Barbados is not in a good place, Roman Catholic Priest Father Clement Paul warned today, as he made a passionate plea for the nation to make a major transformation over the next 40 days of the sacred Lenten season.
At a well-attended Ash Wednesday service at the St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, the clergyman did not hide his disappointment at recent worrying events that he said were creating “desert” conditions in Barbados.
“The fact that we can find ourselves in the Canadian news and in international news that somebody, that a visitor, was robbed and crippled being shot, that is desert,” he lamented in reference to last weekend’s shooting of Ken Elliot, a resident of Calgary.
Three armed, masked men invaded Elliot’s vacation residence at Ealing Park, Christ Church. Government has strongly condemned the incident, even as police continue to hunt for the culprits who were caught on video, which is circulating on social media, carrying out the attack.
Before a congregation that included Governor General Dame Sandra Mason, the outspoken Father Paul went on to express his concern about other troubling incidents.
“That we are still reeling from the fact that outside of a primary school a shooting can take place – desert. The fact that we can have talk of news of people taking their own lives and we have had one or two of them – desert,” he said.
Against the backdrop of these occurrences, Father Paul wants to see serious reflection and change in society during this Holy period, in which members of the Christian community reflect for 40 days on the sacrifice of Christ, to mirror the length of time Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness, resisting the temptations of Satan.
The Roman Catholic priest stressed that improvement would only come though serious prayer and fasting.
“I am asking this congregation, I am asking this nation, let’s spend the next 40 days bringing the weapon of prayer, of fasting, and of charity to bear on this nation in such a way that those who feel that they can deal with their own deeds and selfishness by arming themselves, that they can simply put down their arms and realize that they too are sacred dust,” he said.