Monday, September 19, 2016


Posted by Tim

In 2008, the laity rose angrily to the defense of three priests from the Philippines who had been threatened by Archbishop Apuron. Apuron had demanded that they serve the Neocatechumenal Way or leave the Archdiocese of Agana. One priest, Fr. Manny Ombao, had been in Guam for nearly three decades.

In defense of these priests, but particularly Fr. Ombao because he had been on Guam so long, Catholics staged the first ever protest against their bishop on the occasion of the 50th Jubilee of the Agana Cathedral. The PDN reported it as follows:

Guam Catholic protesters say Apuron backs movement
Pacific Daily News Hagatna, Guam
Author: Palacios, Eric
Date: Apr 20, 2008
Start Page: A.3
Section: LOCAL
Document Text

Armed with signs and placards, a band of Catholics yesterday protested across from the Dulce Nombre de Maria CathedralBasilica for what they believe is a dividing of Catholicism.

Group members said the protest was not against the Catholic church, but rather the Neocatechumenal Way movement, which they said members of the clergy and Archbishop Anthony Apuron were promoting.

The Neocatechumenal Way "has the ultimate goal of bringing the faithful gradually to the intimacy with Jesus Christ and to make them active members of the Church and credible witnesses of the Good News of the Savior everywhere," according to its Web site.

But Toto resident Lou Bamba said that a person must be invited to attend a Neocatechumenate gathering, whereas the Catholic church freely welcomes anyone.

Bamba said her understanding of the Neocatechumenal convocation is that the group brings non-practicing Catholics back into the church, and converts non-Catholics into believers.

"It's creating a major division in the Catholic church," Bamba said. "The archbishop is personally involved in this Neocatechumenal movement, ... and we feel that it is dividing the three main family institutions that make up the Catholic faith the clergy, parish and biological families."

Never before in the recorded history of 400 years of Catholicism on Guam had Catholics stood publicly against their bishop. But on this day they did. And it was the beginning of the GREAT DIVISION.

Because present at the Jubilee Mass was the Cardinal of Cebu and the then-Apostolic Delegate to Oceania, Archbishop Charles Balvo. The protest was a major embarrassment for Apuron and in retaliation he soon kicked RMS into overdrive. He would get his revenge on us. And he almost did.

However, sad to say, he still might. If Bill 326-33 does not become law, Apuron may yet escape any liability as his personal assets may not be enough to sustain legal action against him for long.

What makes this incredibly sad and ironic is that Fr. Ombao, the priest so many of the laity put themselves at risk for in 2008 spent a full eight minutes at the end of Mass this Sunday, not to read Hon's letter, but to personally advocate for the Bill's veto!

And during which he lamented: "If we lose, then most of our property will be sold to pay for, uh, the victims."

Here is his full EIGHT MINUTE SPEECH:

And here is the letter Apuron wrote him in 2008. The letter which prompted so many people to save him. And now he turns on us. Protecting property is more important than "uh, the victims." 

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