Monday, December 30, 2019


Yesterday, December 29, 2019, there was an article in one of the local papers about the imposition of the pallium on Archbishop Byrnes. Essentially, publicly celebrates Archbishop Byrnes as the new Archbishop of Agana.

Coincidentally (?) today, Facebook reminded me of the main event which eventually led to our new Archbishop.

The PDN article is no longer available, but the JungleWatch link is.

Thursday, December 19, 2019


Note: The article, though posted to the subject website on 12/17/19, appears to have been originally written and published just after the first announcement that Apuron had been found guilty. However, it is an article that JungleWatch hasn't seen before and it develops the backstory of Apuron's relationship with the NCW. 

Guam Catholic Church sees a “perfect storm” of controversy

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — The Catholic Church on the Pacific island of Guam has been devastated by allegations that its longtime archbishop sexually abused altar boys. But even before the scandal broke, Guam‘s church was divided over another issue — the presence of a controversial European lay movement that became so toxic that a community of nuns fled to the mainland U.S. in despair. CONTINUED

Monday, December 16, 2019


 (posted by Frenchie)

It has been a week now since the official announcement of the departure of Filoni as head of the Congregation for the Evangelization of people.

On many Catholic publication around the world, much has been made about Pope Francis choice for his replacement: Cdl Tagle of the Philippines.

Most of the Press in Italy, and around the world, has drawn parallels between the positions of Tagle and those of Pope Francis. Many have speculated that Francis has been laying the way for a possible successor . For us on Guam this is quite remote from our daily realities.

We know that he is knowledgeable about Guam, and that he is personally close to some of the priests on the island.
We can remember how he came to celebrate the anniversary of Msgr James,  at the Cathedral, before the latter fell victim to Apuron's accusationsof mismanagement and other issues.

This can be helpful, if some individuals resist the temptation of playing fast and loose with their private connection with the Cardinal.
Unfortunately we have learned the hard way, how some of our Priests have put their own interest ahead of the interest of the local and universal Church.

Therefore we should be very watchful, and pray intently, that these temptations do not come in the way of the efforts of Archbishop Byrnes to heal and correct the wrongs that were committed by priests that abused their position of authority.

It is our duty as parishioner to stay alert and demanding of our priests.

As far as the NCW is concerned, this is not good news. They loose one of their most devoted patron, and they have inherited instead a sometimes very critical observer.
Some of us at Junglewatch had watch with close concern the winning bidder of the Yona property.
All indications were leading to a possible reactivation of RMS in Yona, along the lines of the Tokyo and Macau latest development by Cardinal Filoni.
It is very interesting that only 4 days after the Red Pope was out of the picture, the "buyer" suddenly relented on their offer.
Tim should develop this interesting story in more details at a later date.
It looks like we came very closed to biting the bullet on that subject.

This new development is bringing us both opportunities and challenges.
Keep posted, and be watchful.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019


(Posted by Frenchie)

Rumors had been running wild, in the Vatican for the last few weeks.
That is not really surprising in a place, where secret alliances, back stabbing and other shenanigans are held dear by a large part of some of the Princes of the Church.
Yet, the rumors became insistent  before the weekend,
and became official just over the weekend.
Cardinal Filoni, aka the red Pope was out of his job as head of the 
Congregation for the Evangelization of People.

That does not mean that Filoni is totally out of power, far from it.
He still sits on many important congregations, and has build an unparalleled 
network of patronage, and people that owe him favors.

Yet, his alliance with some of the conservatives in name only, in Rome, did not endear him to Francis or his cadre of liberation theologists.

While his former friend and temporary enemy Cardinal Pirolin suffered a 
one, two punch after the disaster of the negotiations with Beijing, where Filoni was also involved and severely criticized by Cardinal Zen, the emeritus Archbishop of Hong Kong and the de facto spiritual leader of Chinese Catholic; it put a damper on his stellar reputation of great diplomat.

There was also a long list of complaints by the Bishops of Japan about the authoritarian practices of Filoni.
We also are very well aware of the disastrous PR  that became the Scandal of Apuron, around the world, at a time when Francis did not need icing on his cake.
In fact the delaying tactics of Filoni, made several influential people very uncomfortable.

Finally his new tactic to open RMS under his direct tutelage and without really asking the local bishops, was a nail in the coffin.

The other defining factor was that Francis needed a high profile position to promote who is seen by many as an heir to the papal throne.

As you see, in Rome politics is always part of the picture.
The more it changes, the more it stays the same.

Next: what we can expect from his successor.