The New Today
Editorials

A dark moment!!!

The Roman Catholic Church is going through one of its darkest moments in recent years in Grenada.

The Bishop Clyde Harvey/Gerard Paul fall-out has divided the Church given the popularity of one and the lack of popularity of the other among the faithful.

THE NEW TODAY is suggesting that an outsider needs to be brought in to ease the tension, as well as to help settle the issue and to rekindle hope in many Catholics.

It is not common for the leaders of the biggest religious denomination in the country to get caught up in “washing their dirty linens” so openly in the public space as witnessed over the past two weeks.

The priest might have pushed a little bit too far with some unfortunate remarks that forced the hand of the Bishop to take drastic and draconian measures.

This is an unfortunate development for Harvey to “indefinitely suspend” a priest at a time when the Church is itself facing a crisis in its workload due to the shortage of priests to serve the needs of the congregation especially during the weekly Sunday Mass.

It is no secret among Catholics that Fr. Paul has been the biggest critic of Bishop Harvey in recent years and does not feel that he is worthy to lead the church in Grenada.

This position is also adopted by many Catholics who continue to question the contribution of the current Bishop in helping to take the church forward.

Fr. Paul has been the priest to lead the charge at meetings of the clergy on the issue of accountability of church funds by even the Bishop himself.

THE NEW TODAY sees the need for “a cooling off” in the Gerard Paul/Bishop Harvey conflict as it has the potential to leave a gaping wound among the Catholic Community.

Someone needs to step in immediately to avoid any confrontation this coming Sunday given the signal coming from the direction of Fr. Paul that he intends to take charge of the Mass at his church at River Sallee in the St Patrick East constituency.

The Archbishop in Castries, St Lucia, Gabriel Malzaire who is the overall boss of both Harvey and Paul should take steps to ease the uneasy tension in Grenada.

The Catholic community should demonstrate maturity in settling their internal feuding and do not allow the Police to step in to deal with any unfortunate breach of the peace at this time of the year.

The church also needs to engage in some deep soul-searching especially when it comes to financial accountability at all levels.

A new dispensation should become the order of the day in which the new Bishop who is to replace Harvey needs to put in place a system whereby ALL PRIESTS are exposed to simple accounting procedures.

One of the frequent complaints among the Catholic faithful is that no accounting is given by some of the priests with the monies derived from the regular Mass and also other major fund-raising activities.

The incoming Bishop should make it mandatory for those under his charge to take steps to avoid any abuse of the people’s money.

The hierarchy of the Catholic Church has to face up to the truth that the Congregation has been dwindling under Harvey’s guidance as he has failed to provide inspirational leadership.

Several Catholics do not trust their own Bishop and whether factual or just a myth many of them believe that he has made certain utterances that tend to suggest that he favours the opposition New National Party (NNP) and its leader Keith Mitchell.

The truth is that many Catholics are not happy with the choice words of Fr. Paul to so openly lambaste the Bishop but would also like “to see the back” of Harvey as their spiritual leader.

The Trinidad-born clergyman came highly recommended but after nearly seven years as Bishop for the Diocese of St George, many are now questioning his contribution to the growth of the church and the legacy that he would leave behind.

The Bishop has also left a bitter taste with many Catholics who continue to point an accusing finger at him as the one who contributed to the exit of some of the popular African priests from the island.

There is deep suspicion within the walls of the Catholic Church that he bowed to political pressure from those who wanted the African Priests out of Grenada as many of them prayed hard to the Father to wipe out ALL “THE EVILS SPIRITS” hovering in and around Grenada especially during the 2022 General Election.

The Catholic Church in Grenada needs a revival in quick order under new leadership.

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