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RC Church in SVG will not be silenced on social matters – Bishop

RC Church in SVG will not be silenced on social matters – Bishop

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The Roman Catholic Church in St Vincent and the Grenadines will not be silenced on social matters within this country.

This was the message given by Bishop Jason Gordon on January 1, during his first homily for the year at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Kingstown.{{more}}

Gordon was reflecting on the start of the New Year, which is observed as World Day of Peace in the Church, when he made reference to a letter from the Clergy of the Roman Catholic Church that caused some controversy last September.

The letter was addressed to “the people of God in the Diocese of Kingstown” and expressed the clergy’s “deep concern on certain matters affecting their church and society,” which included the issue of three teachers who were not reinstated after contesting the 2010 general elections and a matter concerning businessman, Leon “Bigger Biggs” Samuel.

“So, if you all got upset because I spoke out, I want to tell you keep getting upset, because I will not be silenced. We have to be a free people and freedom means when something is wrong, we have to be able to say it is wrong. And when something is right, we have to be able to say it is right. Whoever does it and whoever is involved, we must have no fear or favour,” the bishop said.

As a result of the statements made in the letter from the clergy, Gordon noted that some persons felt that the church was becoming too political and that sides were being chosen as it relates to political parties within St Vincent and the Grenadines. However, the bishop stressed that it was important for persons to understand the traditions of the church and not become a slave to various ideas or systems that exist.

“We will make statements about social justice; that doesn’t mean that we are making a choice with this party or with that party. We don’t make party choices. I don’t belong to a party; I give no allegiance to any of the parties. I meet with all the leaders of all the parties anytime I have to meet,” he said.

“God is first and if things are wrong in a country, if the church cannot speak to what is wrong and if the faithful cannot hear a voice of truth speaking to what is wrong, that is a form of slavery. We have enslaved ourselves to political parties and we don’t understand that we are selling our souls short when we do such a thing. That is a form of slavery. It is a mental slavery because we just make our minds numb to believe that these people can do no wrong and we can’t say anything about them, because saying anything about them, is like saying something against God himself.”

Gordon urged the congregation to do their part to build and restore integrity to their public life and to their country and to make the choice to do what is right for themselves and their neighbours.(BK)

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