Fri | Jan 19, 2018

Poor excuse

Published:Saturday | January 7, 2017 | 12:00 AM


I read the full statement given by Hampton Principal Heather Murray, explaining her presence at court for the bail hearing of Reverend Rupert Clarke, a Moravian pastor accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl. To that I say, very lame excuse, Ms Murray. The backlash you received was fitting and understandable. The pastor's wife (your dear friend for decades) was not on trial. She was not accused of anything. Her husband is the accused. No one really cares how long you've known his wife, or how many days apart your kids were born. Fact is, this pastor is accused of a very serious crime. The fact that he is married to your dear friend means nothing. He must face the courts and deal with the consequences if found guilty.

I don't understand why people in the church ask for forgiveness and Compassion when their leaders get into trouble. Why should church leaders who ought to know better be judged by a different standard? If he is found guilty, we must remember that this is a grown adult male, pastor, married man, father, who ought to be setting a better example.

The principal can find ways to support her friend privately, but she must never forget she is also principal of a well known and reputable girls' school.

She made an error in judgment. Her presence at the hearing suggested support for the accused.

On another note, it is very strange how we never hear from religious groups like the normally quite vocal Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society when cases like these gain national attention.

Stephanie Vaughn