A solution to crime must include persons living in marginalised communities and development of these areas. Archbishop Jason Gordon shared this perspective on December 27 as he fielded questions from the media after he was installed as archbishop at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
Observing there have been attempts to reduce crime over the past 20 years and it has escalated, he commented the public should not look on as bystanders for one person or group to provide solutions thinking “that is their problem”.
Archbishop Gordon said, “It’s our problem, and we are living here and every single one has to get involved and how do we do that? We have to become people of non-violence; we have to become people of peace we have to promote forgiveness and harmony.” Justice and fairness should also be promoted.
Archbishop Gordon suggested that persons in marginalised communities should be included, “in deep ways, and have opportunities for development and flourishing.” Until attention is given to development in these communities real solutions cannot be found to peace in the land.
Responding to another question, he said the Church is never where it should be but the Church is always on a journey of discipleship in Christ. “That’s my real programme for the Church, how can I invite people to that discipleship in Christ”.
He explained this involved reaching out and having a presence of hope and love in troubled communities. As a priest working in Gonzales and Laventille he did this and this enabled a different way of operating in the communities.
Archbishop Gordon urged publicising of the positives in communities, “little people with no power doing incredible things” and by celebrating these stories maybe there could be an outpouring of hope again. “It is not every citizen in this country doing foolishness; it is a minority. A lot of us are looking on rather than participating in the growth of our country,” he said.
On the question of gay rights, Archbishop Gordon referred to the Church’s position that every male and female are created in God’s image and likeness and should be treated with dignity. He said marriage is a bond between man and a woman for the unification of spouses and procreation of children.
The archbishop went on, “We only understand marriage as male and female in a bond that is exclusive until death do us part. In terms of rights, all human beings have rights so there is no specific rights for specific grouping, we all participate in rights as human beings.” – LPG