Sunday, January 1, 2023


By Tim Rohr

In my initial response to Troy Torres’ editorial, “The archdiocese is a mess and needs a leader,” I noted that there were “some holes…and other missing links” in Troy’s history of what I’ll refer to as the "BJ Cruz matter" and mentioned that I might fill in the holes and missing links at some point. 

Troy responded that he was “very much looking forward to (my) next piece on this.” 

It’s actually a very small hole, but first I shall copy the following from Troy’s editorial:

“A mutual friend of Guam Public Auditor Benjamin F. Cruz, Jr. vouched for Mr. Cruz’s devotion to his Catholic faith during a tumultuous time for him. Apparently, when Mr. Cruz introduced a same-sex marriage statute and was attacked (quite ironically) by now-disgraced former Archbishop Anthony Apuron, the former legislative speaker continued going to Mass. Our friend despised how Apuron and others were treating Mr. Cruz. (Cruz)…tried convincing our friend to remain faithful despite the shortcomings of the church’s leaders. 'F***that,' this friend said of the Archdiocese of Agana. And just like that, the church lost yet another parishioner."

It appears that the "attack" referred to is an incident that occurred between certain members of the legislature, including Mr. Cruz, and select members of the clergy at a meeting at the Guam Hilton in October 2009. 

The clergy initiated the meeting and the senators showed up thinking that they were going to have a civil discussion with church leaders about same-sex legislation. Instead of a civil discussion, Apuron handed the senators a three-page letter functionally threatening his guests with damnation and inferring that gay men should be put to death.

Read it for yourself on Wikipedia.

The meeting promptly imploded, the legislative members stormed out, and the media, waiting outside the door, caught Apuron on camera, running towards the parking lot under a hail of questions from reporters. 

When I heard about what happened I was furious. I was furious because I was the one who had helped plan the meeting. In fact, the meeting was my idea. And my idea was simply to have a civil discussion wherein both sides were to be heard, with the church side sticking with what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says and little more. In other words "keep your mouth shut and let the Church do the talking."

When I saw the letter, I knew immediately what had happened. The whole thing had been hijacked by the Neo's, and in particular, a neo-priest, a "professor" at Redemptoris Mater Seminary, a certain Fr. Francis Walsh. Walsh had written the letter. In fact, for several years, Walsh ghost-wrote most of what Apuron officially said about anything.

I knew Walsh wrote the letter because he had shared a draft of it with me prior to the meeting. However, I thought that what became "the letter" was something Walsh intended to publish as a letter to the editor under his own name - something he often did, and even then I objected to Walsh's reference to Islam and advised him to stick with documented Church teaching, i.e. "the Catechism."

This was about four years before the whole NCW mess with RMS blew up followed by the horrid details of the sex-abuse scandal that sent Apuron running away forever. But it was my first real tip that Apuron was not only not running things, but that he was a complete stooge for what I'll call the "New Jersey Machine."

But back to Mr. Cruz. Cruz is welcome to correct me if I'm wrong, but I always believed that he was not all that interested in championing same-sex legislation otherwise he would have done it long before and would not have waited to be prompted to do it by the Guam Youth Congress (which produced the original bill). 

Like many who live a lifestyle considered to be outside the norm, Cruz never struck me as a person who wanted to rub people's face in it, but because of his high profile, once it was pushed forward by the Youth Congress, he felt obligated to take up that "flag." 

In fact, Cruz sort of proved this when he later modified the initial bill, which sought to legalize same-sex civil unions, to a much tamer domestic partnership bill which allowed for a legal status for both same-sex and opposite sex couples without some of the legal trappings of marriage - if I'm remembering this correctly. 

I'm not sure why, but I was pretty impetuous back then, and I took on Cruz in the media multiple times. To his credit, he was careful not to respond when he didn't need to. In fact, I distinctly remember him telling the media that he "didn't want to get into a pissing match" with me. LOL. 

All the while though, I was aware that Cruz stayed true to his faith...and never left Jesus because of Judas. 

By the way, that early impetuousness on my part would come in handy four years later when I ended up in a real pissing match with Apuron and the New Jersey Machine. 

I'm done with that. Except for the book, and maybe the movie. 

Happy New Year. 


  1. Thank you for educating us on what happened, Tim.

  2. Thank you for the opportunity to shed light on a really misunderstood "thing" from my past where I was cast as Guam's homophobe enemy no. 1 simply because I stated and restated what the Catholic Church teaches and has always taught when our bishop wouldn't and defaulted to his handlers to do stupid stuff like what I documented above. There's a lot more and I have it all somewhere. Somewhere. But never mind. The above post contains the essential fact. All the best to Mr. Cruz. He actually came into my bookstore one day and bought a book about what the Church teaches on homosexuality. I was humbled. I actually liked the guy. A good man.