Saturday, June 30, 2018


(Posted by Frenchie)
The Godfather of the Neos, could not have chosen a better operation base, that New Jersey.
It is really ironic, but often truth is stranger than fiction.

The Next three  items on our list into the planned return of the Neos on the forefront in Guam are:

  • Create and/or capitalize on the  tensions within the local Clergy.
  • Try to separate some of the Filipino priests from the rest.
  • Use the Neo Presbyters as Trojan Horses in the Church

*Capitalize on the tensions within the local Clergy.

I am sure that most of us have heard the old adage of " dividing to better rule". If anyone has been successful doing this here on Guam, the Neos have developed this into a Gold Medal winning talent.

As we have seen a couple of days ago, the Neos have not even had to create tension within the local Clergy. Thanks to a few misplaced egos, this is already happening. Many of the diocesan priests are very unhappy at some of the decisions taken. It is rumored that the Capuchins are particularly incensed by a list of issues that have been put on the back burner.

If that is the case , it would be a great error. Short of Archbishop Byrnes taking some  strong leadership on some key issues, we could slowly slide back in a quagmire of internecine feuds.

The Neos just need to blow a little bit on the ambers laid in front of them, for the fire to start all over again. It is almost child play.

No wonder then, that some of our brightest minds and most generous souls are feeling so dejected.
Short of the laity giving our priests a piece of our mind on the subject, we are on a very slippery slope.

One of the most glaring example of this can be seen in the latest Aviso, (see the post from 6/15: "shake a roo" ) A previous Aviso from April had announced the leaving of the Rector of the Cathedral, for a new appointment at "Our Lady of Lourdes Church" in Yigo, as parochial Vicar.
Originally this was a temporary assignment until he would become the Pastor of said parish.
The move was extremely well received at this parish, since most of its Chamorro members were quite discontented with their Pastor, and his lack of involvement or interest in things related to the parish.
Yet just a few weeks before the Aviso of late June, it was discovered that the Vicar General had personally intervened to modify this, and name someone else as Pastor.

The grumblings at Our Lady of Lourdes became loud complaints, until the parochial vicar begged members of the community to abide by the decision. This has worked for the moment, but the anger could catch back very easily.

Of course the blog of Diana, immediately pounced on this issue, as a demonstration of the dissension among the diocesan priests. This created a whole new conspiracy theory on that site. I will revisit this issue later.

* Try to separate some of the Filipino priests from the rest.

The history of Filipino priests on Guam, is a long and sometime painful one.
The Spaniards were the first ones to bring Filipino personnel to Guam, some of the first priests here, were actually Filipinos trained by the Spanish.
Later after world war II, and the subsequent shortage of priest, more Filipino priests came to our shores.
The large expansion of the Filipino population on Guam has accelerated, where they are now the largest minority on island. As such, the need to address the particularities of that community within the Church are real and substantial.

By the same token, the caliber and devotion of the "imported" priests, varies widely from one individual to the other. As I have written on a couple of occasions, some of these priests, who came in the priesthood for reasons of economics, rather than by true vocation, are posing a series of problem, both of short and long term.

We have seen how Apuron used Incardination (or not) as a weapon to bend Filipino priests to his will. This in turn had led to some complex and disturbing situations. The Neos never at a loss to capitalize on an opportunity recruited some influential Filipino priests in their ranks. The fact that these individuals were easily bought and paid for, eased the process. This led to some internal conflicts that are still existing today, even though things are not as overt, as they once were.

Two more disturbing and more recent cases, are the one of the Pastor, whose brother is a fugitive from Justice, who makes frequent visits back to the Philippines, and whose accounting procedures are to say the least, unconventional. The other being the case of a priest who had been sent back to the Philippines, because of a tryst with one of his parishioners, which led to the destruction of her marriage, and the loud complaints of the jilted husband. Yet, this individual was allowed back as a priest here on Guam, and was recently promoted to a position of trust at the Cathedral Basilica.

The Fact that the Vicar General, does not see these issues as a long term threat for our Archdiocese is to say the least disturbing. Specially since the NCW is fully aware of these issues and are working hard to capitalize on it.

*Use the Neo Presbyters as Trojan Horses 

Here, we have one of the most potentially destructive, and yet most unknown quantity .
We are aware of who the presbyters are, even when we are less clear about who the Neo deacons are.

Yet, at the same time, there seems to be a lack of urgency to address this capital issue, at the Chancery. While the Neos have spent the last year and a half describing themselves as the victims of a campaign of hate and of persecution, the fact remains that the Neo presbyters are still in place in Agat, Merizo and Umatac, Barrigada, that two were nominated at new parishes in Ordot and Agafa Gumas, while two others are in the Chaplaincy and one is parochial vicar at the largest parish on the Island.
The Neo's deacons are still in their respective parishes, one even has an open column in the Yumatuna Si Y'uos. This is hardly a movement facing persecution.

The fact that the Chancery does not seem willing and/or able to address this challenge, has created some strong tensions with some of the orders in the Archdiocese. Again, while the Neos constantly undermine the Archbishop at every step, it is obvious that he has chosen to turn the other cheeck, rather than address their blatant and obvious disrespect and opened challenges to his authority.

Finally there is the issue of the ghost presbyters, who are Incardinated in Guam but are either absent or falling under the euphemism of " on Mission"

The official tally is as follow:
*Fr Luis Camacho, and Fr Adrian Cristobal are "off island"  (on the run)
* Fr Harold Colorado, Fr Pedro Durango, Fr Santiago Flor-Caravia, Fr Jason Granado, Fr Edivaldo Oliveira, Fr Art Stora, Fr John Wadeson are still listed as "on Mission" That is seven people on our payroll, that are someplace else. Plus two runaways whose status is unclear.
Some have been spotted in Rome, during their last "pilgrimage" posing as victims of persecutions with the Guam delegation.
I don't know if you think that there is a double standard here, but I certainly do.

Next week we shall address the last two items on our list. Have a great weekend and a Blessed Sunday.

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