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September 9, 2014
RC clergy express concern about matters affecting Vincentian society

The clergy of the Roman Catholic Church in St Vincent and the Grenadines have expressed their “deep concern on certain matters affecting their church and society,” including the issue of the three teachers who were not reinstated after contesting the 2010 general elections and the unresolved matter concerning business man, Leon “Bigger Biggs” Samuel.{{more}}

Last Saturday, at mass at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Kingstown, Monsignor Michael Stewart read a letter dated September 7, 2014, written by Bishop Charles Jason Gordon and addressed to the “people of God in the Diocese of Kingstown.”

Monsignor Mike said that the bishop, the priests and the deacons of the diocese had held a retreat the previous week, and during that retreat, they had an opportunity to listen to the voice of the Lord, speaking to them.

He said out of the listening, the letter was presented to the people.

According to the letter, during the retreat, time was spent listening to and reflecting on the Word of God, specifically Jeremiah and Ezekiel.

“We were convicted by God’s Word and the cry of the prophets…”

The letter said their reflection on two passages of scripture made them keenly aware of the silence of pastors.

“For a long time, we as church have failed to speak with a prophetic voice. We lament the growing disrespect for the human person, the disregard for the environment and the increase in lawlessness, crime and violence in our nation. Social concerns, such as those teachers who are still waiting to be reinstated, the unresolved ‘Bigger Biggs’ situation and a sense of hopelessness and fear amongst our people continue to disturb us,” the letter said.

Gordon, in the letter, noted that persons tend to put loyalty to party before the truth of the gospel and called for persons to listen to the scriptures which challenge people to live right and build peace through forgiveness and reconciliation.

“We also remain deeply troubled by the resulting divisions within our church communities and between people of different religious persuasions; all of which lead to fragmentation within our nation. These divisions are manifestations of our inability to recognize and to accept Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth and the life; John 14:6,” the letter said.

“Are we contributing to a society where peace and justice is no longer our daily experience?” the letter asked.

“Through baptism, we are called to become mature disciples in Christ. Our mission as Roman Catholic Church in St Vincent and the Grenadines is to lead our people to unity, encounter and participation in Christ.

“As your pastors, we propose that the entire Catholic Community listen again to the sacred scriptures of this Sunday, which challenge us to right living and to build peace, through forgiveness and reconciliation. That we respect the right of each person to exercise his or her political will, that we consciously work on our ability to respect the personal differences and opinions of each other, that being ourselves transformed by the Gospel, we challenge this culture of disunity by our witness.”

In his conclusion, the bishop challenged persons to commit to building community through “Word, Eucharist and service.”