Wednesday, April 5, 2017
A MESSAGE FROM CCOG PRESIDENT, DAVID SABLAN
Original PDF copy here
There are some who are wondering whether the 9:00 - 9:45 AM Sunday picket line in front of the Cathedral-Basilica should continue over the next two Sundays: Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday.
First, the picket line is a Laity Forward Movement activity, which CCOG supports, of course. It is "Catholics in Action", petitioning the Holy Father through this public display of serious concern, to please laicize--defrock--Anthony Sablan Apuron, and remove this disgraced priest as the Archbishop of Agana.
The picket line is respectful and reverent. It is a form of public prayer. The participants pray the rosary in solemn reverence during the picket march. They sing beautiful Chamorro songs of our Catholic faith. I have attended the picket march several times over the past year. During that prayerful march, I felt inspiration from the Holy Spirit in performing my duty as a Soldier of Christ.
It is the duty of all Catholics to defend and protect our Church. We were commissioned to do so when we were all marked with the sacrament of Confirmation. Defense and protection of our Church against the forces of evil is what the picketers are doing each Sunday, rain or shine (I have attended one in the rain, and it was invigorating!). It is no different from a procession honoring the patron saint of a village, except in one aspect: We are petitioning the Holy Father to remove and laicize Apuron as Archbishop of Agana. We must continue praying and offering up our sacrifice (walking in this prayer march is a sacrificial offering to Our Lord) each Sunday when marching in the picket line.
On one Sunday in January, one of the picketers checked to find out how a group of first communicants from Bishop Baumgartner Catholic School would process into the Cathedral-Basilica. Their procession would not conflict with the picket line. An official from the school actually encouraged the picket marchers to continue their prayerful march because it was a great example for the young first communicants to see the Defense of the Church in action!
I believe the march of the picketers is just as respectful and reverent as the procession at the beginning of mass on Palm Sunday. It also will not affect the Easter Sunday mass. There is much honor in the picket march, and we should all be encouraged to participate, and with Our Lord's promise: "Ask, and you will receive . . . For everyone who asks will receive. . . "(Matthew 7:7-8), our prayers will be answered, God willing.
Nothing should sway the desire of our Catholic Faithful to petition the Holy Father to defrock Apuron. Picketing for his laicization is protecting the Church, an important duty of all Catholics. We encourage the Laity Forward Movement and the Concerned Catholics of Guam members and supporters to participate in this Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday picket line.