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Jun 7, 2017

Anglicans, Methodists Pull Out of Church-State Commission

Philip Wright

In the wake of the momentous August 2016 decision by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin to overturn Section fifty-three of the Criminal Code, godly Belizeans raised outrage at what they perceived as a nation turning away from Christian morality. Church leaders from both traditional and evangelical churches united to present their positions to government under the guise of a “Church-State Commission,” referred to as a morality commission. But the Evangelicals’ split at the end of 2015 weakened their position with the National Evangelical Association essentially ignored and now news has come that the representatives of the Anglican and Methodist Churches have withdrawn because they have come out on the minority side of several discussions. This evening, the Anglicans’ representative to the Commission, Bishop Phillip Wright told News Five that despite cordial discussion, he and colleague Reverend Roosevelt Papouloute of the Methodist Church felt it best to temporarily withdraw and produce a minority report for the Government.

 

Bishop Phillip Wright, Anglican Church

“As the deliberations of the Committee proceeded, both Bishop Papouloute and I – during the meetings and the minutes would record it as well, we were constantly being recorded as, for lack of a better word, a minority voice, which means that we would, at times, not hold to the same conclusions as the rest of the group – whether it comes to the wording of certain statements or the overall understanding of certain concepts and so on. And I think a decision was made by myself and Bishop Papouloute – myself being the Anglican Diocese’ representative and Bishop Papouloute being of the representative of the Belize Council of Churches; and even though the Anglican Diocese belongs to the Council of Churches, I was there specifically representing the Anglican Diocese of Belize. But I think we both came to a position where we felt that in order to properly represent our understanding of some of the concepts we were dealing with as well as how to state some of these concepts that we would step back and formulate a report on our own that would reflect more accurately how we understood the issues that were at play.”

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