Three archbishops visiting Guam in January
Friday, December 19th 2014, 5:08 PM ChST
Guam - The Catholic Church will be welcoming a visit from three archbishops in January.
As the local Catholic church celebrates its jubilee year as a diocese they also welcome a pastoral visit from the secretary of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai. Father Adrian Cristobal is chancellor for the Archdiocese of Hagatna and told KUAM News, "We are very happy and are very happy to welcome this pastoral visit a pastoral visit is exactly what it is like what Archbishop [Anthony] Apuron is actually doing right now he is going to the parishes he's visiting the people visiting the sick celebrating masses visiting the groups this is a pastoral visit done by the congregation."
Archbishop Savio will be accompanied by Reverend Father Tadeusz Nowak, and Archbishop Martin Krebs. You may recall Archbishop Krebs is the Vatican's ambassador or apostolic delegate to the Pacific Islands and was recently on Guam during which time he met with local clergy. After that meeting Father Adrian said Krebs had instructed them to build bridges with the local clergy with an open dialogue and reconciliation. He said, "They'll be visiting members of the clergy and the religious and member of the different groups and we believe it is a very fruitful visit we're looking forward to it and we believe it will help build a communion between the church and Guam and the Holy Father," he said.
While Father Adrian says this is the pope's way of extending blessings to the church, Jungle Watch blogger Tim Rohr spoke candidly about what he believes is the reason for the pastoral visit. He said, "I realize that the chancery is probably trying to as a precursor to a possible papal visit but in my opinion the person that is coming is the wrong person because if it was a papal visit they would be sending the secretary of the state or somebody from that particular office and so I really think it is an investigation."
While Rohr believes there is something going on and that the visit is so they can "see for themselves". Father Adrian Admantly says there will be no investigation or report, noting, "No in our communications with Vatican they have specifically said it was a pastoral visit to the archdiocese."
Father Adrian says that Archbishop Savio is concerned about the missionary efforts of various churches all throughout the world and because Guam plays a vital role in the evangelization of Micronesia and the pacific region they will want to know what efforts the archdiocese is making. He adds the recent controversies within the church are not the motive for the pastoral visit.
He told KUAM News, "The issues I think we have to look at the issue within a certain context we are a family the church is a family in any family there is going to be differences and as part of the pastoral visit of course I am sure they are aware of the differences that are taking place come and they come with the attitude of a pastoral visit."