In my commentary aired on the 9th
June 2006 which is entitled "State of Guyana" I said that the church should
stay out of politics and that as a catholic I was not comfortable with a
catholic priest Malcolm Rodriguez, in a country so short of priest that the
congregation are literally saying mass themselves, doing political work for the
communist, repressive and corrupt PPP government instead of his job as a
This one priest is giving our entire
population the impression that all of us in the Catholic Church are supporting
the PPP, we are not!
On Sunday June 12th 2006 I
attended mass at the Malgre Tout Roman Catholic Church and I was given this
week's Catholic Standard.
On its front page was an article which
is captioned quote "Catholics must fight corruption" which has come to us from
the Vatican sponsored by the Pontifical Conference for Justice and Peace, 80
experts from across the world were invited to this closed door conference
organised by the Vatican.
In the article we are told that the
Catholic Church can do much more to fight corruption and support and promote
economies that puts citizen's needs ahead of individual politicians' interests and
personal private gain, this tells me that the Catholic church is now saying
that we Catholics have an obligation to expose and condemn situations that puts
the individual politician's needs before the needs of the poor.
Bribery, extortion, embezzlement,
nepotism and other abuses of power for personal gain are unethical, the article
informs us, it hinders economic growth and development and diverts needed
resources from going to the poor, now remember this is not only the Vatican
speaking but specialists in their various fields, economists, social workers,
government officials and advisors, representatives of local authorities and other
nongovernmental organisations from around the world.
I had no knowledge that these facts would
be revealed in the Catholic Standard a few days after I said exactly the same
thing on the previous Friday night, but it did come at a convenient time to reinforce
what I had said in my commentary i.e. that giving aid money to the corrupt,
incompetent, weak and authoritarian governments which were responsible for
racking up the debts in the first place, was not a good way to help the poor,
it never is!
My conclusions were based on the opinion
of Professor Thomas who wrote an article four years ago in Foreign Affairs Magazine
having studied the 41 HIPC Nations on the planet and which is contained in my
commentary dated 10th January 2002, concerning the HIPC nations and examined
what made them so poor, the conclusions were clear, their governments had made
them so, nothing else! And here it is again, independent corroboration from 80
experts from various disciplines around the world meeting in June this year at
And we Catholics came in for a heavy tongue lasing in this article more so
than any other religion since some of the most corrupt societies were catholic,
I made this accusation openly in my commentary on Egypt and Venezuela first
aired 26th November 2002 it is on my website; in that commentary I
said quote "I am a catholic I have always been one and I do not intend to
change but Egypt is 98% Sunni Muslim and Venezuela is 98% catholic but the
poverty in Venezuela was far higher than in Egypt. Are the Islamic leaders
demanding that the pie be shared equitably in Egypt? Whilst the corruption in
the Venezuelan system of governance would make our boys here look like mother
After reflecting on the problem for some time and
studying the social issues of the two countries, I have come to the conclusion
that the stabilizing forces in Egypt IS the Muslim faith and the power of the
Muslim religious leaders who demand equitable governance, and get it. Venezuela has no such check and balance so the rich are very, very rich and the poor are
very, very poor"
Ladies and gentlemen not because I am catholic I will lie about our neglect
in demanding good governance, the old saying is that the truth will set you
free, well I did not lie then, and I do not lie now, I always call it like I
see it, that's the best way isn't it? That way I cannot contradict myself and I
am consistent in what I say?
Incredibly in two studies conducted in 1995 and 2001 countries with a
large protestant population are less tolerant of corruption and put in place
more controls against bribery etc. than Catholics.
As if this were not enough corroboration of my views, in the same Catholic
Standard dated 9th June 2006 there is another article in which a
Catholic Archbishop from Zimbabwe in an article Captioned "the church has lost
all credibility" Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube alleged that many churches in Zimbabwe
have lost their credibility with the poor, since their clergy are supporting
the repressive Mugabe regime. The goodly archbishop alleged that Mugabe's
government was using divide and rule tactics to silence opposition from the
churches. Some Clergy were even spying on their brothers for the government! The
government is also using bribes to get support from senior church leaders. I am
not going to get into the business of this imposter Bishop Juan Edgill who
purports to represent Christians in this country, when all he is doing is
carrying out his personal and PPP agenda for money, bishop Juan has three
vehicles one as non executive chairman of the post office and others from the Ethnic
Relations Commission, you ladies and Gentlemen decide what church he represents
and what his agenda is, the other church leaders owe it to their constituents
to say why they have allowed this PPP hack to represent us Christians in this
what I am saying is that a single Tony Vieira cannot be the entire
conscience of any nation, so if I tell you something and you believe me since I
do not lie, then you should raise your voices with mine and condemn what is
wrong, you must join me in denouncing any or all of our Roman Catholic or other
Christian clergy or pastors, who are supporting the repressive PPP regime. That
means Rodrigues and that means Edgill.
Any of you Christians having heard the public pronouncements by the PPP
that they are a communist party should join me in condemning them, the fact
that their executive does not contain one practicing Christian speaks volumes.
Ladies and gentlemen I am ashamed that the church in which I grew up and which
I was taught to believe was the true apostolic church, which can trace its genesis
not only to Jesus Christ but to the actual Apostles as well, is printing one
thing in its weekly national message to Catholics in this country, and some of
its own functionaries are practicing something else, we will have to make them take
notice that we, the ones filling the collections bags with our money to run the
church in this country, must have a say in how they behave, since it is
impacting negatively against all of us as Catholics and as Christians.
Finally I want to congratulate our Catholic religious father Bishop
Alleyne for deciding to rebuild Main Street Church as was the desire of the
Catholics in Guyana, ladies and gentlemen we showed this nation what democratic
behavior is supposed to be and so finally, despite negative economic and other
reasons, our faith, our traditions and our determination to unite in a single
cause carried the day, you did the right thing Father and it is a good lesson
to the rest of the nation.