"Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops, like bishops, and your religious act like religious." - Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, 1972
PDN: POPE APPOINTS NEW COADJUTOR BISHOP FOR ARCHDIOCESE
Pope Francis appointed a new coadjutor archbishop on Monday for the Archdiocese of Agana who will have the right to succeed Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron, who is facing canonical trial at the Vatican over alleged sexual abuse of altar boys. CONTINUED
Note: How appropriate that we wake to this news on Apuron's birthday!
The Michigan Catholic editorial board meeting with Bishop Michael Byrnes, March 26, 2012
I like what he has to say here. And so far he sees the right man for the job. Yes, he has a background in the Charismatic movement and is currently supportive of an "evangelization" program called Alpha, both of which veer towards the same attitudes which permitted the cancerous growth of the NCW, but subscribing to some sort of a "program" appears to be standard stuff for bishops today. More on that later.
Meanwhile, here's the message. NOTHING CHANGES. And here's what I mean. We got ourselves into this horrible mess by looking the other way for decades. One thing must remain certain. WE WILL NEVER DO THAT AGAIN. It doesn't matter who is the bishop. THAT'S THE MESSAGE. The laity of Guam have been empowered. And here's the larger message. The laity have been empowered, NOT by any program, NOT by any priest or bishop, but by OURSELVES.
We said HELL NO, WE'RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE. We STOOD UP when no one else would. WE went out into the streets and embraced Apuron's mutilated victims. WE pushed that law through which put up a NO RETURN sign to the abuse of the past. WE got rid of Apuron (and we will do so permanently soon). WE have forced the return of the Yona property (which will happen soon if we do not give up). WE forced Apuron's rats (Adrian and David the Villain) from their rat holes in the chancery. WE forced Hon to get rid of Pius. And WE have caused the pope to act in this new appointment.
Make no mistake. It is the people on the street Sunday after Sunday which has caused all this. This blog has provided the motivation and information, but it would have remained just a blog without results if not for the action of the laity. And we can be damn sure that this new bishop knows this.
Many of us, including myself (for about 2 days) were fooled into thinking that Rome had responded to our prayers when Apuron was removed and Hon was appointed. We almost stopped. Within days we learned the horrible truth: that Hon was not here to fix anything but to maintain the status quo until Apuron could be restored. Remember Hon's famous pronouncement back in June: "over in two weeks" he said about the protest in front of the Cathedral.
I believe Hon is having a gradual epiphany and finally coming around. He has seen now for himself the sheer evil Pius and Apuron planted here. He has seen for himself that the neocats, especially their presbyters, do NOT respect the authority given him by the pope. He has seen for himself the complete disregard for this Church by the arch-neocats like Tricky Dick Eusebio and Jackie "the trained lawyer" Terlaje. He has seen for himself the filthy selfishness that is Cristobal.
But he would have seen NONE of this if he was not haunted week after week by that marching line of HEL NO WE AREN'T GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE Catholics in front of the Cathedral Sunday after Sunday. And the new guy must see it too.
This revolution has never been about the original mantra of Restore, Return, and Resign. It has been about the building up and empowerment of the real Church, the people, the baptized faithful, the people in the streets who Jesus spent almost all his time on earth with.
And now to business. Once the new bishop takes over, his first test will NOT be restoring unity, but restoring the liturgy, without which there is NEVER unity. His first test is whether he will require the neocats to conform to what is permitted in their statute, or then if not, to produce what Apuron said he would find "somewhere." The supposed permission to depart, in their liturgies, from what is permitted in the statute.
THIS has always been at the root of the division. It was Apuron's public rejection in 2006 of the pope's demand that the neocats conform their liturgy to the liturgical books which set off this volcano that has erupted and torn this diocese apart. That REJECTION remains at the root of our division because the very Sacrament of Unity has been destroyed by the man ordained and consecrated to protect it.
It remains to be seen what sort of man this new bishop is. Like others, I am hoping for the best. But our Church is not about this or that bishop. It is about Jesus Christ. True God and True Man.