Regarding the person of Stephen Greinke and his Malicious Accusations against the Bishop of Naval.
We, the Clergy, Religious, and Faithful of the Diocese of Naval, would like to express our strongest condemnation of the lies peddled by Stephen Greinke against the Bishop of Naval, the Most Rev. Filomeno G. Bactol, D.D. last January 2. 2008, Stephen Greinke, in a nationally televised network, accused the bishop of sexually molesting young boys. We are aghast at this accusation because the Bishop is a person of integrity, whose ministry of 40 years (15 years in the seminary as formator 7 years as Pastor, and 18 years as Bishop of Naval) has never been enmeshed in any controversy, much less scandal. We are appalled even more at the brazenness of Greinke as to impute upon the good name of the bishop the very same crime he was accused of doing against innocent young boys in the very Association he had come to found, purportedly to proclaim the love of God only to find out it has become a trap for his sexual perversion! Such lies therefore that he has concocted can only come from a heart whose hatred is as deep as his own twisted understanding of what is good and moral.
Who is Stephen Greinke?
Stephen Greinke, a U.S. citizen, was a Redemptorist Brother from 1978 to 1979 with temporary vows in St. Louis Province of the Redemptorist Order in the United States of America. He left the Redemptorist Province of St. Louis having let his temporary vows expire. Later who applied for admission to the OAKWOOO Province of the same Order and took vows once again in 1984. Eventually he made his perpetual profession on August 30, 1986.
Apparently, his stay with the Congregation was fraught with difficulties for himself and for others. Hence, he requested for Exclaustration in July 1990. His exclaustration was extended several times. It terminated in the year 2000 when he finally sought and was granted the Dispensation from the vows and obligations of his profession in the Congregation.
In 1990, Stephen Greinke came to apply for work as a Religious Brother in the Diocese of Naval. In effect, he was given an invitation to work in the diocese with a motive of discerning whether a Religious Institute of Diocesan Right can be established in the diocese,:He then organized an Association of Men which he called Missionary Brothers of the Perpetual Help (MBHP) which was temporarily approved by the Bishop in September 8 of the same year.
However, his real motive soon started to manifest. He was accused of sexual molestations from no less than his Own young recruits to the association he founded. On account of these accusations, Stephen Greinke was charged before the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation. (BID). The bureau, considering the gravity of the accusations and upon finding sufficient basis, canceled his Missionary Visa and included his name in the Bureau's list of Blacklisted Aliens in the year 2000 (he was able to leave the country earlier without answering the charges against him). In the same order, the Bureau asserted that his non-appearance at the Bureau was deemed a waiver on his part to face the charges, and that on account of this, he was so "ordered deported to his country of origin."
His relationship with the people in Sitio Lupa (where his formation house was located) and in the two neighboring barangays of Calumpang and Caraycaray, all in the Municipality of Naval were always strained and fraught with difficulties. Ill tempered and ever so vindictive, Stephen Greinke would always threaten to haul people to court whenever he was provoked or whenever things would not be according to his liking. Indeed, there were a number of times when he succeeded in bringing poor people to jail and old women as well, on some unfounded charges! Not able to take it any longer, the residents of Barangay Caraycaray and sitio Lupa wrote resolutions letters declaring Stephen Greinke persona non grata and attached the Same documents to the petition of the people at the BID to have him deported.
Meantime, the clergy of the diocese saw that the community that Stephen Greinke established had gone morally and spiritually bankrupt. Not only that, it had also caused much harm, division, and undue pain among the people living nearby. That was when the clergy of the Diocese made a Resolution requesting the Bishop of Naval to dissolve and suppress the community that was recognized by the diocese. In response, the Bishop the issued a decree of Dissolution /Suppression in July 2003.
While in the United States, Greinke wrote letters accusing the Bishop and the Clergy of wrong doings, maligning their good names. One such letter was addressed to the late Holy Father John Paul II. Because of this, a Visitation and Investigation was made on the Clergy and the Bishop of Naval by the Most Rev. Jose S. Palma, D.D., then Bishop of Calbayog. The then Metropolitan Archbishop of Palo, Most Rev. Pedro R. Dean Jr., D.D., also conducted his own investigation (the Bishop of Naval being his suffragan) and refuted point by point the accusation hurled by Greinke against the Bishop and the Clergy of Naval.
Several "demolition" letters have been written by Stephen Greinke, the last being on March 2005. All these letters contained the same sweeping rehashed allegations that were substantially deceitful and which Church authorities have found to be false and without basis.
Not content until the Bishop and the clergy fall, Greinke intensified his attack this time using the internet and the media in his vendetta.
Why the unabashed hatred for the bishop and the clergy? For several reasons. One, Greinke felt aggrieved when the bishop refused to defend him when he was accused of sexual molestations that eventually led to his leaving the country. Two, the cancellation of his Missionary Visa by the BID was for him a bitter pill to swallow, and three, he felt offended when his Pious Union was suppressed and dissolved by the Bishop. This meant he could not solicit funds anymore from benefactors since his mission is already non-existent.
Offhand, we have come to wonder why these accusations against the bishop had suddenly resurfaced after these had been dealt with appropriately and expeditiously by the Church authorities years ago. We wonder because there are indications that this move to vilify the Bishop could have been also politically orchestrated by people who cannot stand the teachings of the Church. The strong adherence of the church for good governance and her vehement opposition to corruption have been the bane of many whose lives are hinged on compromises and pay-offs, to the detriment of the poor which comprise majority of God's people. If these indications are so, then Stephen Greinke has just become a dispensable pawn in the bigger picture of dirty politics. The smear campaign against the Bishop has just demonstrated how wicked can people go just so they could preserve their political interests.
THE MOST REV. FILOMENO G. BACTOL, D.D. HAS BEEN UNJUSTLY MALIGNED. HIS REPUTATION HAS BEEN UNJUSTLY TARNISHED. AND THE WORLD HAS BECOME THE UNSUSPECTING AUDIENCE OF THIS MALICIOUS CAMPAIGN AGAINST HIM AND THE INSTITUTION HE REPRESENTS.
We desire to make right what bas been undeservedly imputed to the Bishop. We wish to make it known that the Most Rev. Filomeno G. Bactol, D.D. is innocent of the charges hurled against him. The Bishop enjoys our utmost trust and confidence. On the other hand, we know Stephen Greinke. We know his person and we know his story. We know because we were victims, one way or another, of his depraved presence in our community years ago.
In the meantime, we continue to ask the maternal intercession of the Blessed Virgin for our Bishop, the Clergy and all the faithful that we may be continually enlightened and guided by the Spirit of Truth and Charity. We also pray for Stephen Greinke for while he may have caused harm and injury to the Bishop and the Church, he has remained undeniably our brother.
Signed this 8th day of January 2008.
(Editor's Note: This Statement of Truth was followed by 4 pages containing the signatures of Priests, Nuns, and Parishioners)