Tony Vieira's Comments
18 October 2017

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Roman Catholic Religion
(Aired 16 June 2006)

 

    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 priest.

    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 the Vatican.

 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 Mary?

    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 country.

     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.