21 Jul 2005

Methodist church says leaders have decided on formal backing for reconciliation bill

8:19 pm on 21 July 2005

Not all members of Fiji's influential Methodist Church will be allowed to air their views before the church officially informs the government of its support of the controversial Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

Radio Legend reports that this has been revealed by the general secretary of the church, the Rev Ame Tugauwe.

The Rev Tugauwe says the leadership of the Methodist Church will decide what its stand will be on the Bill.

He says they are carrying out consultations to get the collective view of the church members on the Bill.

But he says only the views of the church leaders will be taken into consideration which will be regarded as the view of the whole congregation.

The Rev Tugauwe says according to the Methodist Church system, they wait for their leaders to speak on behalf of the congregation.

He says the leaders have accepted the Bill although it is not official yet.

Meanwhile, the 60-thousand strong Catholic Church in Fiji has opposed the Bill with its head, Archbishop Petero Mataca, writing several opinion pieces in local newspapers explaining why the Bill is wrong.