We are willing to give Archbishop Hon a point or two for at least getting the names David C. Quitugua and Adrian Cristobal out of our faces. I have some ideas about their replacements which I will share later - and granted, I realize that probably neither of them wanted these jobs.
So for now, let's move on to the next issue, which should have been the FIRST issue (after extending a personal helping and welcoming embrace to the sex abuse survivors - alleged or otherwise, which of course did not happen.)
It is also the issue that Archbishop Hon has had the most time to deal with as well as the authority to do something about. Both cases were known to Hon in his capacity as Secretary to the "competent congregation" for at least a year and half. That NOTHING was done regarding either case before Hon arrived here is telling. That NOTHING has been done SINCE Hon arrived here is even more telling.
When I say "nothing has been done," I don't mean poking the issue and floating proposals for a possible resolution. I mean:
- a clear and public condemnation of how these two priests were treated by Apuron, David, and Adrian, and
- an immediate restoration of the two priests to their positions.
Let me explain.
2. Both MUST be restored to the previous positions, Fr. Paul as pastor of Santa Barbara and Msgr. James as Rector of the Cathedral and Pastor of the Cathedral Parish (he was both), because both were removed in a manner that was canonically illegal.
In Fr. Paul's case, he was illegal replaced by a parochial administrator without first being removed according to the canonical provisions for the removal of pastors. In Msgr. James' case, he was removed without being afforded his canonical right to due process to address the accusations Apuron made against him.
The key word is "removed." Neither priest was transferred. Both were suddenly and abruptly REMOVED. Neither priest was offered a different assignment. Both were assigned later to St. Anthony only after the expression of public outrage.
Given that both priests had their canonical rights violated, Archbishop Hon, in the name of justice and unity, MUST condemn Apuron's illegal acts against them and restore them to their positions.
Once that is done, Hon can then ask for their courtesy resignation, which (I've heard) he is asking of everyone, and they can be reassigned as he sees fit.
However, one thing must be clear, the NEO's are NOT to hang on to the Cathedral. The Cathedral MUST be the seat of unity. The NEO's, who only represent a tiny percentage of the diocese, should not be permitted to occupy the "seat of unity."
What's more, it is EXTREMELY CLEAR that their "eucharist" is so dissimilar to our Catholic Mass, that the NEO celebration of their "eucharist" in our Cathedral is a shot through the heart of any attempt at Catholic unity.
The Neo Communion Rite
And as long as we are on that subject it is time for Archbishop Hon to either show us the document permitting the NEO's communion rite or publicly prohibit it. To review, there are two elements of the communion rite which do not conform to the liturgical books nor are they permitted in the NCW statute:
1. The priest delays his communion until the sacred species has first been distributed to the communicants. (The liturgical books require the priest to first consume the sacred species, and THEN distribute Holy Communion.)
2. The neo-communicants "receive" the consecrated bread* in their hands but do not immediately consume as required by the liturgical books. They return to their seats, consecrated bread in hand, and then consume upon receiving a signal from the celebrant.
* We are not sure if the bread is actually consecrated since from what we can tell, the Neo belief is that Jesus was a sinner and thus not God. But we will address that another time.
You could say that this manner of receiving communion is GROUND ZERO for the heartache in this diocese as this is the practice Apuron openly defended during his infamous 2006 KOLG radio tirade. Hon MUST either show us the document permitting this practice or must officially and publicly prohibit it.
Okay? Ready, set, go!