9 Dec 2006

Fiji's Roman Catholic Church condemns statement by Assembly Christian Churches

12:29 pm on 9 December 2006

Fiji's Roman Catholic Church has condemned a statement issued by the Assembly of Christian Churches on this week's coup as politically biased and theologically wrong.

The head of the Roman Catholic Church, Archbishop Petero Mataca, says it is hypocritical of the churches to label the commander and his advisors as "manifestations of darkness and evil" when they did not say the same of those in the May 2000 coup.

He says it is time to acknowledge that Fiji failed to learn the lessons of the 2000 coup by ensuring that its young democracy and the rule of law were not abused and misused in the last six years.

Archbishop Mataca says the Assembly's statement should have condemned the illegal and unconstitutional removal of the Qarase government, and affirmed the necessity for democracy and the rule of law.

He says the statement should have bound the churches to a position of compassion and justice, and recognised that what has happened has its roots in 2000.

Archbishop Mataca says the Catholic Church was not consulted by the Assembly before it issued its statement which he says is theologically wrong and morally improper.