Bridgetown’s Apostolic Administrator and Archbishop of Port of Spain Jason Gordon hoped that whatever the outcome of tomorrow’s general election (May 24), partisan differences will be set aside and all political parties, their supporters and citizens build bridges, and work together in the best interest of the nation, demonstrating the civility for which Barbadians are well known.
In a statement issued May 23, the archbishop said every election is an opportunity for reflection, a time when policymakers and the populace look at the road travelled and chart a path to achieve a vision of a country providing a better life and new opportunities for its people.
He urged the newly elected Government, “Put your faith in God. As the dust settles, the widely promised integrity legislation should be enacted and a review undertaken of election laws to robustly hold candidates and their supporters accountable at the next election and require civility, decency and transparency, including the signing of a Code of Conduct by contending candidates.”
Archbishop Gordon quoted Pope Francis: “A leader who doesn’t love, cannot govern—at best they can discipline, they can give a little bit of order, but they can’t govern,” adding that no one is perfect, but politics must serve the common good, and people in public service (indeed all citizens) are expected to work together to build a better society.
“As citizens we must ask ourselves: ‘How can I contribute to make tomorrow better than today for my family, my community and my country? What am I able and willing to do?’,” he said.
The statement went on to say that no one must be left on the fringes as all are equal in the eyes of God and deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Social justice and the common good must be hallmarks of progress, it said.
“Those with authority, including persons who form the Government, the Opposition, statutory corporations etc have a duty to humbly, compassionately and courageously exercise that authority for the common good. They must nourish the society by paying keen attention to matters of social justice, and courageously feed the people of Barbados with virtuous example in all spheres of life.”
Ultimately, Archbishop Gordon hoped as the diocese awakens on May 25 with the elections behind them, that they pray for the Government and all persons in authority, that the Government will serve the people of Barbados with humility and compassion over the next five years.
“Let us also pray for unity, healing, peace, hope and the rejuvenation of our nation,” he said.