Fiji Time: 1:57 PM on Sunday 23 November

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / News

'Silenced church'

Serafina Silaitoga
Thursday, August 21, 2014

THE head of the Catholic Church in Fiji, Archbishop Peter Chong, says the church has not engaged effectively with things happening in society.

Archbishop Chong said while the late Archbishop Emeritus Petero Mataca spoke out about certain issues such as the past coups, those were his personal views.

"One of my arguments is that the church is not engaging effectively and appropriately or almost altogether disengaged with what is happening in society, especially the social problems and political crisis like the 2000 coup," he said.

"The archbishop (Emeritus Mataca) had made responses but personally. But as a church, we did not really have strategic responses to social and political crisis with what has been happening, so in other words we have had a silenced church.

"Although the archbishop spoke, he made some good engagements but the practical engagement of the church with the grassroots has been minimal, so my interest is to see the church contributing to society."

Archbishop Chong said with such a situation, it was important to know and identify how to effectively engage the church.

"So one of the questions is how to empower the church to be engaged in the community and reaching out even to those victimised.

"And one of the ways is through empowering Christian communities to read the signs of the time and see society and upon reflecting on church teachings, then respond.

"So it is either reaching out to people or speaking out and also to do training with small Christian communities or basic ecclesiastical communities.

"We want a church that is engaged and a church should be able to contribute to society and if it fails to do that, then according to Vatican documents you cease to be a church and you are just another club or association.

"It's not a matter of speaking out but making the church relevant in society."





Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Sturridge out for the season
  2. $50m more
  3. This team is much fitter than Gold Coast winning team says Ryan
  4. Chaudhry describes budget as 'ambitious and unrealistic'
  5. FCEF: Budget to help Fijians
  6. Fiji's return anticipated
  7. Three drown
  8. Alcohol duty up by 10pc
  9. Fijians win
  10. $239m for consistent access to piped water supply

Top Stories this Week

  1. Tourist's death: Murder accused to appear in court Monday (17 Nov)
  2. Stabbed to death Tuesday (18 Nov)
  3. Prime Minister Modi arrives in Fiji Wednesday (19 Nov)
  4. Kill victim cried for help Tuesday (18 Nov)
  5. The man behind the scene Monday (17 Nov)
  6. Bula Mr Modi Wednesday (19 Nov)
  7. Man found unconscious, dies in hospital Monday (17 Nov)
  8. Modi-fied Thursday (20 Nov)
  9. Modi announces visa on arrival for Fiji people Wednesday (19 Nov)
  10. WHAT FIJI WILL GET Thursday (20 Nov)