Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron: quite an Uproar within the Catholic community in Guam

Guam - His blog has been known to create quite the uproar within the Catholic community, and with the recent visit from a Vatican official, Tim Rohr isn't holding back.

Rohr is the main person behind the Junglewatch website a blog focusing on the dealings within the local Catholic community. For many who've visited the site he's brought up strong criticism of Archbishop Anthony Apuron, from his connection to the Neocatechumenal way to last year's controversial removal of Father Paul Gofigan, the long time pastor at Santa Barbara Church in Dededo.

Over the last couple of day the Archdiocese of Hagatna has been hosting the Vatican's delegate Archbishop Martin Krebs. Krebs has been holding closed door meetings with local clergy.

According to Rohr however he's learned those meetings, in particular, one that included Archbishop Apuron got a little heated. Rorh says while the meeting was supposed to focus on concerns of local priests, the archbishop allegedly used 15 minutes of the time to go over Diocesan financials. It was Monsignor David Quitigua, Rohr says spoke up and reminded them what they really were there for.

"There's just a lot of serious frustration anger that's pent up for many years because for many years the priest have tried many things that they could do to work things out try to get some harmony going some unity and it all just seems to fall by the way side after they had their meetings and they come up with their action plans," he said.

Rohr says concerns were raised about Archbishop Apuron and his transparency, allegations of favoritism, and taking sides. "The bishop is a 'walker', it's called in the Neocatechumenal way - he's a member of this Neocatechumenal way it's sort of a group within the church, but he has joined that group and there's the perception that everything he has done financially vocation wise everything is in support of the Neocatechumenal way as opposed to the rest of the church," he explained.

So what does the archbishop have to say about all of this? KUAM News left messages with the archdiocese for a comment. Rohr on the other hand says the archbishop addressed those in that meeting responding that he was not violating any liturgical principles because the way the Neocatechumenal way celebrates the liturgy has been approved by the popes from Paul VI all the way down to the present pope.

Meanwhile, according to Rohr a second meeting was held but only with clergy to allow them to speak freely without the archbishop present. Attempts have been made to reach Archbishop Apuron for comment however he has not been available.

Posted: Jul 15, 2014 11:12 PM PST Updated: Jul 16, 2014 12:48 AM PST

by Jolene Toves

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