The grassroots movement in the Archdiocese of Agana seeking removal of Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron has blown up into a towering inferno. It deals with four victims alleging the archbishop sexually molested them years ago. Troubling!
Initially, I dismissed it as a war of accusations and denials. The narrative shifted as more former altar boys came forward with accusations. It came right in the midst of the resignation of board members—a group under the archdiocese—responsible for investigating reported priestly pedophilia. Wasn’t this issue a national scandal in recent past?
I asked for additional information from my cousin, David J. Sablan, vice president of the Concerned Catholics of Guam, Inc., just to secure a clear history of the entire nine yards and to do justice to the issue.
Appalling the calculated agenda by Apuron who allegedly corralled money and property belonging to the Archdiocese of Agana to the Neocatechumenal Way organization headed by people from without the island. It begins to show why Apuron allegedly wanted control of the seminary property in Yona (worth about $75 million) where he thought he could silently impose command, control, and disposition without notice and consent of the faithful.
As a traditional Catholic, I probed the neocatechumenal group to see for myself what it espouses. There’s the interview with Bishop Athanasius Schneider, the episcopal delegate for the group in Kazakhstan. He calls the group “A Trojan Horse in the church.”
He pointed out that the most dangerous aspect of their practice pertains to the Eucharistic sacrifice it has reduced to a “fraternal banquet.” Why would the neocats mangle and degrade the propitiatory ecclesiastical and spiritual significance of the Eucharistic sacrifice?
Schneider’s viewpoint confirmed words from four popes in the mid-20th century that warned of the work of religious heretics or emancipated priests whose agenda is the weakening of the ecclesiastical authority of the church. This seems to be an objective the Neocatechumenal Way is pursuing in Guam.
“There was the ranks of the priesthood itself, who, feigning a love for the Church, lacking the firm protection of philosophy and theology, nay more, thoroughly imbued with the poisonous doctrines taught by the enemies of the Church, and lost to all sense of modesty, vaunt themselves as reformers of the Church; and, forming more boldly into a line of attack, assail all that is most sacred in the work of Christ, not sparing even the person of the Divine Redeemer, whom, with sacrilegious daring, they reduce to a simple, mere man…”
The goal is infiltration of the traditional teachings of the church not by killing the faithful but the faith. “We have said, they put their designs for her ruin into operation not from without but from within; hence, the danger is present almost in the very veins and heart of the Church, whose injury is the more certain, the more intimate is their knowledge of her.
“Moreover, they lay the axe not to the branches and shoots, but to the very root, that is, to the faith and its deepest fires. And having struck at this root of immortality, they proceed to disseminate poison through the whole tree, so that there is no part of Catholic truth from which they hold their hand, none that they do not strive to corrupt.
What a waste in intellectual acuity descending into an egghead and the obvious shift disavowing poverty morphing into opulence. It explains Apuron’s monetary greed of the highly valued properties of the archdiocese. It would have to be returned to the church, meaning the people or faithful who have guarded and worked upon it for the fiscal needs of the diocese for generations.
I also understand that Apuron was assigned to Saipan in the past as a priest. What’s interesting though was his frequent relocation from one parish to the next. Did any of our altar boys suffer sexual abuse but have kept silent all these years? Priestly pedophilia here is wide spread that merits probing too. It needs to be done to clear the air once and for all.
As painful and humiliating this may be for Apuron, it’s time to put final closure to accusations by admitting the truth followed by resignation. I’m sure he and cronies like Vicar Gen. David Quitugua and Chancellor Adrian Cristobal understand that it’s the church flock and their jolted faith that needs to be brought home once more. We could do without the trio. But each of the laity deserves his/her peace of mind found in the tranquility of traditional Catholicism. My prayers and Si Yuus Maase`!
Occasionally, we all lose focus throughout the course of the day. I would revisit vision of footprints on the sand along the shore where grandpa, with throw net in hand, once paced juvenile fish in shallow water. I would follow it, a step at time, to collect fish he’s left on the beach.
It’s humbling the invisible footprints lodged in my mind I’d follow when off course. I would reset buttons to netsurf major papers, research work and rummage through piles of reading materials. It’s a perfect recipe to avoid dementia.
This brings into focus the competency of boards, commissions and policymakers. If the CUC board is a microcosm of incompetency no wonder the travel to Korea when there are studies on renewable energy to review including ascertaining that federal court-stipulated orders are followed. A junket was priority number one over the future of energy here.
If the board can’t fathom issues before it what then could ratepayers expect in the short term on water and power? Would not the delay in the emplacement of basic infrastructure choke planned projects set to roll out of the runway, so to speak? Revisit footprints for you might find a sense of realistic direction showing you also know your ABCs!