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Jun 15, 2017

Can Morality Commission Stand after Withdrawals?

Phillip Wright

Recently two church leaders, namely the Anglican Diocese Bishop Phillip Wright and the Methodist’s Reverend Roosevelt Papouloute, decided to remove themselves from the Church-State Commission, which is also referred to as the morality commission. Church leaders committed to offer Government their positions on critical moral, spiritual and national issues in the wake of outrage over the overturning of Section fifty-three of the Criminal Code in August of 2016. Bishop Wright and Reverend Papouloute say they have withdrawn because they have come out on the minority side of several discussions and feel they wish to put forward their own views. The decision is a concern for Government, enough to wonder whether it would be wise to press on. Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber says, however, that the government is still very much interested in what are the views on the issues that arise from the decriminalization of what was deemed ‘unnatural’ sexual activity.

 

Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Chair, Church-State Commission

“We are concerned because when the Prime Minister engaged and tasked me with chairing the Church-State Commission, we anticipated a unified position coming from the church. And with the withdrawal of the Methodist, which is really actually I should say the Council of Churches because the Council of Churches had the membership on the commission there, but also the Anglican Church which had membership in its own right being an original part of the case of section fifty-three. It has now caused us to be very concerned about what position could come out of the commission. And in fact our position now stands as those who remain and want to continue the work that was started; we don’t have a problem with accepting a report from them. I think though that, when the government planned to engage, it was with the entire body and so now it would not make sense to us very much to continue that engagement.”

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