JIS News

Reverend Dr. Alfred Reid, Lord Bishop for the Anglican Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, has decried the country’s high homicide rate as “unnatural” and a “presumptuous defiance of God, the giver of life”.
“What is happening now may well be defined as most foul, because it has a peculiar demonic quality of violence, malevolence, heartlessness, capriciousness and terror. It may also be considered strange and unnatural because it is directed against our own brothers and sisters, against innocent children, including infants, who normal people would want to love and protect, and against vulnerable old people, who would be regarded as special treasures in any civilized society. It is strange and unnatural because it brands us as zombies without natural affection or human feeling,” he stated.
The Lord Bishop was delivering the sermon at the opening service of the 136th annual synod of the Anglican Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands yesterday (April 18) at the St. James Parish Church in St. James.
He noted that Jamaica was defined by an entrenched “hostility between races, classes and cultures” and he warned against double standards in the society, where “some people are having the best of times, while others are condemned to the worst of times”.
“Either we are one people, or we are no people,” he emphasized, adding that the church was no exception to that rule.
Rev. Reid said that the church should take some amount of responsibility in helping the nation through a process of reconciliation.
“As servants of unity, we must help our people reconnect. We cannot overcome violence unless we build respect and trust between those who feel threatened,” he pointed out.
Rev. Reid further called for the dismantling of all garrison communities throughout the country, whether they were political, social or economic.
Among those who attended the synod were: Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Professor Kenneth Hall and Her Excellency Rheima Hall; Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller; Minister of Industry, Commerce, Science and Technology, Phillip Paulwell; Minister of Labour and Social Security, Derrick Kellier and Clarence Nelson and Owen Sinclair, Custodes of St. James and Westmoreland, respectively.