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Apr 30, 2015

PM Promises Council of Churches an Ecumenical Chapel from Petrocaribe Funds

Dean Barrow

It may have cruised under the radar at the Prime Minister’s press conference on Wednesday, but the fact that the churches are getting in on the Petrocaribe bounty is significant. At the last Senate meeting, church representative Father Noel Leslie rejected the Petrocaribe Bill. But Prime Minister Dean Barrow made it clear that notwithstanding that rejection, Petrocaribe is finding religion. And he also made of point of stating that Father Leslie’s vote in the Senate did not enjoy the support of the Church.  

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I have a letter from Bishop Wright on Anglican Diocese of Belize stationery but writing on behalf of both the Belize Council of Churches and the Evangelical Association as a follow up to our conversation, the conversation between himself and myself, regarding the support of your administration for the construction of an ecumenical chapel on the grounds of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. That’s a consummation devoutly to be wished. The government will finance the entirety of the construction out of Petrocaribe funds.”

 

Reporter

“The Churches voted against the loan motion when it went to the Senate and now you are building a Chapel. Is that you trying to bring them around through the use of your largesse?”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“No sir. I was told by two of the leaders with whom I spoke that that vote was not a vote that came after discussion with the officials…Pastor Longsworth is right here…and was certainly not then a vote on the instruction of the Churches. That seems to have been an individual vote on the part of Father Leslie. We had been talking about the Chapel well before the vote. I just wanted to be sure indeed because of Father Leslie’s vote that we were still on, because I asked the same question and was made clear that nobody gave Father Leslie that instruction and the Churches have no problem with government funding the Chapel as had always been the plan…well I hadn’t said I would fund it, I said I would have contributed. It’s a hundred and twenty-five to one hundred and fifty thousand dollars….I just wanted to be sure that there was no problem with funding it and that there would be full disclosure that that’s where the money would be coming from…Petrocaribe.”

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1 Response for “PM Promises Council of Churches an Ecumenical Chapel from Petrocaribe Funds”

  1. Ricky Malthus says:

    Barrow refuses to understand that the Petro Caribe loans are for the economic development 0f the country of Belize by providing meaningful, permanent employment to pump money into the Belizean economy. Let’s separate Church and State!! Barrow is an economic dunce and an intellectual Pygmy who masquerades as an intellectual giant to the incognoscenti.

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