Monday, August 1, 2016


Posted by Jose Martinez

As Catholics, when we confess our sins we are forgiven by Christ (through the priest) and the sacrament ends there. However, in order to grow and nourish our selves through this sacrament, we are usually tasked to perform a penance, and many times this means rectifying that which we have wronged.  While forgiveness neither requires nor is dependent on our works, Christ’s mercy is not void of justice. 

Abp. Hon, as an ordained Catholic priest, should know good and well that his verbal acknowledging and rescinding of the wrong deeds and decrees of his predecessor (and others) does not complete his effort towards reconciliation in our Archdiocese. If he is truly seeking a unified Church on Guam, then any progress that stops at forgiveness may be rendered futile. Progress should also include action.  Penance is required, mitigation is in order and restoration should become a priority.

We laity are holding our church leaders accountable, not for personal gain but in the interest of spiritual gain for the Church.  None of what we have been picketing for has been for the good of the CCOG or the LFM (the organizers), it’s always been for the good of our Church. 

As Christians, we pray and we strive to live as Christ, but we also study.  We have access to Church documents, know the liturgy, adhere to the GIRM and can even reference Canon law. No longer will we be placated by mere words and allow the status quo to conceal misappropriations, misbehavior and especially sexual misconduct and abuse by the clergy.  No longer will we allow our Church to be damaged by clericalism and Bishops who exploit their authority and make a mockery of the sacrament of Holy Orders. 

On Guam, looking the other way has been emphasized with a capital W; The Way. Therefore, we say, . . . no, we proclaim “No Way!” For as long as it takes Abp. Hon, or anyone else sent to our island, to understand that what is occurring on Guam is beyond his intended or even subconscious need to preserve his or anyone else’s reputation and position in the Church, we will remain resolved in protecting our Church (like every Sunday in front of the cathedral from 9:00 – 9:45am).  Recognizing reconciliation, we are not going to solely rely on carefully worded press releases, we are looking for real action, true penance. 

Abp. Hon may be making great strides in preserving and fostering brotherhood amongst the clergy on Guam, but it is due time he acknowledge that there is another half that make up this Church and he should also be conferring with and working together towards fixing our Archdiocese; it's time he recognized those in the pews - us, the laity.

While Abp. Hon may believe he is acting rightly through his earthly authority given by Rome, perhaps he should begin acting righteously through the authority conferred to him by Christ.  Abp. Hon was not sent here because the laity, were behaving badly, he was directed to Guam because our leadership through Abp. Apuron and his counsel were.  If he is here to foster unity and mend the division, then the Church laity need to see a better effort than a reactionary press conference.

Again, mercy is not void of justice, and we are fully aware of this. While a few may be pacified by his words, most of us know that Abp. Hon's actions will speak much louder.

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