The Church reaches out with loving care to all

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

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Dear Editor,

The Jamaica Council of Churches and the wider Christian community regret the recent news of the allegations of abuse of one of our nation’s children by a minister of the Church.

While we await the outcome of the legal process, we do not support or condone the abuse of our children or the misconduct of our leaders. We are seized by the gravity of the impact and implications on the Church, families and wider society on account of the case at hand.

Undoubtedly, the outrage has served as a reminder to the Church of the high standard to which the church and its leaders are held by the society, and the burden of responsibility in ensuring that we live up to those expectations. The public response has been accentuated on account of the rate of child abuse in our country and the very early sexual initiation of many of our youth. This is a major concern for the Church as well.

The grace and mercy of God, and the imperatives of the Gospel, demand that we reach out with loving care to all, irrespective. In light of this, and within the context of the present crisis, we prayerfully remember the teen, her family and friends; the accused and his family and friends, and the Church community — those who have benefited from the pastoral leadership of the accused, his denomination and the wider church community.

As the Church, we remain committed to holding our members, and especially our leaders, to the highest level of morality, professionalism and Christian witness as embodied in our various denominational codes of conduct. Guided by such codes, we appeal to our leaders to be responsible in the use of the power and influence that has come with the pastoral call and office, even as we support them in leading lives of integrity. We further commit to continuing our partnerships with the State and other agencies in ridding our society of the scourge of child abuse.

Rev Gary Harriott

General Secretary

Jamaica Council of Churches




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