Guam - The Concerned Catholics of Guam organization is demanding an apology from Archbishop Anthony Apuron as the pastoral visit nears for implying that the organization is plotting against the church.

As you may recall the latest rift stems from Deacon Steve Martinez's involvement in the organization where he serves as the treasurer, and although Martinez was absent from today's meeting he has pledged his support. Martinez was given an ultimatum by the archbishop to discontinue his involvement with the CCOG or face censure, in which all his faculties would be removed.

"But the deacon has basically said what we are doing is right and good therefore there is nothing wrong with his membership here and he is willing an prepared to continue his work with us even under threat of censureship so he is not really concerned with the deadline he hopes that things will get resolved before the deadline of the 19th of January I believe," said CCOG vice president Dave Sablan.

Archbishop Apuron in a letter dated December 17th accuses Martinez of being in violation of Canon Law 1374. Sablan said, "It says that if an individual is a member of an association that is plotting against the church then they would be receiving a just punishment and interdiction."

According to Sablan interdiction is one step before being excommunicated from the church. Shocked, the CCOG says this could not be further from the truth. "This is wrong we are not plotting against this church we love our church we want to help her we want to heal the rift that is seemingly ongoing and has been ongoing for years now," said Sablan.

It was several weeks ago that the group held their first press conference laying out their objectives. Sablan says they were transparent about their purpose and the reason for their formation is to look at the issues within the archdiocese and investigate them to bring forth truth in hopes of healing the division within the church. "What are we plotting there is nothing we are wanting to help our archdiocese so this is of major concern to us and we felt that we should get an apology from the archbishop for what he is insinuating," he explained.

"It is very sad that the bishop would think that we are plotting against the church when in fact it is the complete opposite you know we are really want to help heal this rift that is occurring within the faithful."

The group sent a letter to the archbishop on December 24 demanding an apology setting the record straight, however have not received a response and with the impending pastoral visit only days away Sablan says the CCOG will officially bring to the attention of the delegation the issues in archdiocese and the evidence related in hopes something will be done.