By Alexis R. Milan
Opposing views on issues of national importance is causing a great divide in the Council of Churches, resulting in a call for a meeting to plot the way forward.
It appears the Evangelical Association has voiced its discontent with the “yes” vote cast in the House last week in favour of the Petro Caribe Amendment Act.
This point of contention has led the Council of Churches to schedule a meeting for Friday, July 10th, to clear the air as it relates to the Council’s and the Evangelical Association’s position regarding the matter.
The Evangelical Association is reportedly concerned about the Senate Vote, since it was not present for a meeting between the Council of Churches and the Prime Minister last month.
The group is also concerned, that the decision was taken with the sole approval of Methodist Superintendent Reverend, Roosevelt Papouloute and Anglican Bishop Philip Wright, whose churches represent a combined seven percent of the population.
The Evangelical Association believes that had it been given the opportunity, its vote would have resulted in a different outcome, since both the Evangelical Association and the Roman Catholic Church had reservations and concerns regarding the Petro Caribe Act. These two religious groups represent the largest religious bloc in the country.
The Reporter understands that the Evangelicals are of the view that there is a lack of respect for the protocol involved in making decisions of that magnitude and importance.
The Evangelical Association reportedly wanted to ask the government for further the consultation on the PetroCaribe Loan Act and the amendments, but never got the chance.
To add to their unease, the Evangelicals believe other protocols were not followed. In the instance of the Gender Policy, it is reported that Reverend Papouloute declared his support for the policy, despite objections from the Catholics.
There is further division in the Council of Churches as it relates to the Prime Minister’s proposal to build a chapel at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), using Petro Caribe funds.
Some view this proposal as an attempt to pursuade the churches of PetroCaribe’s merits, and perhaps, an inducement of sorts to silence church criticism of the government use of Petro Caribe funds.