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The real role of the church

As Fiji approaches critical juncture in development, discussions focus on future of the nation We congratulate the leader Catholic Church in Fiji, Archbishop Peter Loy Chong for organising a workshop
18 Jul 2014 10:22

As Fiji approaches critical juncture in development, discussions focus on future of the nation

We congratulate the leader Catholic Church in Fiji, Archbishop Peter Loy Chong for organising a workshop to prepare members for the September 17 elections.
He invited the National Council of Churches to be at the workshop.
We know that the political decisions of the Fijian people in the election will define the future of our nation.Archbishop Chong in his keynote address said – “Fiji approaches an important stage in its history on the September 17 elections. The Catholic Church recognises that the political decisions of the Fijian people in the election will define the future of our nation. The Catholic Church therefore wishes to contribute to building a better Fiji by helping our Catholics make well-informed political decisions based on the scriptures and the teachings of the Church.”
He points out clearly that the workshop does not intend to tell participants about their party manifesto or policies, rather they wish to share the teachings of the Gospel and the Catholic social teachings so that they can make well-informed political decisions.
The church is not an expert in politics. Rather, the church is an expert in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Catholic Church is clear in her role in politics. Pope Paul VI’s letter On the Progress of Peoples clearly states that the role of the church and state are separate. Pope John Paul II asserts that the church must remain independent of any particular political or economic system. Its role is to uphold principles and values rather than particular systems.
The United States Conference of Bishops defines the church’s role in politics as one of forming the conscience of people so that they make well-informed and responsible political decisions.
Hence the church seeks to equip its members to address political and social questions by helping them to develop a well-formed conscience.
That is the role of the church.
Maika Bolatiki
Feedback: maikab@fijisun.com.fj




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