"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
IT'S ABOUT GRATITUDE. AND FOR US, GRATITUDE MEANS ONLY ONE THING!
Posted by Tim
Apparently my previous post was a little too cryptic for the average reader. So let me outline this for EVERYONE.
First, let's get this straight.
Not a single priest or bishop will be made to pay personally for these abuses, at least not financially. Most of these guys are dead and gone, or like Brouillard, too old or doesn't have a cent to his name. Apuron might have a few bucks, but it's pennies compared to what will be paid.
No, the only people who will be made to pay for these abuses are the same people who built the church in the first place. They gave property, money, time, talent, treasure, sweat, prayers, and whole portions of their lives to build and serve the Church on Guam, not because of any bishop or priest, but because they believed in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church and care about the eternal destination of their souls and the souls of those they love.
Second, let's get this straight.
In just about every other diocese where the civil statute of limitations was lifted, it was the work of church-hating legislators and ambulance-chasing lawyers. This is not the case in the Archdiocese of Agana. In this diocese, it was not legislators or lawyers, it was US, the people who are still out there week after week in the sun and rain holding those signs.
We, the people who will pay the bill for your compensation, are the same people who created the legislation which permitted you to present us with the bill for that compensation. And don't forget it. WE DID THIS. And we did this for one reason and one reason only: TO CLEAN OUR CHURCH.
Third, let's get this straight.
Cleaning our Church means this: GETTING RID OF APURON. We knew that once we got rid of Apuron, that the RMS and the NCW would collapse, and the Stinking Monk, Adrian the Aimless, and David the Vulnus, all their filthy, mooching ilk would be history because it was only their control of Apuron that allowed these horrors to exist in the first place.
We knew that the only way to get rid of Apuron was to expose his history of sexual abuse as well as his three decades of covering up for others. We knew this because Apuron himself said it (he thought, confidentially). But we also knew it because given the horrible revelations of the last two decades, the Vatican would act fast once Roman investigators could get face to face with Apuron's accusers - as I had.
Fourth, let's get this straight.
The Cardinal Burke canonical court was constituted and sent to interview Apuron's victims because EACH VICTIM demanded it. As each of Apuron's victims came forward publicly, each one of them, after reading their statements, marched to a church office and deposited their statements. Each of those statements demanded justice from the Church and justice for Apuron. When Cardinal Burke proceeded to attempt to interview Apuron's victims, he was only doing what they themselves demanded.
Burke may or may not have known that each of the victims had subsequently retained a civil lawyer to represent them in their civil cases, but it would not have mattered. Burke was doing what each of Apuron's victims had demanded he do.
Fifth, let's get this straight.
The canonical court and the civil court are two different animals. Apuron's civil attorney, Jackie Terlaje was NOT present at the canonical proceedings. Only Apuron's canon lawyers were present, as permitted by canon law. On behalf of Apuron's victims, the office of the Promoter of Justice (think Attorney General) was present.
True, the representative from this office, in my opinion, did a poor job of informing the victims of the details about the proceedings, but that is beside the point, and let me repeat the point: EACH VICTIM, in writing, had demanded that the Church address the injustice done them. And that is EXACTLY what the canonical court attempted to do.
By NOT testifying (and I do not know who did or who did not testify), the victims not only renege on their previous demand and cost Burke's crew tens of thousands of dollars and several days spent on a wild goose chase, but also may have endangered the prospects for their civil case. In fact, if they were not represented by a lawyer with the reputation of David Lujan, I'd say for certain that they endangered the prospects for their civil case.
And, in Lujan's defense, he did exactly what his job was. His only concern is the civil case and he had a right and duty to his clients to do anything he deemed necessary to protect his clients. However, each of those victims also had a right and duty to inform Lujan that they had, in writing, demanded canonical action against Apuron. They also had and still have a right and duty to the rest of us who have labored intensely and long in order that these same victims could see the justice they were demanding from the Church.
And Last, let's get this straight.
If all you want is money and you don't care about our real aim: GET RID OF APURON, then the same people who worked so hard to get you your law can quickly become the same people who will demand and work for a new law that will kill the one you think you have.
The people who have come forward about their sexual abuse at the hands of clergy deserve to be cared for and compensated to the best of our ability. That's why we worked so hard to pass that law and that is why we continue to march Sunday after Sunday.
But each and every victim must understand that it is to THESE people, the people who march, the people who lobbied, the people who worked, the people who will ultimately pay the bill, that a debt of gratitude is owed. And that debt of gratitude is summed up in only this: HELP US GET RID OF APURON.
One last clarification.
Only the canonical court can get RID of Apuron. The civil court may be able to find him liable, but that's it. True, he will publicly discredited, but so long as he retains the title "Archbishop," we have failed.