The Catholic Diocese in Guyana has broken its silence and is calling for the earliest resumption of parliamentary democracy in wake of President Ramotar’s decision to prorogue the Parliament.
In a statement to the media, Bishop Francis Alleyne said the prorogation or suspension of Parliament on Monday November “puts Guyana into uncharted territory”
He issued a call on “all Guyanese and their leaders to ensure that we navigate these uncertain times peacefully, honestly and respectfully with a view to the earliest resumption of parliamentary democracy”.
Bishop Alleyne said that reconciliation and trust are critical to the process of restoring and building the nation adding that he believes “further that our limited Catholic capacities must not see us only focused inwards”
He explained that he has decided to begin two initiatives as part of the reconciliation process.
“Firstly, I am reconstituting the Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Church. This body has a critical role to play in promoting the social teachings of the Church and providing leadership and inspiration to the Faithful. Secondly, there will be a process of engagement with parishes to pray, reflect, discuss, and discern the urgings of the Holy Spirit as relates to justice and peace in Guyana. I have invited two members of the Commission, Gino Persaud and Lawrence Lachmansingh, to lead this process” Alleyne explained.
The Bishop said that he is praying that the two initiatives will lead to increased Catholic conviction and action that would bring all Guyanese to the full freedom as children of God.
According to the Catholic Bishop, there are expectations that the “Church” would give a guiding word or pronounce on issues, but the Church is the entire people of faith and not just its leaders.
He added that “when believers from any faith tradition live their faith teachings in everyday life then truly the Church is speaking eloquently”.
“When in the workplace there is diligent attention to service, and when in the family love and respect form relationships and identity and when in daily life we hold our heads high in the face of intimidation and corruption it is then that the Church speaks in volumes. There are many who are part of being Church in this way and to be highly commended. In times of flux and transition we are all called to examine our convictions and bring them to the process of renewal”, Bishop Alleyne noted.
The Catholic Bishop also hinted that the Catholic Church will be playing a greater role in Guyana and the many ills that have been plaguing the society.
“It is true that in former times the Catholic Church was at the forefront of efforts to promote justice and peace in Guyana, as we sought to give life and meaning to Jesus’s exhortation to have life and have it to the full. We have worked on many national issues, from elections to domestic violence to trafficking in persons”, the statement said.
According to Bishop Alleyne, “Guyana – like my Church – needs both institutional and relational strengthening. We must find new ways of relating to each other, and better structures to support and encourage those improved relations”.
He said the crisis which could serve as a time of opportunity requires all Guyana to join hands and find solutions to both the immediate impasse and the longer-term causes that led to it.
President Ramotar on Monday issued a Presidential Proclamation which prorogued the Parliament. That move brought an end to the current session and the prorogation period could last up to six months with the Opposition saying that it has silenced the voice of the people.
Filed: 11th November, 2014