COVID-19 has once again brought to the forefront for discussion the relationship existing between the State and Religion.
The issue is now open for debate as the Keith Mitchell-led government struggles with arriving at a suitable Protocol to allow for churches to once more open their doors to hold mass for their congregation and followers.
It should be noted that it was the government which moved to close down the churches in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
The government has now put together a Protocol for the re-opening of churches that is creating problems for some of the churches especially the Roman Catholic Church which has the largest following on the island.
THE NEW TODAY has picked up information that a vast majority of the Catholic followers are very suspicious of the Minister of Education and Ecclesiastic Affairs, Emmalin Pierre who was once a member of the religion but has since switched over to worship with the Evangelical churches.
It is her right to worship with the religion of her choice as Grenada is very much a democracy.
However, this government minister must not be seen or allow herself to be suspected of engaging in any action or activities above or below the table which seek to undermine any religion in the country especially its core values.
The Catholics have taken strong offence to a Protocol which is bent on outlawing Baptism in the current situation and this is very sacred to that particular religion for centuries.
As a former Catholic, Minister Pierre should be smart enough to understand that any act against Baptism is not determined by the Bishop of the Diocese but from the fountain of the power in the Faith – the Pope in Rome.
The Catholics have every reason to be suspicious of some of the actions of the current leaders in government.
It is our information that Bishop Clyde Harvey has written to government to voice his concerns and opposition to certain aspects of the Protocol.
He has a right and duty to the Catholic faithful to speak up and do not lockdown his mouth and remain silent on anything that is considered as vulgar, offensive and oppressive to the Church.
The Prime Minister might be advised to remove this particular minister from that portfolio in light of the fact that many suspect that she might have a vested interest and can be engaging in activities that tantamount to a conflict of interest with other religious groups in the country.
No one is denying that some of the religious leaders on the island have compromised their independence by accepting money from the NNP administration after Ivan in 2004 to help rebuild their churches, and others go begging all the time for concessions to buy new vehicles.
THE NEW TODAY will also not be surprised that the NNP in its effort to control every facet of life in Grenada as part of the growing cultism on the island, will seek to plant some of its agents within the bowels of the churches especially the influential Roman Catholic Church.
The 1979-83 the People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG) had succeeded to some extent in recruiting certain people to join the church and spy on the activities of the late Bishop Sydney Charles and other priests.
The NNP leadership will understand the doctrine that for an organisation to grow that it has to have life and tentacles everywhere.
It is known within certain quarters of the church hierarchy that attempts were made in the past by the NNP leadership to influence who should have succeeded the late Bishop Sydney Charles when he stepped down as the person in charge of the Diocese of St. George.
The NEW TODAY was also made aware of the top official in the NNP administration who approached one of the Catholic Priests and raised the question of why no one consulted with them on the selection of the replacement for the late Bishop Vincent Darius.
This is further evidence of just how far the NNP as a political organisation in this country is prepared to go in order to control the life of the State.
The Catholic faithful have a dim view of the attitude of some members of the government who often turn up to events including funerals and want the priest to stop his sermon to announce their arrival and presence.
These persons in government seem not to understand that the priest is in charge of his church and sets the rules – not any politician in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
This newspaper was also told that some Catholics are suspicious of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the slow pace at which it is processing documents to authorise African priests brought into the country by the Catholic Church to conduct Marriages.
Is there a deliberate attempt by forces within government to try and frustrate the activities of certain churches?