Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Harris: Inequality plaguing the nation


VOICES RAISED IN PRAISE: Parishioners sing during yesterday’s Corpus Christi celebrations and Solemn High Mass at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain followed by the traditional procession through Port of Spain, which culminated outside the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Independence Square, Port of Spain, which is currently closed for restoration works. —Photo: ANISTO ALVES

Mark Fraser

Only when inequality and exclusion come to an end in this country will the security for adults and children, that this nation is crying out for, become reality, Roman Catholic Archbishop Joseph Harris has said.

Delivering his Corpus Christi message at a mass at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, yesterday, Harris, who referred to Pope Francis’s Corpus Christi message, noted that, just like the rest of the world this country is calling for greater security.

“In Trinidad and Tobago the call for greater security resonates in all our hearts but as Pope Francis has reminded us until exclusion and inequality in our country are reverted, the insecurity we experience will only increase, it will not end,” he said.

Listing a number of inequalities plaguing the country which he believes are contributing to the recent increase in the deaths of children, Harris said:  

“Some of the inequalities that continue to plague us as a nation are the discrepancies between the salaries of executives and the salaries of workers, the inequalities in legal representation, the inequalities in health care, the inequalities in housing, the inequalities in educational opportunities, inequalities in job opportunities are some of the inequalities, inspite of the best intentions of many.

“It is these inequalities that contribute in no small measure to the spate of children’s deaths. There have been 15 since March. When these disasters occur we are quick as a nation to cast blame. In fact, recently someone asked me, ‘Father, is the devil loose in our land?’”

“We refuse to look at ourselves,” he said.

Harris then went on to ask those present to take an inward look at how they treat with the continued loss of the nation’s children.

“So I ask you when these disasters occur do our hearts go out with the compassion of God to parents, grandparents and families? 

“Let us take a few minutes in silence to ask ourselves what help we have given as individuals and what can and should we do as individuals so that in these circumstances the compassionate love of God may be experienced,” he added.                    —See Page 19