Saturday, July 13, 2013


The Most Reverend Bishop Athanasius Schneider - "Vatican II Must be Clarified" (June 27, 2013)

I was in grade school during the council . We used to watch it on a black and white tv during religion class. I lived through the immediate radical changes which began to occur even before the council ended. 

For 50 years I've been hearing "Vatican II must be clarified". The fact is that the council documents, though they did not depart from traditional doctrine (with the exception of Dignitas Humane), left holes in the application of the documents big enough to drive a truck-full of heresies through. 

Thus it is not a matter of the correct interpretation of Vatican II or a need for clarification. And the fact that we're still calling for such a thing 50 years later should be an indication that where there's smoke there's fire. The council documents were meant to do what they did and thus we have the church we have. 

There is no better proof of the radical nature of the council than the fact that the first act of the council fathers was to trash the schema prepared by John XXIII, effectively telling the pope who called the council to get lost, "we'll do as we please". And so they did.

This is thoroughly documented in Roman Amerio's IOTA UNUM. However, you can read a brief account of it here:

However, that said, I don't reject the council. It is what it is. But it is truly sad how we've been scrambling ever since to try to make sense of it. Council's historically solved problems. Vatican II has done the opposite.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013


"I wish the political powerhouses who invested all their energy into the gambling issue could spend that much time advocating for your medical care." - Governor Eddie Calvo, statement on why he allowed Bill 19 to lapse into law, 7/8/13 

Yes, just imagine! Except all those big shots go off island for their medical care.

See Pacific News story here.

Special Address on Bill No. 19
By Eddie Baza Calvo

Good evening,

Tonight at midnight, Bill No. 19 will lapse into law without my signature. When that happens, nothing will change except that the hospital will get more money. There won't be any slot machines at the stores. There won't be casinos popping up. And bingo, cockfighting, kiddie rides, and Liberty machines will continue.
Thank you all for your phone calls, email, and Facebook comments on this issue. Thank you for calling talk radio to express your opinions. I had a decision to make. I realize with whatever decision I made, some people will be angry. The important thing was to listen to all of you, and then make the best decision I could make.

I'm quite surprised how this issue morphed into something bigger than it actually was. Two bills sought to increase taxes on existing gaming. One bill would use the taxes for sports facilities. Another to the hospital. The two bills became one...but not before some senators turned the whole debate upside down. The entire discussion became about gambling. The twisted irony is the bill finally sent to my desk did nothing to limit or expand gambling on Guam. Whether these senators meant it that way is for them to answer to you.

I'm not going to sign this bill for two reasons. The first is the way this bill was handled. The second is the amendment to ban bingo and cockfighting that didn't receive any public hearing. Fortunately, the amendment was defective because of a missing appendix. The bill doesn't have the effect of banning bingo and cockfighting because of a mistake made. That reinforces my first reason for not signing this measure.

But I'm also not going to veto this bill...and for a much-more important reason. Bill 19 sends more money to your hospital. I've been there many times, just like many of you. More of us are going there for more reasons than we want. The place needs money for the medicine in the I-V bags, and for the blood tests and X-rays we get. We need more nurses in the ER so you don't have to wait so long.

It's very simple to demand that the hospital collect more from its patients. That's impossible to do from patients who can't afford to pay. And it would be heartless and inhumane to let people die or suffer simply because they couldn't afford hospital care.

I wish the political powerhouses who invested all their energy into the gambling issue could spend that much time advocating for your medical care. Gambling addiction is a social disease that has the potential to destroy our community if casinos are allowed. But there are diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart ailments killing people now...destroying families...hurting survivors to their core. If we can get them the medical care they need in our only public hospital, then that's what we should be focusing on.

At the end of this month-long debate on gambling, what do we have to show for it? A divided community? A war of words? A shameless showdown about an issue that just popped up out of nowhere? The product of this debate was a bill that did nothing about gambling, but actually does something meaningful for anyone who ever has to go to the hospital. That's almost all of us. And so if casinos will remain illegal, and your hospital gets more money, that's a good enough reason to allow this bill to become law.

If the legislature wants to outlaw Liberty machines, bingo, cockfighting, or other forms of existing gambling, then senators should introduce a separate bill. It should be done through a transparent process, with public hearings and widespread community input. If that should ever happen, I would caution senators to act with care and not haste. And I would advise something else. The people of this island voted several times to keep casinos illegal. They have never spoken out about bingo, cockfighting, and Liberty machines.

If the AG believes these machines are illegal, then why did he drop the lawsuit and not pursue charges? It's because the AG has written that the law itself is ambiguous and conflicting. I would suggest for someone to clarify the law...and for everyone to get back to the business of running the government. Buried under all this controversy are the yet-to-be-resolved Blue House cases, Cepeda case, De Soto case, and all the burglars and robbers police officers have arrested.

This entire process has revealed some flaws in the system. Grave revelations were made about how bills are replaced with major amendments...or how things appear out of nowhere after senators vote on a certain version of a bill. This is not the first time this has happened. And there have been more important bills passed using these same tactics...from whole budget bills abortion bills. I hope this opens a new conversation by the media about this process.
More importantly, I hope this whole saga is over. In my book, bingo players and cockfighters aren't causing any problems. Families and children like going to Chuck-e-Cheese and the amusement park at the mall. The carnival is doing just fine. It's really time for the legislature to move its focus back to the real issues facing all of us.

Have a good evening, and God bless you all.


Read story here.

Again, such irresponsible reporting. This is supposed to be a news story NOT an editorial. Calvo did NOT "fail to make a decision". He MADE A DECISION to let it lapse into law. That is one of his options and it is used by governors to make a statement. But he went further by releasing a statement which fully explained HIS DECISION. Truly, PDN, this is getting embarrassing. Like or not what he did, at least try to retain some semblance of journalism in your news stories.


The editorial can be read here.

It is truly encouraging to see the PDN so vociferously demand the voice of “the people” in the making of legislation from beginning to end. This is going to come in handy the next time such legislative sausage-making occurs on an issue they don’t necessarily care about or support.

I would like to remind the PDN of their editorial silence over a legislative monstrosity that was so huge that the bill had to be jerked and given a different number - but only after desperate shouting by a very few members of the public on talk radio.

It was substitute Bill 138-30, which sought to legalize same-sex civil unions. The original Bill 138, as submitted by the Guam Youth Congress, contained glaring inequities (civil unions were denied to those who did not “have their own private residence”), and was so poorly drafted, that it never should have been introduced in its original form, but Senator B.J. Cruz introduced it anyway.

After a series of townhall meetings, the poor drafting and embarrassing inequality in a bill touting equality became glaringly obvious, so Senator Cruz decided to rewrite the bill. 

The trouble began when the public hearing for the original Bill 138, which was already scheduled and noticed, became a public hearing for - not the original bill - but the substitute bill which the public had not yet seen. In addition, Senator Cruz, as per the standing rules, had no standing to submit a substitute bill, as only the bill’s author, the Rules Chair, or the Oversight Chair, had the standing to do so and he was none of those. 

We cried “foul”. How could we testify on a bill we had never seen? This was not just some rezoning thing, this was a bill that would significantly alter a fundamental societal institution and we wanted the debate to occur in the full light of day. 

But the PDN had already taken a pro same-sex editorial position, and while - to their credit - they allowed opposing views to be printed, they took no issue with the underhanded morphing of a bill which sought to accomplish what they supported.

We (opponents) were lectured - mocked actually - in the media and made to look like we were making something out of nothing. The Oversight Chair, Senator Frank Aguon, allowed the substitution of the substitute for the hearing on the grounds that it was actually the same bill with a few changes.

We (opponents) clamored for a copy of the substitute bill which we were only able to procure after much shouting on K57 that a hearing was about to be held on a bill which the public did not have access to. 

Upon procuring a copy of the bill it was quickly evident that the new bill was substantially different from the original and not only could it not be admitted as a substitute because Senator Cruz had no authority to submit it, but - because it introduced a wholly new category of legal unions for opposite sex couples- it also failed the test of germaneness. 

After a testy exchange on K57 with Senator Aguon, who mocked the idea that the substitute bill was any different than the original, it became evident that the public’s right to know and offer informed input, was publicly being trampled on and the hearing was cancelled.

In the end, Senator Cruz had to withdraw his substitute bill, since it was not a substitute, and resubmit it at Bill 185-30, and a whole new battle began. Senator Cruz cleverly submitted Bill 185 at 4:21pm on July 20, the day before Liberation Day, and at 6:31pm sent out the first notice for the hearing, when - to be sure - no one would be paying attention - at least not for another 36 to 48 hours. 

The drama unfolds from there. But man! Could we have used the PDN’s help back then in exposing the trampling of the people’s right to know and all the other wonderful platitudes the PDN now calls for over the Bill 19 fiasco. However, the PDN wanted to see same-sex unions legalized, so....silence.

In fact, the lack of transparency in the legislative sausage making of Bill 19 pales in comparison to Bill 138-185 circus. While we may not like the way it turned out, what happened to Bill 19 was perfectly legit and it happens with many bills. Bill 19 had a hearing. It morphed on the floor. What’s new?

It didn’t even drastically morph. Bill 19 already proposed to redirect gaming revenues from the general fund to another destination. The modified bill only added another source of gaming revenues (albeit contested), and added an additional destination: the hospital. 

The version which passed is NOT “very different from the measure that was introduced and had a public hearing” as claims the PDN. Also, the PDN claims that Bill 20 “was radically altered from its original version well after its public hearing...” Yes, it was, but the “radically altered” Bill 20 had a public hearing. The PDN continues to ignore this fact. 

This is a discredit to your paper and your profession. Ignoring the calls for public transparency - as you did in the Bill 138-185 episode - is one thing. (Oh, and by the way, don’t get me going on what you did to Bill 323-31.) But distorting facts in such a critical community conversation as what Bill 19 has provoked, is another. All of us are welcome to our own opinions, but we are not welcome to our own facts. 

Please, for the sake of an honest community discussion, let’s have at least one adult in the room.

Monday, July 08, 2013


"We say frankly that so far we do not have sufficient reason to consider the norms given by Pope Pius XII on this matter [of contraception] as out of date and therefore as not binding. They must be considered as valid, at least until We feel obliged in conscience to change them." 

- Paul VI Acta apostolicae sedis (AAS) 56 (1964) 588-59,
1964 address to the special papal commission on the use of contraceptives 
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