Controversial Anglican cleric Charles Morris is wondering where the leadership of his church is gone in the wake of two superstorms that have devastated several countries in the northern Caribbean.
Morris contended that with Hurricanes Irma and Maria causing death and destruction, Archbishop of the West Indies Dr John Holder should have been out there offering prayerful solace to the suffering.
Instead, he charged, Holder, also the Bishop of the diocese of Barbados, had gone eerily silent, leading Morris to question whether the archbishop understood his role in a time of crisis.
“We have people suffering all over the Caribbean but yet not a word of comfort from the head of the church. He has not even given a response as head of diocese because the countries that were hit all fall under him as Archbishop of the West Indies. However we are yet to receive any episcopal instructions as to what the church of Barbados will do,” he told Barbados TODAY.
“I wonder if the archbishop really understands what his role is. You cannot have people suffering and not a word from the bishop. There is something wrong with that. In the past we would have already issued a statement offering the prayers and support of Barbados. We would have offered spiritual support to persons who were affected, followed by tangible support which all of Barbados has already started to give. These people at this time need words of counsel and the best place for these words to come from is the church. Being the archbishop is not just a figurehead, you are the chief shepherd and right now the sheep are being attacked by a wolf called a hurricane, but the shepherd is nowhere to be found,” Morris contended.
However, the Anglican priest had high praise for the individual churches and the public who took the initiative to give generously to their Caribbean brothers and sisters in need.
“Some churches took it upon themselves, without waiting for guidance from leaders, to take care of their brothers and sisters and I am really proud of the response from Barbadians in the wider public. It shows that church and people still understand their humanitarian duty but we need our leaders to step up and do the same,” he added.
Barbados TODAY reached out to the office of the archbishop for comment but was unsuccessful.