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Church must take fight beyond abortion, homosexuality - Reece

Published:Thursday | December 12, 2013 | 12:00 AM

Correction & Clarification

Charles Dufour is the archbishop of Kingston and not Donald Reece as was stated in The Gleaner on Thursday. Dufour succeeded Reece as archbishop in 2011. We regret the error.


Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer

The Church in Jamaica is being called on to move beyond sensational issues like its pet peeves: homosexuality and abortion. Crime and the battered economy are issues to which it should turn its focus instead.

Donald Reece, president of the Jamaica Council of Churches, wants this shift in the Church's focus, saying that it must be more practical in dealing with issues of importance.

"I think we have to broaden the scope as a Church and not just focus on the push-button issues - homosexuality, abortion, etc. … We must be more focused on reaching out to the poor, and issues such as the economy and crime are all important issues that have affected people over the years," he said.

Reece, who was reacting to news of Pope Francis being named Person of the Year by Time Magazine, is also urging Christians to be more compassionate to the most vulnerable.

"Compassion does not mean you don't stand for principle, neither does it mean that certain issues are overlooked, but we have to ensure that a person's dignity is respected, irrespective of an individual's circumstances," Reece told The Gleaner.


Extending his congratulations to the Pope, he said, "It goes to show the type of person he is. He is in touch with the people, and as ministers, we have to emulate these traits and ensure that our medium is used to disseminate positive messages."

Similarly, Pastor Glen Samuels, ministerial secretary of the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, offered his commendations, urging leaders to ensure that service is done with the people in mind.

"I have always admired Pope Francis. I am particularly moved by his humility. [He is] a people-friendly person and I offer my own commendations to him and the Catholic Church," said Samuels.

"The world is definitely in need of moral leaders, and persons ought to know that ministry is not about being lords over the people. It is about serving people, and so going forward, … leadership in the Church and outside the Church must be about the people," he said.