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Nov 3, 2015

Council of Churches Pulls Back from Political Fray

Reverend Roosevelt Papaloute

On the eve of the 2015 national elections, the Belize Council of Churches has come out swinging in an attempt to stay above the political fray. Led by Reverend Roosevelt Papouloute, the churches today held an unprecedented press conference in Belize City reacting to an online report written by Chrisbert Garcia on Belize Breaking News. The site reported on Monday on a recent meeting between the Belize Council of Churches and Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca. According to the Church, not only is the piece of writing factually erroneous, it also allegedly fabricated the content of a release said to have been sent out by the Council of Churches. While the Council met with the Leader of the Opposition to discuss pertinent issues, including the state of the education system, as well as the moral and spiritual direction of the Belizean society, the Church says it has not endorsed the People’s United Party as reported in the offending article.  In a statement of its own, the Belize Council of Churches, (Quote) “encourages all the parties involved in this election, the political parties, the Elections and Boundaries Commission, and the voters to put the interest of the country above and beyond their own self-interest and allow the electoral process to be fair, peaceful and objective.” (Unquote)  This morning, the press was hastily called to order by the church leaders to repudiate the charges made by the online reporter.


Reverend Roosevelt Papaloute, President, Belize Council of Churches

“After that meeting, we as a church community didn’t send any press release out.  We didn’t inform anybody actually, for that matter.  But lately, particularly yesterday, there is an article called ‘PUP Church Meeting Causes Controversy’ from the Breaking Belize News which really caught our attention and creates some concerns not only for us who attended the meeting but also for those who have been recipients of this article.  The purpose of this press conference is to refute whatever this article is accusing the church about.”


Bishop Phillip Wright, Vice President, Belize Council of Churches

Bishop Phillip Wright

“You could understand why we have tremendous concern; accusing us of asking people to vote for a particular party which would never be anything near where we would go.  And to indict a current administration in the manner in which this article is doing which is, again, against our principle and finally, of course, to suggest that somehow as a church we are encouraging a particular direction.  So my friends, you can understand again why we take very seriously an article that misrepresents where we stand and what we have actually said.  And what we have actually said is contained in an official press release that was issued by the Council and that was the end of what we had said in terms of this political season. Roosevelt Papaloute: We disassociate ourselves with whatever this article is saying.  We have nothing to do with the particular press release that this article is referring to.  There is no way as a church government we would say to people to go and vote for a particular party.  No way.  And there is no way as a church community we would as well, especially in this critical time criticize a government.  That’s not our role as a church community.”


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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