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RC Archbishop blames social inequalities for child deaths

Friday, June 20, 2014
Roman Catholic priest Fr Clyde Harvey displays the monstrance containing the consecrated Eucharistic host, during yesterday’s Corpus Christi procession along Park Street, Port-of-Spain. PHOTO: Abraham Diaz

Roman Catholic Archbishop  Joseph Harris yesterday blamed this country’s recent spate of child deaths on a number of social inequalities plaguing society. Harris was at the time delivering the homily to hundreds of Catholics at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, for the Corpus Christi service ahead of the procession to Independence Square. “Until exclusion and inequality in society and between people are reversed it will be impossible to eliminate violence,” Harris said. “Indeed here in T&T, the call for greater security resonates in all our hearts but as Pope Francis has reminded us, until the exclusion and inequality in our country is reversed, the insecurity we feel will increase, it will not end.


Harris listed these inequalities as that between the salaries of executives and workers, inequalities in legal representation, access to healthcare and housing, and the inequality in access to job and education opportunities. He said the insecurity would continue to plague the nation in spite of the best intentions of many. “These inequalities contribute in no small measure to the spate of children deaths. there have been 15 since March,” Harris said. He said while the nation was quick to place blame, it was important for people to accept responsibility. “When these disasters occur, do our hearts go out with compassion of God to parents and families?” “Let us ask ourselves what if any help we have given as individuals and what can we and should we do as individuals?”

Harris said the world continued to become more and more bereft of moral values. He said the culture of T&T was extremely individualistic and self-serving, with an accent on upward mobility. He said the result of the acceptance of lack of moral values was greed which spawned corruption, various financial meltdowns and the underground business of drugs and guns. “I think we would all agree that our society is sick. “This sickness will not necessarily lead to death. The remedy is in our hands,” Harris said.