Friday, February 25, 2022


 Posted by frenchie.


The Cathedral Basilica of Agana, was rebuild after two destruction in a row, caused first by the Japanese invasion and subsequent fighting to regain control from them, the other from natural disaster which befall our beautiful island from time to time.

On both occasions the people of Guam, and the strong Catholic community which has been the backbone of its civil society, found the courage and determination to rebuild bigger and better.

The latest major catastrophic event to strike the Guam Catholic Community was the decades of corrupt and devious leadership of Anthony Apuron, which led waste to the moral fiber of our Church, and allowed for the development and expansion of weak and corrupt civil leaders, who unlike their forefathers have lost almost all moral bearings in how they handle themselves and the trust of people who put them in office. This is what  some have called, a perfect storm.

This is nothing new. World History is replete with examples of decadent moral teachers who have led their community down the path of personal weakness, questioning of their system of values, loss of self-respect, and contempt for the other....

The latest plandemic was the revelation of the many evils that have slowly percolated through our civil system of responsibility or lack thereof. It has revealed how a few manipulative actors, used fear and lies to advance their narrow agenda at the expense of the general good. This should not surprise us Catholics. We have been warned from times immemorial about the fractures that allow for the fumes of evil to envelop us. We are at this cross in the road, where inaction and personal timidity could lead us to very dire consequences. 

After almost a week of testimonies in the Federal Court in Agana, we would like to decrypt what has transpired from these hearings. We shall also pose several uncomfortable questions about the path chosen by the Chancery representatives.


Over the last week, which you can follow with our day to day reports, several major facts have been revealed.

First : the previous ruling that was taken in the summer of 2021, by Judge Tydingco-Gatewood, allowed the plaintiffs aka the Committee for the Creditors, to include parishes and school assets in their quest for a financial settlement.

The hearings are taking place to identify the validity of some of the statements that were brought forth by the defense team for the Archdiocese.

What we have observed is the slow, grinding painful teeth of questioning of the people who filed written declarations in favor of their parish and/or school.

Before the trial the main hammer for the creditors, lawyers from the large legal firm of Stinson LLP based in Minneapolis MN had successfully argued that elements of the Canon Law of the Catholic Church were not allowed to be presented.

The main strategy of these lawyers is to question each individual, in order to strike out  all or part of their declarations. In order to achieve said results they have a very boring, and crude, but highly efficient method.

Establish the credential of the interviewee, establish that they are the author of the statement, try to take out part of their testimony as hearsay, for not being first hand personal knowledge. Finally trying to impeach the whole statement based on the testimony given

The defense strategy is to apparently redirect the conversation to the original narrative, and try to weasel in some factors they were not able to include earlier .

The plaintiffs' attorneys have been very aggressive and contentious, as they should be. Objecting to many of the questions by the defense. The result being that even if they end up being overruled by the Judge, it gives an impression that the defendants are trying to hide facts.

Overall results so far:

We are coming into the last day of testimony, before both parties are allowed to present their closing arguments to the Judge, apparently on Monday morning at 9.00am.

The testimonies so far have been laborious. Some witnesses have been better at presenting their story than others. This is not surprising, if you consider the diversity of people called.

The attorneys for the "creditors" have been diligent, aggressive and for the most part successful in their endeavor. They have avoided some of the cultural mistakes from the first day of testimony, and have navigated around these obstacles quite well.

The attorneys for the defense, looked like deer in the headlights on the first day. They were fully unprepared for the first cross examination. This was addressed the following days. Mr Andersen doing a very effective cross examination with the Archdiocese CFO Josephine Villanueva (who had several flippant moment) Yet they were totally passive regarding the repeated infringements of the plaintiffs' attorney into the Canon law domain, never calling an objection to the scandalous use by both attorneys of liturgical approach into a civil matter. An issue that they had the judge ruled on their favor.

The attorneys for the creditors consistently using the phrase "one body" which is of the canonical domain, as a civil argument. This should have been raised as an issue from the get go, and it was not at any time in the process. How can we justify paying six lawyers to be so passive in court?

Today the last witnesses shall be called, to include Archbishop Byrnes, who still appear to be very tired  and distracted.


Overall things are not looking up for the defense, their lackluster performance, their choice of strategy have given the plaintiffs a strong opportunity to add properties that were in existence well before the Archdiocese incorporated itself in the mid 1970s. Yet they also never made that argument to the court.

It really does not look like the millions of dollars spent to defend the Archdiocese from excessive demands have not been money well spent.

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