Monday, October 16, 2017

REFLECTIONS ON THE CLERGY SEX ABUSE ON GUAM

(posted by frenchie)

As many of us had suspected, the numbers of clergy sexual abuse claims have been piling up in both the State and the Federal courts here on Guam. That does not even take into account the numbers of victims that contacted the Fund set-up by the Archdiocese, for people who need help, without wanting to go through litigation.

While I was praying and reflecting on these problems, and the events that lead to our current situation here on Guam, I could not but conclude that my old adage: "nothing happens in vacuum" was once again proving itself to be true.

As we have seen over the last three years, since the Junglewatch started unraveling the web of lies and deceit that surrounded us from all directions; many have tried to use, to explain, to excuse, to manipulate, to exploit, to divert the personal dramas of the victims of these sexual abuses.

We were able to clearly identify that the abuses did happened because of an environment which was conducive to that abuse and to its coverup.

As recent events have demonstrated, I shall show that these problems are not specific, nor limited to the Catholic Church, or to failings related to cultural shortcomings of the Chamorro Culture, as some would love to reduce it too, but rather that it did occur, because we failed to recognize the danger, and remained silent for too long.
Unfortunately our painful experience is another example of the truism that " whom ever stays silent, agrees".


In reviewing the facts, I shall particularly look at the following:
  • Cultural environment
  • Catholic specificity
  • The Apuron factor
  • The role of the NCW
Later I will look and study the false conclusions some have made from these, and their origins.
I will also attempt to see what we can do as Catholics to alleviate such situation in the future.


CULTURAL ENVIRONMENT.
One of the biggest taboo on Guam has been the physical and sexual abuse of spouses and children.
While this is not specific to Guam or the Marianas. (This social plague infects almost all the island cultures of the Pacific region)
Birth out  of wedlock, incest, abortions, suicides and many other problems related to these issues,
are  an unfortunate reality  for too many, and it might still take several generations to alleviate this scourge.
The almost 400 years of Catholic presence on Guam, only succeeded in forcing the issue into the shadows, and in fostering face saving solutions for the families unfortunate enough to have experienced these dramas.
A substantial number of Chamorros sent to the mainland to continue their studies or live with a relative is tied up to such occurrences.  
Until very recently there was a definite lack of will to confront such complex and highly emotionally charged problems.
Often the reputation of the family or the clan took (and sometimes still does) take preference over the welfare of the victim. Things might be changing, but ever so slowly.

This type of environment makes it of course more easy for sexual predators to manipulate the victims and by extension the families of the victims. It also facilitates their hiding in plain sight, without much challenge, at least until recently.

THE CATHOLIC SPECIFICITY
For now, I will just address that specificity as it relates to Guam.

Guam being largely Catholic since the appearance of the Spanish Missionaries, the influence of the Church can be found in all aspects of our social life.
With the arrival of the USA at the end of the 19th century, the island's Church was the subject of a very strong identity change, which is seldom acknowledged , but is essential to recognize.
Along with the major different approach of religious culture between the Spanish and American traditions, the fact that the Navy fully administered the territory, changed the social relations between the Church and the Administration.
This had a profound consequence on how the administration of the Church evolved, from being a full partner to being reduced to a convenient  "to go to" partner for the Naval authorities..
Under these circumstances the Catholic Church on Guam, while retaining some of its luster, ended up being reduced to a lesser social role.
When the Naval Administration finally relinquished its powers and Guam was able to achieve a certain degree of autonomy, the Church experienced another major shift.
This shift along with the large impact of Vatican II led us to the Nativist movement in Rome which brought to power bishops such as Flores, Apuron and Camacho.
All were local sons, but unfortunately all frail leaders, for the most part unprepared for their task.

While the advantage of having local leaders is obvious, they know the land, the people,their culture and customs. This is also their main weakness. Being locals, everyone knows them, and on a small island such as Guam, or the Marianas, they are subject to pressures due to the endemic nepotism, as well as the fact that many people know your dark secrets.
All this can lead to compromission , to corruption, and other weaknesses, which all three fell victim to.

When the shepherd in charge of the well being of its flock, allows instead predators to live and work in their midst, the betrayal is total. If you add to this the unfortunate habit of American Bishops to hide the truth for decades, under the guise that our enemies could use these scandals to tarnish the Church ( a very real threat indeed) . The end result is so catastrophic that it amounts to a perfect storm.

THE APURON FACTOR
Apuron was what you call: a disaster waiting to happen....and it did.

From many indications gathered, Apuron seems to have been groomed early on in his teen years by an older priest of his order. The fact that this was known by several key players of the Diocese, but that he was still ordained and later promoted raises more questions than answers, as to the reasons for such ascension.
Obviously the corruption did not start with Apuron, he was in fact a product of that corruption.
What Apuron did was to let it run wild and allowed himself to be blackmailed and manipulated to the point of relinquishing his office and his duties to the faithful, finally becoming a mere straw man.
Never could he believed that one day, his past and his actions would catch up with him. After all, his patrons as well as some of his priests had gotten away with it for so long. In fact he was so sure nobody could touch him, that he knowingly continued to allow predators among us. Including but not limited to one of the most evil actor ever to have access to the diocese.

THE NCW
Whatever one might feel and/or believe about the NCW as a movement (I know they hate that terminology), really does not matter as such. What interest us is what role the NCW played in the manipulations of Apuron, in hiding the facts and as regards to the protection of some of the actors of our drama.

What we know is that their agent on the island for many years, manipulated many of the actors at the Chancery for his own benefit and that of his patrons: the Gennarinis and the founding trio of the NCW.
He also used his influence to intimidate and destroy the reputations of many individuals and priests. That agent  became the de facto  shadow leader of the Archdiocese, abetting cover up and many other misdeeds. As such the NCW was a major facilitator of the endemic corruption we suffered under Apuron. It basically used the weaknesses of the Archbishop to advance its own narrow agenda.

FALSE CONCLUSIONS.
Following all the oncoming accusations, we have seen the usual suspects seizing on the opportunity to attack the Catholic Church here on Guam, but also overall.

From the rabid protestant anti papal crowds, to the avowed Atheists of all colors, to some disgruntled Catholics without strong bearings, and of course not forgetting the opportunists of the NCW, all have jumped on the occasion to spin this story to their perceived advantage. We have even seen a group who pretends to advocate for the rights of victims also trying to pull the covers to themselves.

According to these sad individuals the Church is basically corrupt. The proof being the sexual abuses and the coverup. As such the Church is singled out as a unique and depraved institution which does not abide by the common social standards.

All these people of course having a vested interest in attacking the eternal Church, are conveniently forgetting several important facts.
Sexual abuse far from being a Catholic specificity, is quite widespread in our societies despite a wall of silence surrounding it. Here we are just talking of our western societies, and not even approaching some large institutions who advocate its use on a large scale.
Sexual  abuse by Catholic priests is in fact statistically similar to most other religious groups. It is also slightly smaller than in the civil society at large. Facts that are of course kept silent by our enemies.

Last week scandalous revelations about one of Hollywood most famous mogul, has finally lifted the veil of secrecy of the systemic abuse in the entertainment and news industry, in the USA. By the same token opening a much needed debate and a new awareness of these issues. It has also embarrassed quite a few establishment figures who were in the know, but kept silent; including but not limited to a famous failed candidate to the presidency who had savaged the name and reputation of the victims of her philanderer husband. 
Far from being specifically Catholic, sexual abuse is a rampant issue in many sectors of our society. The recent local trial of a renowned professor of the UOG, the indictment of several educators at the DOE over the last few weeks demonstrate that commonality.

This of course does not excuses in the least what these priests did to the victims, nor does it excuses the subsequent coverup. But it shows sadly that rather than being unique, the Church is only the mirror of  the society where it lives. That in itself is quite disturbing, since we expect the Church to lead by example, specially in regards to social mores.

THE CHAMORRO ANGLE
Many people have been enraged, shocked, embarrassed on many levels, by the revelations of the sexual abuses at the hands of corrupt priests including Apuron.
These feeling are difficult to deal with. The fact that many of the victims have used initials rather than their full name, is evidence that the shame is real and deep.
It also raises the issue of what family members knew and why they chose to remain silent. A silence which like in Hollywood exposed more victims to the abuse of the predators.

These issues are very personal and ethically difficult.
People will have to continue to deal with that shame and with the consequences of their silence.

One silly twist to this sad story is the feeble attempts of a small but very active cabal of pro-independence professionals to recuperate the events as evidence of the corrupt influence of so called colonial powers, and of the victimization  of Chamorros at their hands, conveniently forgetting the litany of sexual abuses in the villages for centuries, and that many of the sexual abusers in the Church here, were Chamorro themselves.

WHAT WE CAN DO AS CATHOLICS.

First of all, we need to continue to educate ourselves, as not to be manipulated by all the groups and individuals mentioned above.
We owe it to ourselves, our children and grand-children to be as knowledgeable about these issues as possible.
Second, we need to be active, and remained engaged. In our families, in our villages, in our parishes, in our schools, with the administrations of our government, in our community at large.
We need to be witnesses to what being Catholic really means.
We have to be nurturing and charitable, but also protective of our values and of our people.

Most of all we need to prepare our children by giving them the tools and the knowledge to deal with the  dangerous world we live in. This we can achieve in making sure to pass on to them our values and beliefs. One  way to do that is to continue to strengthen our faith and the knowledge of our Church.

Within our Church , we need to be pro active with our priests, we cannot be shy in demanding accountability and clarity. At the same time, we need to show our support to our priests and Bishop,
when they need it, by volunteering our own knowledge and know how.

The time for sitting on the sidelines is over. We have seen the consequences of remaining silent and idled . We as the Church have so many good things to share, let us not have a few corrupt individuals take that away from us. That would be doubly criminal.  



  

29 comments:

  1. You're full of s*** Frenchie asked Tim boy about that 16 year old girl he had an affair with

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please go to the police and report me.

      Delete
    2. Ah yes the famous anon accuser!
      Another stricking example of false bravado.
      Of course when you have absolutely no argument, you resort to rude language, insult and lies.
      Thank you so much for another demonstration of how rotten fruits behave.

      Delete
  2. Thank you Frenchie. As usual you are spot on in your analysis of what has happened and why. Complacency is the sharp tool of the devil and it is time we fill his arsenal.
    Idiots like Anon 12:07 show we have a little big and arduous road ahead so we must be ready to persevere through a long journey.
    All must engage faith and logic to end the scourge of sex abuse, it is not a task for just a few.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Matthew 7:13
      Enter through the narrow gate, for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.

      Delete
  3. Oh let Thy father of the sixteen-year-old girl come forward ♤

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Typical isn't it?
      Another coward, doing exactly the opposite of what you need to do to move forward. Pushing once more what he knows very well is a made up lie.
      Another proof of the NCW's rotten fruits.
      The whisperer, the back stabber,again and again, spreading that Kiko venom. That poison of viciousness and innuendo.

      Probably one and the same coward that gave us all the excuses as why the parents of the minor caught with Luis Camacho refused to file a complaint against the molester of their daughter.
      Then nobody in the NCW found the spine to say anything, abetting the abuse of any future young girl under the tongue of licking Luis.
      I guess when you have had a Catechist of the caliber of Pius,for so many years, all that putridness ends up spoiling everything around him.
      The smell of sulfur linger long after he has left.

      You cannot claim not to have been forewarned.
      But let me remind you what we have been taught.
      While Kikos love to quote Matthew 7.1 "Stop Judging"
      May be continuing to read Matthew would not hurt....

      Matthew 7.15: Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruit you shall know them.
      Matthew 13.35: A good person brings forth good out of a store of goodness, but an evil person brings forth evil out of a store of evil.
      Matthew 13.36: I tell you, on the day of judgment people will render an account for every careless word they speak.

      Good luck anon at 5.05

      Delete
    2. Oh Frenchie, these blind people now have a new motto to live by, "Pray, you'll get over it."

      If Bro "Tune It Out" , actually knew about these clerical abuses, then he is accountable for the hidden truths.

      I am presuming, that this fell heavily on his conscience and heart, that he thought being a member of the NCW will erase the guilt he carried. Wondering if he spoke about it during his convivience and testimonies before his community.

      I'm sure his spiritual advisor The Putrid would know.

      Delete
    3. Hello anon at 9.46: while you make a few got points, you also make a huge assumption: that Tony still has a conscience left.
      Personally, all indications are that he lost his conscience ages ago, even prior to being made a Bishop. Had he had one then, he would have declined the honor, and the post. He already then knew he had sold his soul to the devil.

      Delete
    4. Rude-eee. Shut up, will ya?

      Delete
    5. Putrid and spiritual director in same sentence?..

      Delete
    6. Lol anon at 11.23.....ever read about the pearl and the swine? Probably the most appropriate in this case.

      Delete
  4. 16 year old girl you're sick man

    ReplyDelete
  5. I hope he is stupid enough to call the police. Undoubtedly a Neocat fake priest, Tim can sue the shit out of the filthy rich NCW and him for defamation of character, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sounds like what Tim is doing to the bishop with his fake victims

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If they're fake then why is Apuron trying to get the cases dismissed?

      Delete
  7. Maybe because they are fake victims????

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The only way we'll know is if Apuron proves it, won't we.

      Delete
    2. How could you be more pathetic or more moronic is hard to phantom anon at 3.33.
      At the same time I must recognize that it is thanks to stupid statements like yours that many people are awakening to the evil you and your ilks represent.
      So as much as I despise your stupidity, I recognize it's education value for the public at large.
      The Lord's wisdom works in unusual ways

      Delete
  8. Apuron is Afraid to face these Fake Victims.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Maybe the fake victims are afraid to face the bishop eye to eye

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Fake" victims aren't the ones demanding the cases be dismissed. Walter, are you reading this?

      Delete
    2. Where is this bishop 3:04pm, to look him in the eye?

      Delete
  10. Getting ready to Sue Tim and his fake victims )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Demanding that your cases be dismissed doesn't sound like Tony is getting ready to sue anybody.

      Delete
    2. There is really a very small space between your ears anon at 3.27

      Delete
    3. Janet B - MangilaoOctober 25, 2017 at 4:22 PM

      Wow. Anon 10/22 @3:27 sounds an awful lot like the Bishop on the Run - aka - Apurun.

      He has a tendency to threaten lawsuit as soon as people start to spread the truth. Apurun threatened Tim, John Toves, Roy Quintanilla, Doris Conception. Did I miss any other threats?

      But from what I recall, Tim and John have called Apurun out, pleading with him to sue. That way they can deposition him under oath where lies will be able to put him behind bars.

      Oops. I see now why Apurin can only threaten to sue. It is they only way he can be forced to wear DOC orange.

      I wonder how that orange jumpsuit would look with the "fires from hell" background of his seriously sad "I am Archbishop" photo?

      So, yes Frenchie, there is very, very little space between 3:27's ears.

      Delete

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