Barbados Today:-The hierarchy of the Anglican Church in Barbados has come in for a severe tongue lashing from a fellow man of the cloth, who is accusing the church of losing its voice amid an atmosphere of fear due to rising crime.
Following the Kadooment Day shooting during which a 20-year-old man lost his life and 18 other people were injured, the already burdened Royal Barbados Police Force is now tasked with investigating two murders that took place in the span of 24 hours, beginning with Sunday night’s shooting death of 40-year-old Orwin Les Moore of Water Street, Christ Church who died in a hail of bullets in Cane Vale, Christ Church.
Less than 24 hours later, Moore’s friend, 37-year-old Lodge Road, St Michael electrician Shawn Omar Taylor was gunned down in nearby Gall Hill.
In an especially scathing criticism of his own denomination, Reverend Charles Morris complained that despite the growing national fears over gun violence, the Anglican Church had yet to meet to devise a plan to help bring calm to the society.
“The leadership of the Anglican Church for the past 17 years has been so silent on social issues that it is almost deafening. We have not heard anything coming from the leadership of the Anglican Church in the wake of this year’s upsurge in gun violence,” Morris told Barbados TODAY.
“Right now the Anglican Church has its strategic plan and all it is pointing to is events. We spent an hour-and-a-half talking about a bazaar, which I must say I found quite bizarre. The strategic plan does not address any of the social issue surrounding the worrisome things going on in Barbados. As a matter of fact the church no longer has a prophetic voice, the voice of warning is not there,” he continued.
Making reference to the 23 murders committed so far this year – one more than all of last year, and 19 of which are gun related – the outspoken priest told Barbados TODAY that the Church had given up its social mandate in pursuit of riches.
“The Church is not setting any example because rather than trying to assist the development of society all they are doing is talking about money and more money. The Church is no longer interested in educating our young people about our God, and the way they preach this payment for salvation message, God does not make sense nor is he appealing to young people,” Morris explained.
“According to many of these churches, including the Anglican Church, God is a violent God that would kill people who commit sin so you keep this fear of hell there so that they can bring their monies and fill the coffers of the church. Then at the same time we have some of the same pastors driving all over Barbados with the most expensive cars. Now it is right to do that, but what kind of example is that for young people who do the same amount of praying as the pastor but will never get the same amount of material gain?” he stressed.
Morris has a history of taking on his own church, as well as the authorities, including delivering scathing remarks about Minister of Education Ronald Jones and the now retired Vere Parris, who had been serving as principal of Combermere School where Morris is a teacher.
In April of this year he also tore into the local Church over the controversial issue of sex education, charging its opposition to comprehensive sexuality education was hypocrisy.
He also told Barbados TODAY at the time that the churches had a knack for utterances which ran contrary to church doctrine, had a “warped view” of sex in today’s world and were engaging in “Christians’ preach” that was not based on reality.
“The church is the worse institution to get involved in the issue of sex education because it preaches ideals which do not reflect what is really going on with young people,” he said then.
“We have to move away from this warped view that everyone must accept that sex is reserved for marriage. That is the view Christians’ preach but in reality it is not what the Christians live by,” the provocative church leader had argued.
Barbados TODAY reached out to the archdiocese for a comment, but a promised reply had not been forthcoming up until the time of publication.