10 Feb 2005

Catholic concern about Fiji church collusion

8:19 am on 10 February 2005

The head of Fiji's Roman Catholic Church has expressed strong concern that some Christian churches are colluding with some indigenous Fijian political parties.

Archbishop Petero Mataca says these churches, especially those associated with the Assembly of Christian Churches, have formed an unholy alliance that is self-serving and injurious to national unity.

Writing in the Fiji Times, Archbishop Mataca says the church has a role to play in the political life of the nation, but that role is not one of promoting political parties and their agenda.

Rather, he says, the church must be the conscience of society and speak out whenever there is injustice, poverty, racism or other insults to human dignity.

Archbishop Mataca says Fiji does not need to call itself a Christian state, but it needs to act in a Christian way towards people of all races and religions, by showing love and respect and sharing its resources.

He says as Fiji prepares for the 2006 general election, it needs to look for leaders who can lead the nation forward and not backwards.