Posted by Webster.
Archbishop Hon is either ignorant or cunningly clever, or maybe even both.
I consulted a canon law site on the internet to check on whether a Decree of Removal does expire after 3 months, as AB Hon said on The Jesse Lujan Show this morning on KUAM.
Nowhere on that site does it say that a of Removal, or any decree at all (unless a specified time of expiration is mentioned in the Decree) automatically expires after 3 months.
In fact, it says that if a pastor has taken an appeal against his removal, the office of pastor remains vacant while the appeal is pending.
So, no new pastor can be appointed until the appeal is resolved. We all know that Fr. Paul appealed his removal. AB Hon knows that. He was given the documents himself.
So why would AB Hon even suggest that Fr. Paul's Decree has expired?
I think to THROW US ALL OFF. You see, AB Hon does not want to revoke Fr. Paul's Decree of Removal because that would make it look like there was a winner and a loser, something he is desperately trying to avoid from happening.
So, he throws us crumbs to throw us off while he paternally consoles Fr. Paul that all will be good. Just accept what happened to you because I will eventually assign or "restore" you to somewhere else that will please you. Just be patient and respectful.
AB HON cannot assign Fr. Paul back to Santa Barbara because canon law forbids it until Fr. Paul's appeal is officially resolved, and it cannot be resolved without a formal ruling on the appeal.
UNLESS, Fr. Paul quietly withdraws his appeal and accepts his Decree of Removal. This is where I think this case is going. How sad and tragic for Fr. Paul. His good name and reputation will never be restored and repaired if he does, including the vicious smear on Joe Lastimoza and family. But that is up to him.
Pray for Fr. Paul. He is between a rock and a hard place. AB Hon has got him cornered and placated.
My verdict: AB HON is intentionally feigning ignorance and therefore cunningly clever.