Saturday, May 18, 2019

A TALE OF TWO SYSTEMS

(Posted by frenchie)


On November 2018 two different, but in many ways similar incidents occurred
at two different schools on our island of Guam.

One happened at the George Washington High School.
The other took place at the Mt Carmel Catholic Middle School.


In both cases, the incidents involved minors having inappropriate relations with adults who should have been trusted with their care and well being.


Without going into the disturbing details, the incidents at George Washington High School resulted in the suicide of two teenagers, while at the Mt Carmel Catholic Middle School, the extent of the damage has not reached that level yet, Lets hope it never does.


In both cases the trust that was put in the adults who we suppose have the best interests of our children was betrayed.


Yet as of now the ways both the Guam Department of Education, and the Department of Catholic Education have handled both cases, are standing in Polar opposition.


I have gone along two different articles this week over the very dismal reaction of the Catholic administration, in regards to the allegations at Mt Carmel.

For those who are interested in more details, you can consult the interviews, and interview attempts of several of the actors involved below and judge for yourselves.
watch and listen here (starts at 34.55)
watch here (starts at 39.00)

In contrast to this culture of silence that smacks in total opposition to the very public positions of the Archbishop on the subject of child abuse; the director of the Guam Department of Education, has granted interviews, where he is as forthcoming as possible, and has taken immediate administrative  measures to allay the concerns of parents, as related to his administration.
Watch here (starts at 7.22)

The contrast could not be more evident between one administration, which clearly is very embarrassed by what led to the suicide of these teenagers,but is willing to investigate; and the other administration return to the darkest days of the Apuron reign.




Why do we have this eerie feeling of "Deja vu, all over again"?

As I said on many occasions, when Archbishop Byrnes first arrived on our shores, he benefited of a huge thirst by the faithful for a new era of honesty and leadership.
Basically Catholics of this island had a need for the antithesis of everything Apuron ever stood for.

So when Archbishop Byrnes started meeting many of the catholic groups from Guam, there was great hope that, as he seemed to listen intently to everyone, that positive change would prevail.

One of the suggestion that the Archbishop failed to follow and/or act upon was that he enact a clear and definite break with everything related to the old administration.   

In its stead he chose to keep many of, for lack of a better explanation, what could be called the deep state of the Apuron machine of corruption.
This is how we ended up with the likes of Tony Diaz, Fr Jeff, Msgr James, in key positions in his administration.
This is why he kept the same assistant than Apuron, believing honestly that all these actors had seen the light, and turned a page for the better.
So far, this analysis seems to have erred.

Again I will underline that the task facing him was herculean, at best.
The pass chosen to deal with these issues, was certainly not the wisest.

One of the most obvious issue is the lack of any actions in regards to the NCW.
Beside naming a Deacon, as Vicar to the NCW, and a few reassignments of some of their presbyters, nothing positive has happened on that front. One could even argue that the situation on the ground might be even worse that it was upon Apuron's departure.
But a whole article about this would be necessary.

Surprise of all surprises it would seem that the NCW is very involved in the alleged coverup of the Mt Carmel Child illegal custody/ possible kidnapping/ongoing relationship between an adult and a 12 years old. I am choosing not to cover this further until more verified information can be made available.

One thing seems to be clear: it is that wishing to have a better and different result with the same people that participated in, and abetted the Apuron administration, turned out to be a foolish endeavour.

Lets hope that our leadership will come to terms with this truth.


Notes: I have sent official questions to Tony Diaz for clarifications about the many grey areas in this very disturbing case at Mt Carmel. So far I have only received a receipt from Tony Diaz that he received my questions. I shall keep you posted if and when the communication office of the Archdiocese find it agreeable to let us know their side of the story. It should be very revealing of what is and what is not happening at the Chancery.
May the Holy Spirit guide Archbishop Byrnes in the right passage.


St Michael the Archangel protect us in battle.
Most Holy Apostle St Jude Thaddeus, friend of Jesus, I place myself in your care at this difficult time

Thursday, May 16, 2019

FROM BOB

Monday, May 13, 2019
THE CCU, BIG RAISES, LACK OF TRANSPARENCY, CONSPIRACY AND TAP DANCING

The CCU's playing fast and loose with the Open Government Law and tap dancing instead of complying with the Sunshine Law prompted me to send this letter to the CCU. CONTINUED

A BIGGER MESS THAN IT FIRST LOOKS LIKE.

(Posted by frenchie)

Right when we all thought things were getting better at the Archdiocese, 
we are painfully reminded, that just because we swept some unpleasant things under the carpet, it does not mean that things are all well under the sun.
Far from it, as you shall see.

The alleged rape of a 12 year old girl by an employee of Mt Carmel School just threw a huge ripple in the calm waters that appeared to have settled around us.

What seems to be the issue?

As we presented yesterday, Kandit News, the online news network has been investigating an alleged rape by a custodian of the Mt Carmel School of a 12 years old female student.

What do we know so far?
  
We know that the rape did not take place on the premises of the School, but rather on a parking lot at GPO in Tamuning on a Friday, back in November.
We know that it was reported by fellow students of the girl to the parents.

From here, it is still confused  on what happened between the moment of the alleged incident and the time it was reported the following Monday, which is in contravention of the Child protection law. (there are time limits for the reporting of such incident)

The press secretary for the Chancery Tony Diaz has made several declarations to Kandit News regarding this case, but the least we can say, it is that his statements were confused and confusing.
There is a strong possibility of course, that he has not been given all the information necessary by people in the know. I shall come back to that.

Meanwhile Kandit News has interviewed Mr Sarmiento from the School, the GPD  the Child protection agency and the governor's office, as well as the Attorney General.

So far it appears that according to the GPD and the Governor's office no report was filed with the GPD.Or if one was filed, it cannot be found at this time.
As you can see , it appears that there are several areas of confusion.

What has the chancery done so far?

 That is a very good question, there are many zones of mystery.

As of now the Chancery does not recognize, and/or had not be made aware by the reporting parties that there was an issue.
According to Mr Diaz, as far as he knows this is just a case of inappropriate relationship between an adult and a minor.
The adult in question is no longer employed by the school.
It sounds as if for the administration at the Chancery, the case is closed and they did all the appropriate reporting, even though Mr Diaz admits that the Archdiocese did not reach out to the parents of the girl.

So, what is the problem?

Lets go back and review what we know, that both Guamblog, and Kandit News did not report on.

The alleged incident took place back in November of 2018

We are aware on Junglewatch that during that period of time, Archbishop Byrnes was traveling on the mainland, both for personal reasons, and to attend a meeting of the USCCB, which ironically enough was attempting to streamline their policies regarding child abuse, and how to create channels to better report these issues and avoid future coverup.

While Archbishop Byrnes is absent the two persons in charge of the Diocese are the Chancellor and the Vicar General.
During that period, this would have been Paul Fisher and Fr Jeff San Nicolas.


The proper channel of reporting for the school principal, after he enacted an initial inquiry would be to notify the superintendent of Catholic Schools.
So far, the Chancery has not clarified if that was the case, or if Mr Sarmiento the Principal of Mt Carmel did indeed report to the superintendent of Catholic Schools, or if he first notified the owner of the School (attorney Phillips).

This last issue is very important because if the chain of command was properly followed we should not have in principle the mess we have now, and the obvious lack of knowledge from the press secretary.

What did Mr Sarmiento actually do?

From the different testimonies that have surfaced, we know that the child was interviewed by the Principal either before the Monday after the incident or after, that is not yet clear.
We do not know if the parents of the child were present at the time of her interview by the principal.

Here lies the first issue:
  • During the interview the child actually told the principal that she had been dating the Custodian for more that two months.
  • Why on earth then did Mr Sarmiento concluded that this was only a custodial interference?
A relationship of a child of less than 14 years of age with an adult (she is 12) is considered as rape, because the law considers that a child that age, does NOT have the intellectual capacities to choose on her/His own.


2 We still do not know who filed the report with both the GPD and the CPS 
Was it the principal Mr Sarmiento?
or 
Was it the office of the Superintendent of Catholic schools? 

3 In any case, was the filing done with the knowledge of the Chancellor and the Vicar General?

or
Were both the Chancellor and the Vicar General told  afterwards.

This is important because if either the Principal or the Superintendent filed the report the way they did, after they consulted with the Chancellor and the Vicar General, then we have a huge problem.

Why would the Chancellor (a trained Lawyer) and the Vicar General would choose to file a custodial interference after they were made aware that the adult was dating this child for several months already?

If they did so, this would be grossly negligent.
  1. On a purely moral point of view
  2. because it would go against the Archdiocese own instructions
  3. because it would amount to a false report
Finally when the Archbishop came back from his trip, was he made aware of this case? 
What was he told?
The little we know about Archbishop Byrnes is that he is a person of principles.
If he was given the true picture, it seems he would have taken corrective action.
INSTEAD, WE ARE LEARNING ABOUT THIS 6 MONTHS LATER THANKS TO THE INVESTIGATIVE WORK OF TWO LOCAL ONLINE INVESTIGATORS.
THIS IS DEEPLY TROUBLING .
THE ARCHBISHOP HIMSELF NEEDS TO TELL US WHAT HAPPENED AFTER HE HAS FOUND ANSWERS TO THESE TROUBLING QUESTIONS.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

THE MORE IT CHANGES, THE MORE IT STAYS THE SAME

(Posted by frenchie)



With over 200 sexual abuses lawsuits going through the court system and the subsequent chapter 11 reorganization of the finances of Archdiocese, one could conclude that officials at the 
Chancery would be doing their out most to follow up on any allegations of sexual abuse.

After the dismal administration of Apuron and his minions, and the replacement of Deacon Martinez by Deacon Charos, aka Deacon for sure for sure, following his catastrophic cover up against 
Apuron by the late John Toves; the faithful were elated by the new
 approach of our then newly appointed Archbishop: Michal Jude Byrnes.

Archbishop Byrnes while facing a mountain of issues, left by his inept and corrupted predecessor,
seemed to take the bull by the horns.
He did put in place a set of procedures for the Church to identify and recognize victims.
He initiated a third way for victims that did not want to sue.
He put in place a reporting system for any abuse that may arise in the future.
He also made it mandatory for all personnel inside the Church and in the Schools affiliated with the Church to go through a sensitivity training, as well as a background check.

Actually one can easily follow this comprehensive program on the Archdiocese website.

So far Archbishop Byrnes has talked the talk, and started addressing a long litany of soar issues.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

MY NAME IS "JOHN CHARLES ADA TOVES"


Now that the local media has come out with a sort of "in memoriam" piece about John Toves and his role in the exposition of a clergy abuse scandal that is, per capita, now 400% bigger than the Boston scandal which led to the Academy Award winning movie, "Spotlight," you may want to read (or re-read) the REST OF THE  STORY. 


BTW: Where is Adrian?

Monday, May 6, 2019

PDN: WERE IT NOT FOR ONE MAN

Guam priests' child sexual abuses would have remained a dark secret were it not for 1 man


Back when no one dared to publicly accuse any Guam priest, much less the archbishop, of sexually abusing a child, former Agat resident John Toves did so in 2014.

It was about 12 years after the Archdiocese of Boston's sex abuse scandal exposed widespread wrongdoing in the American Roman Catholic Church. CONTINUED

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