Saturday, January 7, 2017

HOLY INDIFFERENCE? NOT!

Posted by Tim

In the January-February 2017 issue of THE GUAMANIAN MAGAZINE, the feature article is entitled “Can He Heal the Church? - Archbishop Michael Byrnes chosen to lead Guam’s divided Catholics.”

One of the tactics of the Apuronites has been to make all of this appear to simply be about "divided Catholics." It makes for an easy story for the press and unfortunately some on our side have aided that story by small-mindedly demanding "we want our church back"  (which really means their positions of importance.)

And further, it appears Archbishop Byrnes has bought into the same story hook, line, and sinker. In THE GUAMANIAN story, Byrnes says: "I really try not to take sides, I just really think that’s important.” He then goes on to compare this "who am I to judge" approach to his administrative duties to St. Ignatius' spiritual principle of "Holy Indifference." 

As someone who has participated in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius (as a student at Loyola Marymount, LA), I know a little about "Holy Indifference" and it has nothing to do with "not judging" or not "taking sides." Ignatius divides Holy Indifference into four categories that specifically address one's spiritual growth: 1) Not to prefer health over sickness; 2) Not to prefer long life over short; 3) Not to prefer riches over poverty; and 4) Not to prefer honors over dishonors. 

There is nothing here that relieves one from deciding right from wrong, good from bad, justice from injustice, truth from lies, nor TAKING SIDES! And, unfortunately it was this "who am I to judge" attitude, masquerading as "Holy Indifference" that has provided the "holy crap" that for five decades engendered, fertilized, cultivated, and protected what Pope Benedict eventually called "the filth in the Church," and that filth can hardly be greater than what has been uncovered in the diocese Byrnes has been assigned to.

Byrnes' job is to get to the bottom of this filth. This is NOT about two different ways of being Catholic or even room for "many spiritualities," as Byrnes states in the article. This is about a sickening, filthy, methodical assault on truth, justice, the common good, and the Church of Jesus Christ by the man who Byrnes just replaced and more specifically, the man he just sent off to study canon law.

But wanting or expecting Byrnes to do the right thing is no longer something we can hope for. I will explain. 

From the outset, the first question that popped into my mind and many others was "why him?" Here is Byrnes' account of how he was chosen (from THE GUAMANIAN):


The Archdiocese of Agana is perhaps the most troubled diocese in the world in terms of scandal (no other bishop is on trial). A friend of mine in the states who knows Guam and knows Byrnes said "he's walking into a buzzsaw." So why would Rome pick a bishop who (per the article) has hardly ever ventured outside the diocese he was born in and whose only knowledge of the place he was being sent to was a passing reference to its role in World War II (probably from some old war films)?

By the way, my friend in the states tried to offer Byrnes - through a friend in common - some historical background on our local situation and give him an idea about what he was walking into, but his offer was declined. Apparently old World War II flicks were sufficient. 

However, we find later in the article the real reason Byrnes was chosen, and, by a short connection of dots, WHO it was that chose him (Kiko's pope - Filoni), and by extension, why we cannot hope Byrnes will do the right thing:


Now, just wait till you hear how he plans to pay for this and who he will be taking the money from. 


51 comments:

  1. I read the article. Someone needs to set AB Byrnes straight.

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  2. So Filoni selects a Bishop who is not familiar with Guam, but more importantly someone with little to no knowledge of the NCW, its protestant teachings, and inherently divisive nature, someone Filoni can send on a mission to mend a divided church. The only problem is the divided church is only a symptom of a greater evil that is due primarily due to the existence of the NCW underground movement.

    While Byrnes is shocked by his appointment to an island he hardly knows, and his great mission to fix a church where members are just not getting along, He is told by Filoni of the great numbers coming out of the NCW seminary and is somehow convinced that great numbers = great fruits, never having sampled the fruit himself to know if they are in fact good.

    Seems like another NCW tactic, Baffle the person, in his confusion, convince him that the NCW is a blessing from God, and send him on an important mission to fix troubles in the church.

    BTW Did not Jeff not provide Byrnes a report of the deficient seminary? or was he told by rome not to discuss this matter with the new bishop? Who is advising Byrnes other than Filoni Baloni?

    I say we have a big job to inform our new bishop of the findings that have exposed the evil fruits of the NCW in Guam. God help us all.

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    1. Apparently, he took our temporary laying down of our signs (picketers) as a sign that he would not be held accountable. Or he just doesn't care. It's hard now not to think that Filoni has provided a "carrot," if he does good. A red one.

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    2. Well, we could look on the bright side: Abp Byrnes has 17 years until the age of retirement. 17 years and many miles to march.

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    3. Or, on the dark side: 17 years of double talk from Byrnes (unless he gets his red hat from Filoni Baloney much earlier). This assumes, of course, that apuron is history!

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  3. This all a bit discouraging if you accept that Byrnes is being directed and guided by Filoni. If he doesn't shut down the RMS as recommended, then he intends to carry on Apuron's mission of ordaining malformed priests or should we continue to call them Presbyters. Anything short of closing down the NEO seminary will be an indication that Abh Byrnes does not recognize or refuses to recognize the problem the Catholic faithful have experienced and endured at the hands of poorly prepared ordained "priests" from the RMS. Or could it be that he just doesn't care and intends to do what he believes is the right course of action to take." We shall see. At this point in time, the Catholic faithful who support our local church cannot & will not give the money necessary to continue the operation of the NEO Seminary for full upkeep and maintenance. Therefore, it will be interesting to see what Abh Byrnes intends to do. Will he try to appeal to the people and convince them to follow his lead as Guam's newest Shepherd? Will out church continue to be divided over continuing to make nice with the Neos? Again, we shall see.

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  4. Oh dear... What a shame. Personally I'm pleased the AB is not going to sort it out. Because this is encourage the locals more. Plus the longer this drags on. The NCW is being exposed world wide.

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  5. This is not promising. I know people like Richard Untalan, Joe Rivera, Art Illagan, Toni Sanford, Rick Duenas, and others were convinced to help after Archbishop Hon showed that he was focused on cleaning and justice first. Byrnes' attitude and actions may undo all that. If he does, I predict an exodus.

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    1. People like Untalan, Illagan, Stanford, Dueñas and some others on the Finance Council are high powered members of the community. These guys, when they find out what CAB Byrnes said about the seminary and the neocats, may well treat Byrnes’ words like a “thumb in the eye.” Some of these people were in engaged in a protracted struggle with apuron, the arch neocat. To see Byrnes siding with the neocats is at least tacit support of apuron and an insult.

      Two committees, one of which was established by AA Hon, have highlighted the futility of the continued propping up of the so-called seminary. As though this weren’t bad enough, Byrnes had to praise the “fruits” of the sham seminary. Byrnes actions in cozying up to the neocats, NB sending Cristobal off to Canon Law School, make it look like he borrowed Hon’s original playbook, “How To Get Off To Horrible Start On A New Assignment.”

      Given the poor financial condition of the diocese and the pendency of sixteen heavy duty lawsuits, a skilled finance council peopled by big leaguers e.g. those mentioned above, would seem to be the sine qua non to Byrnes’ success. "I really try not to take sides, I just really think that’s important.” Byrnes said, but of course that is exactly what he has done—a rather unfortunate choice of sides as he needs the Finance Council much more than they need him. Byrnes may well find that he has stuck his thumb in his own eye.

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  6. IF the Archdiocesan Finance Council stands their ground and show Byrnes that maintaining the Yona seminary is not financially sensible and Byrnes listens and acts accordingly, then there may be hope yet for Byrnes.
    But, that's a big IF.

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    1. Selling the property does not mean closing RMS.

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    2. Correct. But that's the way the Kikos framed it because their real aim was to keep the property.

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    3. But if the property is sold because Byrnes agrees with the advise that it's not worth keeping open, then the seminarians have to go somewhere else. Our local seminarians will most likely go to the States, at our expense. No objection there. Let the Neos open their own seminary on Guam if they want, but not on our dime.

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    4. neo seminsrians assigned to an RMS Boston wherever.
      Diocesan seminarians assigned to a recognized Diocesan Seminary in United States. Even Sacred Heart Detroit ok.

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    5. Did you hear Byrnes say he has lots of Seminary experience? Watch out for know it all. Hon realized RMS has lots and lots of deficiencies. Finding out in a secular magazine he's keeping seminary while he's home in Detroit. Sloppy work, Archbishop Byrnes. Guaranteed Magazine with Byrnes baby pictures. Great. Just great.

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  7. Don't expect any significant corrective action from Byrnes. Not much will change. All he'll do is smile and claim to feel your pain. Do not trust him.

    If Apuron returns to Guam, it won't be until his retirement at age 75 in less than four years. There are plenty of places for him to hide in luxury until then.

    Sadly, I don't think any of the abuse lawsuits against Apuron and other local perverts will succeed. Byrnes is no friend of the suffering victims. He knows exactly where Apuron is, but he's not talking on orders from Rome.

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  8. Archbishop Byrnes is filling a gap for three years. Doubt very much he will remain 17 years on Guam.
    Archbishop Byrnes may well already have been promised a plum Archdiocese in USA for accepting Guam mission.
    2020 Apuron returns he is still Archbishop. Archbishop Byrnes returns to a new assignment. Agana becomes vacant. who knows Canon Lawyer could make a return as Archbishop of Guam.
    This is all about keeping the RMS open at any cost.
    Archdiocese is unstable for at least another five years. For an investor not a good idea to invest in any church project on Island.

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    1. Sounds scary! Aren't we already tired of sequels pertaining to this dramatic soap opera? Action, now!

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    2. Agree it sounds scary! Reminder: "Stop the Money" and "Don't look to Rome for solutions."

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  9. Archbishop Byrnes has alot of explaining to do to his Curia when he returns. " Economical with the Truth" to say the least.

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  10. This is beginning to sound like another ploy to keep the Neos fully operational within our archdiocese at our EXPENSE! Not very encouraging to say the least. We must continue to show our belief that RMS is a complete SHAM and will not support its existence!!! We cannot and will not tolerate being fleeced further by Filoni Baloni! Ann A.

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  11. NCW Inject substantial cash flow into Archdiocese. Archdiocese will forever have to show gratitude to NCW. Reality is Guam people will never again own their local church. CCOG LFM achieved so much but so late. NCW built numbers and Money. Thats how game works. Apuron allowed it to work. Apuron has gone for now but NCW remain in power. sic really sic!

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    1. "NCW Inject substantial cash flow into Archdiocese."

      Really now? How? Can you elaborate Anon@12:13?

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    2. @12:13 PM, Just as we were saying, to the NCW the salvation of innocent people is but a game, with money being the motivating factor. Truth is NCW leached substantial money from this archdiocese and is the reason we are booting you all out of Guam. Pack your bags, take Quitugua, Adrian, pius and all the NCW misfits with you..

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    3. 12:57pm happy to elaborate dialogue.
      Leave phone number.
      Call you Lol.

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  12. 10:10AM exactly what I said a few days ago. Byrnes will be returned to the US in an archbishop's slot. His red hat reward will be next. That's precisely why he won't be making any waves on Guam.

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    1. WE will have to make the waves.

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    2. Byrnes will do a noblesse oblige number on you and continue to take his marching orders from Neocat-friendly Rome. Siding with jungle rebels would kill his career.

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  13. I hope Byrnes wakes up. There is good and bad in this world, not just sides. Someone is either right and someone is wrong.

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    1. What happened to the seminary report?? THE REPORT??? Anybody remember that? Did Byrnes read it?? Where is he anyhow? Something more important than his Diocese somewhere in the Pacific?

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    2. Hon had a Neo Fave. Julio. He's pulling strings. Watch the clever guy. The Vice Rector. Right. Where's the Rector? What a joke.

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  14. Choosing between good and evil is not taking sides. EVIL is not a side, it's evil.

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    1. Thanks for the true statement, Bob!!!

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  15. Interacting galaxies nearing collision. Colliding galaxies whose gravitational fields result in a disturbance of one another. Northern galaxies trying to calm disturbance of southern galaxies. Full collision of Northern southern galaxies cause Tsunami of ocean waters.Tsunami will create waves of such magnitude. Southern galaxies are nearing collision. Estimated Collision of two galaxies January. Collison of galaxies colliding eradicate night stars. America's day will forever begin in darkness once galaxies collide.

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  16. byrnes's responses don't surprise me. the set of developments regarding his appointment, as well as his early statements ("i report to..."), had hints and smells of filoni from the beginning.

    what's surprising to me is how quickly he worked to take back the yoña property.

    what's not surprising is that he wants to keep rms running. closing that operation would struck a blow to the ncw worldwide, so of course filoni and the ncw powers will want to make sure it stays open. i'm sure they have enough $$ worldwide to not even have to depend on local money. so this kind of shows that byrnes does see himself as reporting to filoni.

    50 years of crap has taught us this: always, always, the archbishop--whoever he is--must be held accountable.

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  17. Doubtful, yet hopeful in Santa Rita.January 9, 2017 at 5:56 PM

    We had such high hopes for Guam with the announcement of Abp Byrnes. Finally an outsider to look objectively at our situation and decide on a corrective course of action.
    Instead, what we see is a blind decision to move forward with the status quo with an assumption that nothing was wrong to begin with. Here's why so many people feel this way.
    The highest level of blindness is that he says: "The seminary has produced, from what I understand, good fruits, not only for Guam but for other diocese in the Oceana region."
    Our response: you can certainly say what you will about the caliber of fruits from RMS, but has he taken the time to look at these guys? Michael Jucutan is a train wreck. Edwin Bushu is a mental breakdown waiting to happen. Edivaldo good fruit? PLEASE. Alberto is nothing pastoral, my way or the highway, and damn local customs. Fabio was run out of town for being so insensitive to his parishioners. Francesco barely speaks english, but enough to say that Guamanians only problem is that they spent meeelllions on funerals. Luis Camacho likes young girls and beaches. Krystof from my parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe has a real chip on his shoulders. Some of the kids love him, but he still has no tact, and focuses way too much on the NCW, and ignores the rest of the parish. Harold Colorado missing in action. Pedro Durango missing since the week after his ordination. 9 out of 15 that are seriously lacking priestly abilities. Some of the other 6 are salvagable, but the NCW chokes their ability to serve the "normal catholics" the way they might like. And of those 6 maybe priests, 3 are not serving Guam, but are elsewhere.
    The Neos always say look at our fruit, but few bishops look beyond the numbers to see the quality vs quantity. But believe me Abp Byrnes, when we are forced to sit in the pews and listen to these guys, its quality that matters. And we haven't seen shining fruit in most cases. Compare them to Richard Kidd who is a product "good fruit" of a real seminary.
    Oh, and by the way Abp Byrnes, no priests have been ordained for other diocese from the RMS Guam romper room. Those diocese have pulled out their young men before they were permanently deformed by Guam RMS.

    to be continued...

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  18. Doubtful, yet hopeful in Santa Rita.January 9, 2017 at 5:57 PM

    continuation....

    So, Abp Byrnes, I really hope you rethink those bold, yet uninformed comments when you finally return to Guam. But a few more things you should ponder. Rather than just listening to the RMS staff and the Neos, you might want to look at the 140 page ad hoc committee report. They have quite a different perspective. And these are priests who have served the Archdiocese for many years, all of them highly respected by Church members.
    It is ridiculous to think that a diocese our size can make economic justification for a full blown seminary. Sorry, but the people of Guam have no interest in forming priests for the rest of the world. Maybe shame on us, but let LA, Detroit, Rome, New York form priests for the rest of the world. We are just too small to take this on at this point. You of all people should know this. Hasn't your AFC told you how bad your financial situation is? Then why seek a more expensive program internally than ship "qualified and local men" to St Patrick's or Mt Angels? It really makes no sense. You don't see the diocese of Houma-Thibodeaux in Louisiana with their own seminary, or an NCW seminary, do you? Their population is similar to ours, 205,000 total people, and 130,000 Catholics. We'd love to help the world cause, but we just can't. And even if we could, we'd have a lot more pride sending real priests to China and Africa and Qatar, and not the products we've exported so far.
    The ad hoc report was pretty clear that full time professors are necessary but not available at RMS Guam. How would you possibly fix this problem with the limited numbers of local vocations, and the limited resources available on Guam?
    I'm sorry Abp Byrnes, but your quick and uneducated comments about the local Church have gotten you off to a very rocky start. Upon your return, I really urge you to consult with Guamanians, and not foreign Kikos who don't look at our issues objectively, and not Filoni who seems to have other goals than fixing our local problems.
    Your great uncle was your inspiration because he brought 300,000 people to the faith in sub-saharan Africa. Let you legacy be bringing 130,000 Catholics out of despair and foreign occupation, not protecting the interests of 500 break-away NCWs.
    Good luck in your choice.

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    1. Janet B - MangilaoJanuary 9, 2017 at 6:23 PM

      Amen to all Santa Rita parishioner has said. Strong points that a bishop must consider. Leave it to the south to say it like it is!

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    2. @ Janet..thank you for the compliment...Yes, us Southerners are very outspoken people..We tell it like it is....;-)..

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    3. That's right ,we don't sugar coat anything....That's why what's his face is afraid to go to Umatac to be our Village Priest...

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    4. I also appreciate your comments but they need to be in the papers. Would you consider submitting this as a letter to the editor.

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    5. It's time to go beyond "anonymous"

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    6. Rose de los Reyes (Seattle, WA)January 10, 2017 at 12:03 PM

      Bravo (!!!) to "Doubtful's ..." comments! You addressed your RMS point with focus. And I 1000% agree!

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    7. Dear Archbishop Byrnes:
      Being a Detroit native, you are no doubt familiar with the Diocese of Saginaw.It's only 100 miles north of your home. Well, they are about the same size as Guam, and their web site is very interesting...
      http://www.saginaw.org/images/stories/PDFs/vocation/prayercard_2015_final.pdf
      They have 7 seminarians. And none of them go to the seminary in Saginaw, because their bishop chooses to send them to a real seminary, run by professional educators/formators.

      Of the 7 men, the two youngest are studying in Minnesota to attain a Bachelors degree in Philosophy. This is required before they can go into the real seminary to study Theology. How many of our RMS Guam seminarians have a bachelors degree in Philosophy before entering the RMS seminary? You might want to ask the rector if he knows.

      Two more seminarians are in the pastoral year.

      The remaining three are in real seminaries studying theology. One in Illinois, and the other two at your old stomping grounds, Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit.

      Five men in studies, and none of them in Saginaw. Because Saginaw is too small to run such a facility properly. And their bishop understands the value of proper formation. Quality ve quantity.

      Please review your thoughts on RMS Guam, and consult your conscience, and not Filoni's iron will.

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  19. You say you are mine Archbishop. Or are you another monger?

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  20. The majority of bishops have proved themselves to be incompetent at best. They got where they are by knowing how Vatican games are played, not because of loyalty to the Faith. Don't expect Byrnes to solve your problems.

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  21. Agreed about Guam being unable to afford its own seminary. The RMS property should be sold back to resort hotel operators for a fortune, with proceeds used to compensate Apuron's abuse victims. Close those tragic cases and get on with repairing the Archdiocese.

    Forget Mount Angel. They justifiably rejected the last RMS transfer applicant. US seminaries don't need to be infected by Neocat heretics. They already have more than enough problems with the herd of homosexuals they stupidly admitted.

    Huge changes are coming to St. Patrick's Seminary. The Sulpicians who taught there for 118 years were recently booted for lack of orthodoxy. Their replacement is being sought by San Francisco's frosty, elitist archbishop who's downright medieval. He's extremely unpopular, even among rational conservatives. However, he's Neocat-friendly because that's the Roman thing to do.

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  22. Fr.Matthew BlockleyJanuary 11, 2017 at 4:04 PM

    Doubtful, yet hopeful Santa Rita
    Excellent Comment.
    Ridiculous to maintain a seminary which has no purpose for Guam or Oceania.

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    1. Kristo Rai / San Jose faithfulJanuary 12, 2017 at 9:46 AM

      Hello Fr Matthew. Haven't heard from you in a while. I hope all is well, and that we see you back in the Marianas soon! We loved you in Saipan.

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  23. Janet B where have you been! Missed you.

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  24. Byrnes won't put his money where his mouth is. He's just a hot air front man for Neocat-friendly Rome.

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