Wed | Oct 18, 2017

Clergy urged to stand firm for truth, justice

Published:Monday | May 15, 2017 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin
Trevor Munroe

Professor Trevor Munroe, executive director of National Integrity Action (NIA), is urging citizens, specifically members of the clergy, to make a solemn commitment to stand up for truth and justice.

Munroe was addressing the Independent Churches of Jamaica's annual banquet held on Saturday at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston, where he spoke on the topic 'Justice for All'.

Making reference to both the national anthem and the National Pledge, which speak to issues of justice and equality, the NIA director said that the time has come for Jamaicans to take responsibility to ensure that no one escapes the law.

"Jamaicans recognise that justice and truth shall not be ours by faith or hope alone. I am happy to say that some of our people are standing up for justice and for fair play, like Member of Parliament Fitz Jackson, who is standing up to the power of Jamaica's big banks that impose unjust fees, placing an unacceptable burden on so many of our citizens, particularly the most needy," he said.

"Still, we are far from achieving justice for all as too many males are guilty of sexual abuse of our children, particularly girls. What an injustice it is that 20,000 cases of sexual abuse have been reported over the last 10 years - that is 2,000 per year, almost 40 every week, nearly six every day, and these are only the reported cases!" he continued.

Munroe added: "In this injustice, too, many pastors are themselves involved, and if we are to live up to our pledge, to stand up for justice, they must be made to stand down from abusing their pastoral responsibilities and face the full force of the law."

Other speakers included Bishop Neville Owens, president of the Independent Churches of Jamaica; Paula Llewellyn, director of public prosecutions; Steadman Fuller, custos of Kingston; and Dr Patricia Dunwell, custos of St Andrew.

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com