The Catholic Church was always in the forefront of attacking, dissecting and commenting on national issues in Guyana in the past, especially issues that dealt with corruption, infringement of human rights, crime, injustice and the list goes on. Today, under Bishop Francis Alleyne, OSB with all due respect to the office he holds, the Roman Catholic Church has remained silent on the numerous front-burner issues facing the Guyanese citizenry.
We have issues such as the Anti-Money Laundering Bill; crime; suicide; allegations of corruption in government; local government elections; traffic mayhem across the country; public officers who become tainted in revealing scandals; domestic violence and sexual abuse; and the most recent issue of the quandary befalling our National Assembly and its prolonged ‘recess,’ putting the business of the nation at a standstill.
During Bishop Alleyne’s tenure as Bishop of Georgetown (Guyana), he has not issued one single Pastoral Letter which, in the past, addressed the above-mentioned issues from a Catholic point of view, with calls for change and sobriety. Those letters in the past, issued by Bishop Benedict Singh and others, were radical and were written in the strongest of language, especially during times when Guyana was under oppression and dictatorial rule.
It’s a shame that Bishop Francis, the supreme voice of the Roman Catholic Church in Guyana, has chosen to remain voiceless, in the midst of the chaotic society into which our country has evolved. The Catholic Church has always been the voice of the hopeless; the victimized; those, whose rights are trampled upon, and the voiceless and helpless. This Church has always been the correctional rod towards those hell-bent on the continued path of corruption and destruction in our nation. This diocese always stuck its nose into the affairs of the state, and exposed many forms of injustice perpetrated by former regimes. Fr Bernard Darke, SJ even paid the horrible price with his life, of course.
Today, the Catholic Church has become a church that just sits back quietly and watches on as Guyana becomes destructive and crumbles to pieces.