespect of ERROR. Error has no rights. It must be opposed, dismantled, discredited, and disrespected at every turn. And that is exactly what I do. And if you don't like it, then prove me wrong. Show me the document.]
What does it say about the ethics of person(s) and organization(s) that underhandedly and secretively video tape spiritual gatherings then slant and distort images and information against the speakers and the people gathered in faith? These behaviors are unethical and immoral. [What a discredit to your profession you are, Mrs. Benavente. "Slant and distort." Every recording we have was presented AS IS. What is unethical and immoral is your pretense that all of this neocat idiocy is "approved by Rome." Show us the document.]
Do they endorse that type of information gathering?
• Is a campaign of hate and bigotry targeted toward those in the Way conducive to building Church?
• Some critics refuse to accept the rightful authority of the Vatican Council in its endorsement of the Way. By whose authority will Concerned Catholics base their decisions with regards to the Neocathecumenal practice of the Catholic faith? Will they accept the authority of the Vatican Council? [Now either that is a huge lie or you are extremely ignorant. You will not find any endorsement of the Way in the documents of Vatican Council II. Another lie passed on by your catechists to willing ears like yours.]
What our community needs is a diversely represented organization to facilitate healing. [Funny how you neocats completely disregard the bishop and only trot him out when you need him. The Catholic Church is not built on organization that facilitate anything. It is built on Apostolic Succession. That means it is the bishop who leads. But this bishop does not lead. You don't even expect him to, as evidenced by your calling for some organization. There is never any reference to the authority of the bishop in your silly attempts to authenticate yourself. It's always "the pope, the pope, the pope." Read your own statute, Mrs. Benavente, all authority has been given to the bishop of every diocese to govern the neocatechumenal way.] Rather than fault-finding, instead acknowledge the strengths in our faith community and identify areas for improvement. Strengths in Guam's overall Catholic community include the following: There are now more Catholics who have become attuned to the "Word of God" by virtue of the Neocathecumenate celebration of scripture. Because of this focus, some Non-Neocathecumenate Catholics have also joined Bible study groups to quench their thirst. Many parishes are working to build "community," recognizing that the "lack of community" leads many to leave the "physical" churches and discover other paths to Catholicism/Christianity. Individuals, like myself, have dug our heels deeper and have recommitted to "walk" this "Catholic walk" despite the criticisms of those who are "uncomfortable" with our practice. [And have you done any of this Mrs. Benavente since you wrote this article over a year and a half ago?]
Many non-neocathecumenate Catholics are assessing their own practices perhaps, because of the controversies, and are, hence, reinforcing their own prayerful ways. How powerful a divide is that? [So there are neo-Catholics and non-neo Catholics? Thanks for affirming what we already know. By the way, you may want to learn how to spell neocatechumenate.]
I sincerely appeal to Concerned Catholics to engage in a process that will allow all voices to be heard on this matter so that a genuinely Christian resolution to all concerns can be reached. Please do not tread on our rights and freedom to worship as we believe. [Wow, do you realize what you just said? Your "rights and freedom to worship as (you) believe." What? Obviously you worship differently because you believe differently. We have no problem with that. Just stop sponsoring the destruction of those who do not conform to your ways. Stop covering up for a child molester by pretending to be on the review board. Don't just recuse yourself. Resign as not-qualified! And be careful that you are not caught in malpractice in your profession. Your recusal has far reaching implications. Obviously you cannot be objective about any case involving the neocats.]
More importantly, if the Way is providing an option to help our island community with its high rates of suicide, teen pregnancies, domestic conflict, violence and substance abuse, why on Earth would anyone want to dismantle it? [Is that what you're doing? The high rate of suicide is probably very likely linked to the sex abuse of minors and you just showed us that the neocat way takes precedence over the truth when it comes to one of your own. That makes you an "enabler," Mrs. Benavente.]
Mariles Diaz Benavente is a resident of Barrigada Heights
The link below was the original link to the article. It is no longer active:
An archived copy can be found here.