Tuesday, June 21, 2016
HON: "SERENITY AND PATIENCE." POPE FRANCIS: "URGENT MEASURES AT THE EARLIEST."
Our "issues" with Archbishop Hon's sense of timing are not "our" issues, they are that of Pope Francis.
First there is the matter of Pope Francis' demand that priority MUST BE given to allegations of sex abuse: "Consequently, priority must not be given to any other kind of concern." Meanwhile, Hon has NOT only not made their allegations and pain a priority, he has on more than one occasion dismissed them as possibly false, even publicly comparing the testimonies of Roy, Doris, Walter, and Roland to the case of a woman who made a false accusation against a bishop.
Next, there is the matter of Zero Tolerance as demanded by Pope Francis. This means that the Church (having supposedly learned its lesson over the last two decades) takes allegations of clergy sex abuse of minors so serious that the accused is guilty till proven innocent. Yet, a few days ago, in finally recognizing one of the victims, Hon called for prayers "without prejudice" for both Apuron and the victims, meaning, he considers Apuron innocent till proven guilty, the very opposite of Pope Francis' call for Zero Tolerance.
Then, there is the matter of "urgent" action required by the Pope, as CCOG Vice-President, addresses in his letter below. Hon appears to take pride in his plodding approach, euphemized as "methodical." Pope Francis would not have required Hon to take "urgent measures...at the earliest" if he did not believe that Hon was not capable of doing so. In fact the supposed reason Hon was selected for the job was because he was thought to be - by virtue of the investigation he launched a year and half ago - the most informed Vatican prelate available to do so. And as Mr. Sablan points out below, while Hon calls for "serenity" and "patience," the Pope who sent him requires otherwise.
I found some time to read excerpts of the "orders (as in military orders)" sending Hon here, but I am not sure if the words are the actual appointment language written by the Pope.
In any case, the excerpts--if they are from the appointment orders of the Pope, has very interesting verbiage that Hon does not seem to take seriously or is not following. . .
"The priority of the Apostolic Administrator is to take stock of the present pastoral situation of the diocese; to identify the difficulties present among the clergy, religious, and lay faithful and to take urgent measures, at the earliest, in order to promote and restore unity and harmony in the local Church. The Apostolic Administrator, after carefully discerning the needs of the Archdiocese will take all necessary decisions to assure that this goal is being implemented.The Holy Father kindly asks for the trust and prayers of the local Church and sincerely hopes that the entire Catholic Community will put all of its energy in promoting unity, harmony, and stability of the Church."
I do not see the word: "patience" in the order from the Pope; or a request from the Pope of us here in Guam, "to give Hon some time", or "to be patient and give him some time". The key words are he is to: "take urgent measures, at the earliest". And all the Holy Father is asking of us is to trust and pray. And I add to that: ". . . as the Archdiocese is cleaned of the evil that permeates it".
However, in looking at what Hon has done these past two weeks: He took seven days to cancel a couple of bogus decrees; he went to an RMS fundraiser; he prayed within a few days of his arrival on Guam with the Neocats who are the root cause of our division within our local Church--not at all good optics; continues to have Adrian and David the VG sign documents with him; and is visiting villages, I guess to promote some sort of "goodwill". All this for the past two weeks. Are these his priorities in "taking urgent measures at his earliest" to restore unity and harmony in our local Church?!!
Where's a meeting with victims of Apuron's abuse, if anything to assure them a complete investigation is being done; console them; pray with them?
When will he move to fire Adrian and David the VG from any work further at the Chancery? This is probably the easiest and quickest thing he can do, and no one can question his action!
When will he put a lock-down on Pius Sammut, and not have him come into the Chancery at all; he can just stay at the RMS, till he (Hon) figures out what to do with all these Neo-presbyters and what to do with that seminary.
After he does the above, I think he can probably ask a few us in the Laity to help him draft a plan to close the seminary down and move these presbyters out of Guam. I don't know how he can accomplish it, but he needs to remove all these presbyters from being incardinated here in Guam, to stop the outflow of money from the Chancery.
He can then use the savings of not having to maintain that seminary ($1 million per year) and have the few young men wanting to become diocesan priests go to seminaries off-island to truly become pastoral priests for our Archdiocese.
He can shift his priests around to have regular diocesan priests (I believe he has enough of them to take over the pastoral duties in the parishes that were taken over by the Neo-presbyters) handle the parishes now being destroyed by these Neo-presbyters. The parishes are: Merizo-Umatac; Agat (including the Santa Ana chapel); Santa Rita; Asan; Barrigada; Chalan Pago; Agana; and Santa Bernadita in Yigo.
He can also appoint two new leaders at the Chancery to be Chancellor and Vicar General--maybe Fr. Paul Gofigan and Msgr. James, respectively!
All the above could have been most certainly accomplished in a couple of weeks. We don't need any visits to the villages just yet. But if he wants to mingle with us, he can do a mass or two on Sundays at different villages, but during the week--he needs to get moving!! The jury is still out on him, but if he does not do anything within the next two weeks, I can only surmise that he cannot do the job or is afraid to act.