HAGÅTÑA — Concerned Catholics of Guam President Greg Perez said the recently formed organization is looking forward to meeting Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, Rev. Tadeusz Nowak and Archbishop Martin Krebs when the three visit Guam in January.
Perez said he’s made a request to meet with the three officials between Jan. 4 through the Jan. 10.
“We sincerely believe this (visit) is in response to some of the complaints and concerns and questions that have been raised on island and have made its way to Rome,” Perez said. “We’re looking forward to meeting with them and they will come in and provide solutions.”
Archbishop Hon and Rev. Nowak will be here for the first time in an official capacity, according to Rev. Adrian Cristobal, spokesman for Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron. It will also be Archbishop Krebs’ second visit to Guam in six months.
Hon is the secretary of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and Krebs is the apostolic delegate to the Pacific Islands.
Cristobal said the visit is a pastoral visit, with the hope of fostering reconciliation and mutual understanding in the archdiocese. The visit was mentioned in a Dec. 11 letter from Cardinal Fernando Filoni addressed to Apuron, Cristobal said. Filoni is the cardinal prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
Catholic blogger and owner of http://www.Junglewatch.info, Tim Rohr, said that it is unclear exactly if the visit is part of an investigation into the archdiocese but Hon, Nowak and Krebs are considered high level officials in the church hierarchy. “Bishops of his rank do not do causal visits,” Rohr said of Hon.
The visit comes on the heels of months of controversies surrounding the Agana Archdiocese that occurred this year. Local Catholics have said the church is divided between those who prefer the traditional rituals of the Roman Catholic Church and the different practices of the Neocatechemunal followers. The Neocatechemunal Way is a sect of the Catholic faith, of which Apuron is a known follower.
Included in these controversies are the archdiocese’s finances, which have been publicly called into question by the Concerned Catholics of Guam.
Perez said the Concerned Catholics of Guam’s goal is find out the root cause of these issues and how to address them. “We need to build and reinforce our religion individually as well as collectively,” he said.
Since the group officially organized earlier this month, Perez said there’s been positive feedback and steady, growing support for their cause. Their membership is also growing, he said.
The group sent a letter to meet with Apuron and discuss their concerns but Cristobal only acknowledged receipt of the letter, without setting a date, Perez said. “In my opinion, it’s being met with indifference,” he said.