Wednesday, May 17, 2017
IT'S TIME TO FIX THIS. AND WE WILL!
Posted by Tim
All of the really hard stuff we are having to work through right now in this archdiocese is a direct consequence of the mess Archbishop Hon created. And while Hon eventually came around to the truth and began to do the right thing, he made an absolute mess of this diocese. And it is primarily because of him that the archdiocese is facing millions in law suits.
First, Hon, upon his arrival, completely ignored the fact that there were any "alleged victims" of Anthony S. Apuron, even though it was Apuron's wicked response to the the allegations of these alleged victims which caused Pope Francis to send Hon here in the first place.
Second, Hon mocked our efforts to bring justice to the archdiocese. He mocked the picketers from the pulpit. He mocked Apuron's accusers. And he mocked our efforts to bring about justice legislatively.
It was this last one which created the public avalanche which pushed the bill lifting the statute of limitations forward and swept in the provision for institutional liability.
Senator Frank Blas, Jr.'s initial bill did not hold institutions liable, only persons. We initially supported this version of the bill. We simply wanted to hold the bad guys responsible.
The first public hearing for the first version of the Bill 326-33 was held on June 27, 2016. The thought of holding institutions like the Archdiocese of Agana liable was hardly part of the discussion. However, a few days later, Archbishop Hon said this:
It became apparent to us at this point that, under Hon, our church leadership was NOT going to take responsibility for itself. So the only thing left to us was to FORCE that church leadership, i.e. Hon, to do so.
The bill was modified in committee to include institutional liability and two more public hearings were held on July 26 and August 1. The attendance was overflowing and the testimonies brought many to tears. Hon's obstinacy had so enraged the public that it literally guaranteed the bill's passage, and indeed it did, unanimously.
The real villain in this though wasn't necessarily Hon. Hon was just a stooge, an order-taker from his boss in Rome, Filoni Baloney, aka Cardinal Fernando Filoni.
Filoni is the Cardinal Prefect for the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and Hon is his secretary. Filoni is one of the most powerful prelates in Rome. So powerful he is known as "The Red Pope" (a reference to the fact that while he still wears his red cardinal robes, he has the power of a pope).
He is also known as "Kiko's pope," for his long and very schmoozy relationship with the main founder of the Neocatechumenal Way.
We had a lot of evidence that Filoni and Kiko were pulling the strings on Hon from Rome. And given the pure hell this archdiocese had so long suffered under the Kiko-Pius-Apuron regime, the fact that a Roman prelate was now on the ground in Agana and working to protect that same stinking regime, blew the top off of our rage and bolstered our resolve to fight Hon and Filoni Baloney till the end.
While we were very sure of the Kiko-Filoni infiltration into our diocese, it was finally confirmed on September 20, 2016. During a news briefing, Father Jeff San Nicolas pulled the curtain back on these charlatans.
FATHER JEFF: First of all Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron has been accused of child sexual abuse on four accounts. This itself is tragic. But even before this, his actions and decision-making has caused deep pain in the vast majority of the faithful on Guam. Highlighting this was the widespread believe that Archbishop targeted two beloved priests, Fr. Paul Gofigan and Msgr. James Benavente because they failed to cooperate with the agenda of the Neocatechumenal. Unfounded charges where placed against them. They were removed from their posts and publicly disgraced.
In addition to this, treatment of the former Archdiocesan Finance Council that was fired all at once was scandalous to the faithful and meanwhile Archbishop Apuron and the Vicar General were covertly alienating the Yona Church land on which the Redemptoris Mater Seminary sits.
As these issues have come to light, rather than apologies and seeking to create avenues of reconciliation, Archbishop Apuron has been supported by the Neocatecumenal Way, locally, nationally and internationally to deny all charges and obfuscate the issue. This arrogant attitude of denial and obfuscation continued when he was faced with the credible accusations of child sexual abuse against him. This is sad.
Archbishop Hon has spoken to Vatican officials on behalf of the People of God on Guam. I am hopeful that the strings disproportionately empowering the national and international leadership of the Neocatecumenal Way to interfere with our local Church affairs will be cut. Opposing this are other Vatican officials pushing the Neocatechumanal Ways’ agenda and interests to the detriment of those who are not in this group. If the Neocatechumanal Way is to minister to our faithful let it happen organically, not through force and manipulation.
Here is Evidence:
I would like to share with you a series of documented events that illustrated this unnecessary interference into the affairs of our local Church. On Friday, September 2, 2016, I received an email with an attached letter from the Laity Forward Movement (LFM) notify Archbishop Hon that they intended to visit the seminary on Thursday, September 8, 2016. Knowing the history between the LFM and the Redemptoris Mater Seminary, I, as the Delegate to the Apostolic Administrator, sought to personally mediate the visit so that it may be a breakthrough for dialogue and mutual understanding.
On Monday, September 5, 2016, I visited the Redemptoris Mater Seminary for Mass in the morning and preached on the Gospel of John 20, exhorting the seminary community “Do not be afraid,” that Christ comes to them to announce “Peace.” I shared that we all called to have the courage to be open and loving. God is with us. Unfortunately, that afternoon when I meet with the RMS leadership and share with them the proposed visit of the LFM, they informed me that they did not approve of the visit. I told them that I heard their concerns but I would personally take charge of the matter and that I would keep them informed.
On Wednesday, September 7th I received a letter from Msgr. David C. Quitugua, the acting rector of RMS. It reads:
PDF copy here
FATHER JEFF: This letter is all about authority and power. While intimidated at first, I came to realize that I was the proper church authority in the absence of the Apostolic Administrator, so I simply had to write the acting-rector to let him know my intention as instructed by Cardinal Filoni. When I shared with him what I was about to do he sent me an email stating: “Sincerely, it is my hope that this visit is not an attempt to circumvent Cardinal Filoni’s authority over this matter involving the LFM.”
The intent of Msgr. David’s letter was now clear to me. Neither I nor Archbishop Hon is the church authority over decision-making regarding the Redemptoris Mater Seminary, even over simple matters such as who can visit. Cardinal Filoni is in charge.
I was also instructed not to release the seminary visitation report. I will do just that soon after this press briefing.
I realize that I am taking a stand against my superiors, but I must because the vast majority of the People of God on Guam, who have suffered from a leadership gap over the past several years, have not been kept informed about issues that directly concern them.
To Cardinal Filoni and those leaders in the Neocatechumenal Way who are seeking to advance the agenda and interests of the Neocatechumenal Way: Please have mercy on the People of God on Guam. The lines of authority in this Archdiocese are not clear. Please practice the principle of subsidiarity to allow local Church leadership to make decisions on local Church matters.
Go here to read more.
Now, let's look at this!
Quitugua the Rector says: "Sincerely, it is my hope that this visit is not an attempt to circumvent Cardinal Filoni’s authority over this matter involving the LFM.”
Exactly! We knew this all along. Kiko and Filoni were running things and Hon was their puppet.
Once all this was exposed, Hon had no choice but to turn to our side and that's when things began to move forward on getting the Yona property back. However, much damage was already done. And much damage was yet to come. Because after Governor Calvo signed Bill 326-33 into law, a couple of lawyers who had already been "officious inter-meddlers" trying to get the bill vetoed, convinced Hon to hire a stateside law firm who was a known enemy of Attorney David Lujan.
There was no need to bring in this law firm, but the officious inter-meddlers had a personal beef with Lujan and they knew that getting Hon to hire this firm (which has already cost us nearly ONE MILLION DOLLARS) would be a slap in the face to Lujan.
And it was. So Lujan responded the only way he could: with dozens of lawsuits with outrageous sums attached to them, jacking up the price tag of justice to more than double the value of all the assets of the archdiocese.
How sad. So much of this could have been peacefully and equitably resolved. From the beginning we have fought for justice for victims of clergy sex abuse. But now, thanks to the officious inter-meddlers, nearly all the money already set aside for the victims has been sucked up by attorneys the Filoni-controlled Hon brought on board and saddled Archbishop Byrnes with.
It's time to fix this. And we will.