Thursday, July 6, 2017
OUR DECISION HAS ALREADY BEEN MADE
PDN: Picketers give way to Vatican's decision on Apuron
For 54 weeks they marched, Sunday after Sunday. And in marching and praying, they showed the world how to fight evil and effect change.
The position of bishop is one of the most powerful positions in the world. Apuron wasn't kidding when he snickered "no one can get me." A bad politician can be voted out of office, or even impeached or recalled. Even a bad dictator can be chased out of the country and into exile.
Not so a bishop. A diocesan bishop can hold that position at least until the mandated retirement age of 75, and even beyond that if the pope wants him to. And no one can replace him except the pope. And even then, the pope needs a very good reason to do so.
At the time Apuron was made Archbishop of Agana in 1986, he was 40 years old, 24 years younger than the average age of U.S. bishops. He had 35 years of absolute control of his diocese laid out before him when the average bishop usually has no more than 10.
Apuron had a couple more advantages too. He was the all powerful ruler of one of the few places in the world with a majority Catholic population, and in our case, an isolated Catholic population in which an unusually high degree of deference to ecclesial authority had been inculcated for generations. (I'll never forget the story of a middle-aged woman who told me that as a child she had gotten slapped by her grandmother when she complained about how the priest had touched her.)
Yet, one by one, the quiet, respectful, deferential Guam Catholics joined the picket line, picking up signs, walking one step at a time, one Sunday at a time, in a peaceful protest that, step by step, shook the ground beneath Apuron's bed like Poe's "Tell-tale Heart."
Like all bullies, Apuron was a coward, and he turned tail and ran when he saw the gathering storm. Rome appointed Archbishop Hon to fill in for awhile and Hon's first statement before his first regular Sunday Mass at the Cathedral was to say in reference to the picketers outside the front door: "they'll be gone in two weeks."
The marchers kept marching and not even three months later, Hon not only had not gotten rid of the picketers, Hon had flown to Rome to ask the pope to get rid of Apuron.
In that same month, September 2016, the elderly ladies who had started the picket, "stormed" the gates of RMS and flushed out the "red pope," Filoni, the guy pulling the strings behind the curtain (or at least according to David the Villain.)
By November, the picketers had raised enough awareness about the RMS scam that Hon was forced to authorize a hostile takeover of the RMS Corporation and got the Yona property back into the patrimony of the Archdiocese of Agana.
Further, per the picketers mantra of RESTORE, RETURN, RESIGN, Hon cleared both Fr. Paul and Msgr. James of any wrong doing and stood down The Trained Lawyer when she tried to get Msgr. James arrested by concocting a false "unanimous" cemetery board resolution.
Eventually there was only one R left: RESIGN. And this is where the PDN headline has it a little bit wrong. While we have decided to give the Vatican some space to do the right thing, their decision ultimately does not matter. Because OUR decision has already been made:
Apuron will NEVER EVER pastor this diocese again. As Archbishop Byrnes said today in his press conference, any thought of Apuron ever returning as Archbishop of Agana will be a DISASTER!
Posted by Jungle Watch