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Father Labour: While Supporting Just Causes, The Priest Should Not Commit To Supporting A Politician

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Reacting to Father Jocelyn Grégoire’s position, Father Jean Maurice Labour, Vicar General of the Diocese of Port- Louis, reacted in a statement that we publish below:

Father Jocelyn Grégoire spoke at a ceremony to hand over land leases to cooperative societies in Rose-Belle. Since his statements, some Christians have expressed their incomprehension, even their indignation.

Just as many priests have engaged in social struggles in the name of their faith (for example Father Mongelard in housing, Father Romaine in education, Father Piat in Family Action, Fathers Véder and Fabien against discrimination, or myself in ecology), Jocelyn Grégoire has engaged, in his own way, so that Creoles be recognized as full citizens in Mauritian society. However, while supporting causes that seem to him to be just, the priest must not in any way commit himself to supporting or advocating for a politician or a party so as not to pressure the opinion of the citizens.

The Catholic Church has a long-standing policy of respecting the authority that is in place. That is why it has always worked with the government in place for the advancement of the Mauritian society. The bishop and his priests take a stand, in good time and against the odds, when democracy is in jeopardy or being flouted. We keep our freedom to question the government in place. We are critical partners. Any partisan rapprochement with a political group must be avoided in order to remain free and keep our capacity to be critical in a constructive way. The priests of the Catholic Church must never engage in active politics. The Church hierarchy has had the opportunity to tell Jocelyn Grégoire this on several occasions. He must take his responsibilities.

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