Friday, July 12, 2024

STRANGE NUMBERS

By Tim Rohr

I wonder what's next. Last month we had one of the highest numbers of views in the history of this blog (102,753). The interest appeared to coincide with the appointment of a new archbishop for Guam.  

This month, July - and we're not even half-way into it - we have already had 268,116 views, and 205,000 views just this past week, a week where the news was focused on the archbishop-to-be.

I took a look at the post which were getting the most views over the last seven days and once again, they are years-old posts from the days of the Apuron-Neocat wars.

What's next?

 




Thursday, July 11, 2024

THE TRUTH ABOUT CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE



LINK to online version. Links to references added.

Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League, has written a book titled “The Truth About Clergy Sexual Abuse: Clarifying the Facts and Causes.”

Donohue does a good job at not letting the Catholic Church (“the Church”) off the hook, rightly criticizing its leadership all the way up to the popes.

However, Donohue also lays much of the blame on the media, lawyers, the culture, and particularly the sexual revolution.

Not that he isn’t right about how all of that contributed to the problem, but like many who have theorized about this mess, Donohue, for the most part, misses the mark.

I say “for the most part” because he bumps into it in a late chapter, but doesn’t see it as the root cause. I do. I shall explain.

The clergy sex abuse crisis, as it came to be known, began in the late 1960’s, peaked in the 70’s, and began to taper off in the 80’s.

Those years coincide with the greatest period of cultural revolution in modern times, so it’s easy to see why defenders like Donohue claim that the Church, at least in America, was swept up by the times.

However, such a view would hold: “As the World goes, so goes the Church.” And that’s not true. The truth is: “As the Church goes, so goes the World.” This is based in Christ’s own words “you are the light of the world, you are the salt of the earth.”

In other words, the Church has all the grace needed to “overcome the world” because Jesus has already done it. So it’s a slap in our Redeemer’s face to blame “the world,” the sexual revolution, the times, the culture, whatever.

1968 is the year most agree is when the aforesaid revolution exploded. So the Church cannot say “the world made me do it” because there was already a revolution happening in the Church since the close of Vatican II three years earlier in 1965 - as evidenced by the beginnings of a mass exodus of priests and nuns and the collapse in vocations which continues to this day.

Aside from what the Council promulgated, the real problem is what the Council created: an expectation of change. And nowhere was this expectation more fevered than the possibility of separating sex from progeny: artificial birth-control - specifically “the pill.”

Interestingly, birth-control, by order of both Pope John 23 and Paul 6, was not a topic on the table at the Council. A separate commission, the Birth Control Commission, had been instituted, first by John and then expanded by Paul, to address it.

For Pope Paul, the commission was a disaster. Its members voted 64-2 to permit married couples to contracept. I say “disaster” because the prohibition on contraception is something no pope or commission had or has the power to change. So what was Paul to do?

Well, he wrote the encyclical Humanae Vitae. But HV did not once and for all condemn contraception as most Catholics think. Nope. The pope left it up to a vote and a future commission. Here’s what he wrote at the outset of the encyclical:

“…the conclusions arrived at by the commission could not be considered by Us as definitive and absolutely certain…because, within the commission itself, there was not complete agreement concerning the moral norms to be proposed…”

In fingering the fact that the commission was “not (in) complete agreement” (even though the vote was 64-2), the pope outright implied, whether he meant to or not, that the teaching could have changed had there been “complete agreement,” and more significantly: one day there might be.

Moreover, why would a pope establish a commission to study the issue if there was no possibility of change? So there was the expectation of change right from the start.

Donohue bumps into this inconvenient fact in Chapter 11: “…had there been no commission…there may have been some discontent but the convulsions that followed would have been avoided.” (By “convulsions,” Donohue is referring to the explosion of clergy sex abuse.)

It mattered not that the pope, in Humanae Vitae, went on to restate the unchangeable teaching of the Church on the matter, he had already let the horse out of the barn.

And that’s all the wild-eyed revolutionaries needed. The sexual revolution in the Church was off and running a whole year before Woodstock; and “the convulsions” - the “filth in the church,” as Pope Benedict labeled it - is exactly what followed.

Tim Rohr has resided in Guam since 1987. He has raised a family of 11 children, owned several businesses, and is active in local issues via his blog, JungleWatch.info, letters to local publications, and occasional public appearances. He may be contacted at timrohr.guam@gmail.com   

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

BILL 318 FUNDS PRE-BORN INFANT MORTALITY

By Tim Rohr


Bill No. 318-37 is set for a public hearing on Tuesday, July 9, 2024 at 9:00AM. There are so many red flags in and around this bill it's almost (sadly) comical.  

First there is the matter that the bill aims to reduce Guam's near 3rd-world infant mortality rate by sending more money to the government agency which - since the outset of the current administration - appears to have been singularly tasked with increasing Guam's infant mortality rate by killing babies before they can make it out of the womb: the Bureau of Women's Affairs.

Second, the bill purports to fund the training of "doulas." By definition, a doula is: "a woman, typically without formal obstetric training, employed to provide guidance and support to a pregnant woman during labor," and/or "a woman employed to provide guidance and support to the mother of a newborn baby." This sounds good, but since when did local women, or women anywhere, forget how to do what nature designed them to do? 

There is much to say about this, including maybe the real problem is the increasing number of pregnant women on drugs or getting beat up by their boyfriends, but aside from that, given the mortality rate that the bill sets out, perhaps the money would be better spent funding the training of midwives - aka women with obstetric training, especially since there is a dearth of OB-GYN's. 

According to a recent Pacific Island Times report:

The OB-GYN shortage in Guam is aggravated by several local factors. For an island with a population of approximately 154,000, there are only seven working OB-GYNs, and most of them are nearing retirement age, with only three working full-time.

In fact, this fact, the shortage of OB-GYN's, is so glaringly related to the increase in the infant mortality rate, that the bill's intent to hand over $400,000 to Guam's most public advocate of abortion, Jayne Flores, the Director of the Bureau of Women's Affairs, instead of funding either the recruitment of more OB-GYN's or at least the training of midwives, that there is little room for doubt that the bill is nothing more than a cover to make sure more women kill more babies before they're born. 

And then when you look at the list of sponsors the true intent of the bill becomes even clearer, especially since the primary sponsor is the guy who crafted the most vicious pro-abortion legislation ever put to paper:

Sponsor(s) - Thomas J. Fisher / Joe S. San Agustin / Roy A. B. Quinata / William A. Parkinson / Dwayne T.D. San Nicolas / Christopher M. Dueñas / Tina Rose Muña Barnes / Jesse A. Lujan / Amanda L. Shelton

Third, this is an old trick that those of us in the abortion wars are used to seeing: virtue signaling by the pro-aborts, i.e. it's "Hey, look at me, I'm pro-life. I care about mothers and children. You bad people, you only care about abortion. You don't give a damn about the baby once it's born, etc., etc., etc."

Is there anyone with more than one brain cell on this island who doesn't think that Jayne Flores (and her governor godmother) will not make sure that these "doulas" will not be trained to counsel pregnant women to abort?

Lastly (even though there's more), given the sponsors' bowing to the altar of political correctness in the language of their bill - where they ignore the fact that nature has dictated that only women can get pregnant - by continually referencing "women and persons who are or who become pregnant…," the funding cannot go to the Bureau of Women's Affairs. Either Jayne will have to change the name of her bureau or she'll need to add "and Persons."



Monday, July 8, 2024

VIGANO EXCOMMUNICATED

 


ROME (AP) — The Vatican on Friday excommunicated its former ambassador to Washington after finding him guilty of schism, an inevitable outcome for Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano. The conservative had became one of Pope Francis ' most ardent critics and a symbol of the polarized Catholic Church in the United States and beyond. CONTINUED

KUAM INTERVIEWS ARCHBISHOP JIMENEZ

Interview: Archbishop-Elect Ryan Jimenez on Pope Francis' appointment


Sunday, July 7, 2024

A GOOD OPPORTUNITY TO REPOST THIS

By Tim Rohr

With the appointment of Bishop Ryan Jimenez to be the new Archbishop of Agana, now is a good time to repost this post from April 2023:

BETTER CATHOLICS - NEOCATECHUMENAL WAY - DIOCESE OF CHALAN KANOA 

Saturday, July 6, 2024

SURE ENOUGH...

By Tim Rohr

Yesterday I noticed that there has been an inordinate amount of activity on this blog. Normal monthly views average around 40,000. However, last month the views numbered 102,753. And this month, only after a few days, the views already number 74,475. 

I was wondering what was driving all that traffic so I looked at the most viewed posts over the last 7 days. Here they are:


The list goes on. All of these are years-old posts from when the Apuron-Neo wars were raging. So I suspected something was about to break. 

And sure enough it did:


Pope Appoints Bishop Ryan Jimenez as Archbishop of Agaña

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(CEPAC, Suva, Fiji) – The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has appointed Most Reverend Ryan P. Jimenez,  Bishop of the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa, as the new Archbishop of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Agaña, Guam. The appointment was officially published on July 6, 2024 (12:00 noon CET Rome).

The Installation Mass will be held on August 15, 2024, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica in Hagatna, Guam.

Archbishop-elect Jimenez is currently the President of CEPAC, the Episcopal Conference of the Pacific (Conferentia Episcopalis Pacifici), and the Vice-President of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania (FCBCO) — which is composed of the bishops conferences of Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and CEPAC. He also serves as a consultant to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Islander  Affairs.

Born and raised in the Philippines, Archbishop-elect Jimenez came as a migrant worker to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) in 1995 and taught at Eskuelan San Francisco de Borja, a Catholic school on the island of Rota. In 1999, he was accepted to the seminary program of the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa; he was ordained to the priesthood on June 8, 2003. In 2010, he was appointed Apostolic Administrator of Chalan Kanoa and, in 2016, as its second bishop.

Archbishop-elect Jimenez began his studies and formation for the priesthood at St. Joseph Seminary College (high school department) in the Diocese of Dumaguete, Philippines. He then transferred to the college program of the Jesuit-run San Jose Seminary in Quezon City, earning an undergraduate degree from the Ateneo de Manila University. Subsequently, he earned three advanced degrees from St. Patrick’s Seminary and University in Menlo Park, California: Bachelor of Sacred Theology (STB), Master of Divinity (MDiv), and Master of Arts in Theology (MA). In 2025, he expects to graduate from the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education at Fordham University, the Jesuit University of New York, with a Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree.

Since March 28, 2023, the Very Reverend Romeo Convocar has served as the Apostolic Administrator of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Agaña following the resignation of Archbishop Michael Byrnes due to health reasons.

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Photo info: The Most Reverend Ryan P. Jimenez,  Bishop of the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa, meets with Pope Francis at the Vatican in Rome in this file photo provided by CEPAC, the Episcopal Conference of the Pacific.

Thursday, July 4, 2024

FR. CARLOS MARTINS, ST. JUDE, AND THE VIGANO REPORT

By Tim Rohr


This past weekend I was blessed to be in the presence of a relic of one of the original Twelve Apostles: Saint Jude. The relic is a portion of the Saint's arm and it is "touring" the U.S. under the protection of Fr. Carlos Martins, a well-known exorcist. Here is a video recording of Fr. Martins giving a homily about the relic of St. Jude. 

In addition to being an exorcist, he is also an excellent homilist and he posts a short sermon each Sunday on Facebook. While scrolling through his posts I happened upon a post from August 2018 in response to Archbishop Vigano's damning "tell-all" letter from the same month.

I wrote about this letter in a recent post and demonstrated the direct connection between Archbishop Vigano's letter and how it led to Apuron's removal. So I found Fr. Martins FB post on the matter very intriguing. I copy it here:

August 26, 2018

I just spent the last two hours on the phone with a friend in the Vatican Curia.  He said that the news of Archbishop Viganò has hit the Curia like an atomic bomb.  Two things are universally noted regarding Viganò: 1) He is highly respected as a professional, and 2) His Curial positions gave him clear access to the damning information he reported.  In other words, he is not a hack, and he is not relying on rumor.  This makes his report absolutely worthy of belief.

Viganò always had a reputation for being a combatant of internal Vatican corruption.  In fact, during the Vatican leaks scandal, whistle-blowing reports that he authored were among the main documents that were leaked.  This was an attempt by the persons he outed to pre-empt the report’s impact and suck the energy out of the attempt to investigate their claims.  Naturally, the subsequent energy went into investigating the Vatileaks situation in general, and Viganò was exiled as Nuncio to the United States for being a trouble maker who produced “erroneous assessments” (words from a joint statement issued by Cardinal-President Emeritus Giovanni Lajolo, President Giuseppe Bertello, Secretary-General Giuseppe Sciacca and former Vice Secretary-General Giorgio Corbellini on behalf of the Governatorate of the Vatican).   To put this kind of demotion in perspective, as Delegate for Pontifical Representations—a position from which he was THEN PROMOTED to Secretary General of the Governatorate— Viganò was in charge of all the Apostolic Nunciatures in the world.  Thus, when garbage was reported to the Holy See on a bishop or Cardinal—like it was with McCarrick of Washington, DC—Viganò was the first to know about it, because his desk is where the information landed.  For him to be demoted as the Nuncio to the USA, from having been promoted to as the Vatican’s number 3 administrator behind the pope, was severe, to say the least.  In other words, Viganò is not a hack, but a highly respected individual who had been regularly promoted for doing his job well.

In the words of the Curial official I spoke with this afternoon, what Viganò has reported “makes the Borgia popes look like saints.”  The feeling in the Curia right now is that the response of Viganò’s enemies will to try to discredit him personally, both because of the impeccability of Viganò’s character and the impossibility of his having interpreted the facts incorrectly.  Their only hope will be to try to take energy away from the perversion and corruption that he uncovered.  They will likely state that he is a bitter man who is seeking personal aggrandizement after having been exiled from Rome.  When this occurs, don’t buy into it.  Viganò is retired.  He has nothing personally to gain from this.

Friends, my advice to you is to write your bishop and demand that he request a COMPLETE AND FULL INVESTIGATION into the allegations brought forward by Archbishop Viganò.  We are at a watershed moment in the life of the Church.  If we don’t protect her from the wolves that have crawled into her and dwell inside her, we then have only ourselves to blame when more sheep are eaten alive, and the Church loses even more credibility in the eyes of the world. Archbishop Viganò’s report is a call to all the sons and daughters of the Church to personally intervene for her own health and safety.

Cardinal Raymond Burke and Bishop Joseph Strickland (Bishop of Tyler, Texas) have already issued statements today calling for the same.  Add your authority to theirs.  Write your bishop today.  Then write to Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and request the same, and copy the letter you sent to your bishop.  Letters to Cardinal DiNardo can mailed to:

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
President of the USCCB
Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
1700 San Jacinto St.
Houston, Texas 77002

Then, also write the Apostolic Nuncio and copy everything you sent to the bishops:

His Excellency, Archbishop Christophe Pierre 
Apostolic Nuncio tot the United States
3339 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC  20008-3610