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Catholic Bishop apologizes to PM for comments

Catholic Bishop apologizes to PM for comments

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Former Bishop of the diocese of Kingstown Bishop Jason Gordon has apologized to Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves for statements he made, based on a newspaper headline, which later had to be retracted.

While delivering the homily at the ordination of Bishop Gerard County in the Corpus Christi Parish (at the Villa campus of the SVG Community College), Gordon said that he is called many times to speak on issues of sensitivity.{{more}}

“The other day, I, following a newspaper article, spoke on something of sensitivity.”

Gordon noted that he later found out that the newspaper had published an apology.

He, however, said, “not that what I said I was wrong, but the context I was given from the newspaper was wrong and so, I too have to say sorry.”

The bishop then turned to Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves who was in attendance, and apologized to him in front of the large crowd of Catholics and well-wishers who attended last Saturday’s ordination ceremony.

“You never said you wanted to exchange bananas for marijuana and I saw that article in the newspaper; I am so sorry.”

In the January 29, 2016 Weekend edition, SEARCHLIGHT published an article on the front page with the headline “Switch bananas for ganja – Gonsalves,” based on a speech the Prime Minister gave at the Cave Hill campus of The University of the West Indies (UWI) on January 25, 2016.

The story, which was written by Barbadian freelance journalist George Alleyne, also stated in its opening sentence that the Prime Minister had said “marijuana would have been a better crop” than bananas.

However, after obtaining audio recording of Gonsalves’ entire speech, SEARCHLIGHT was satisfied that the Prime Minister made no such statement and published an apology in the Weekend edition of February 5.

In their February 5 edition, another local newspaper had quoted the bishop as saying in a homily: “When I can hear prime ministers speaking about legalizing marijuana it sends a shiver down my spine because I have journeyed with at least five young men who have been in a marijuana psychosis…” According to the newspaper, the bishop also said that marijuana cannot be the foundation of an economy. (CM)