ANGLICAN Bishop Rev Claude Berkley says while there are many issues which continue to negatively impact upon us as a nation, citizens also need to acknowledge the positive things for which we are recognised worldwide.
Berkley was delivering the homily at yesterday's Celebration of Thanksgiving and Praise in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of this country's Independence. The event was hosted by the Anglican Church in the Diocese of Trinidad and Tobago and held at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port of Spain.
Berkley steered clear of any overt reference to current political issues or the chiding by National Security Minister Jack Warner of Rev Dean Collin Sampson, who was accused of turning the Cathedral into Balisier House during a sermon he delivered at a service to mark the opening of the new Law Term on September 17.
"We find that we are beset by certain ongoing situations," Berkley said.
"We know them quite well—crime and violence, accusations of corruption and misfeasance, breakdown of institutional life, especially of the family, disrespect and odium, seemingly irresponsible or irreconcilable differences and bad blood and much more which we will not lament while we are giving thanks. It was well ventilated in the national media. Not involving this church, but in the national media.
"But these things do not diminish our world-class achievement in sport, in literary and visual art, intellectual and poetic accomplishment, stability in our political and economic life and strength in our religious and cultural diversity and expression.
"For much of this we are greatly admired across the world. Still we must find a way to minimise those aspects which take away from our wholesome development and maturity."
Berkley quoted from the Express editorial of August 31, 2012 (Independence Day) which read in part: "Indeed, it may well be that the judgment of independence should not rest on individual accomplishments, but on what the society as a whole has achieved or not achieved. We can point to our political stability; but we cannot ignore the crassness and corruption of the politicians we elect.
"We can boast of an independent judiciary; but cannot ignore the defects of a slow court process which rarely convicts the powerful and privileged. We can boast of a free media. And we can boast of a diverse populace which is racially and religiously peaceful, but we cannot ignore the biases which impel racial voting and the abuses which underlie various types of violence in the society.
"What cannot be gainsaid is that, as a nation, T&T has not yet achieved its potential."
Berkley also spoke of a new vision and re-branding for the Anglican Church which, he said, is necessary given the "complex nature of the times in which the Church has to live".
He said the areas to be addressed are leadership development, Christian education, rationalisation of human and physical resources, youth, finance and reconciliation.