On Monday December 2, 2019, whilst on their way to the airport, His Lordship Bishop Gabriel Malzaire and His Eminence Kelvin Cardinal Felix were confronted by a group of protestors in Marigot, and subjected to insults and embarrassing questions.
We, the Catholic Clergy of the Diocese of Roseau consider it an act of disgrace and disrespect not only to head of the Catholic Church in Dominica but to the clergy and the lay faithful as well.
While we recognize the dissatisfaction and passion associated with the issue of electoral reform, and political positions in general, we believe that there are more humane and civil methods of expressing concerns and resolving conflicts.
The Church has spoken on numerous occasions about electoral reform.
We refer to the words of Bishop Malzaire in his New Year’s Day homily:
“Of concern to many here in Dominica, especially during the past days is the issue of Electoral Reform. It is a long-standing issue which is impacting and affecting our society. It is imperative therefore that those responsible move with some alacrity to see that all is put in place for the appearance of free and fair General Elections, which are due this year. Brothers and sisters, we are duty bound to do all in our power to maintain a just and peaceful society. We must seek, as a people, to transcend party-political interests and work for the good of all citizens of our beloved country. We must allow ourselves to be guided always by truth and seek justice for all. All the parties involved are duty-bound to present a viable proposal for good governance for the sake of the common and greater good of the country. Today is no doubt a good day to make appropriate resolutions in that regard.” – (Bishop Gabriel Malzaire, New Years Homily, January 1, 2019).
More recently at the diocesan celebration of Christ the King he quoted the Code of Conduct prepared by the Dominica Christian Council and the Association of Evangelical Churches.
We wish to remind all citizens that “our duty as clergy is to recognize that our basic obligation is to promote unity in our communities,” and secondly “to refrain from saying or doing anything likely to be interpreted as partisan politics.”(1)
We encourage all people of good will to continue to pray and work for free, fair and peaceful elections, and that “we accept the verdict of the majority even if it differs from the way one has voted according to one’s conscience.”
God bless you.