President of Dominica Association of Evangelical Churches (DAEC), Pastor Randy Rodney, does not appear excited over the formation of a Ministry for Ecclesiastical Affairs, saying there is nothing to suggest there will be something different from what existed in the past.
He told Dominica News Online on Friday that more clarification is needed on the exact role of the Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs.
“The truth is I do not know what is the shout about that ministry in the sense that we have not seen anything to say or to suggest that there is going to be any different from what used to be the Ministry of Social Services where church affairs were dealt with,” he stated.
On Tuesday this week, Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, introduced the new ministry which will be led by Catherine Daniel.
He said the move was in response to calls for an incorporation of Christian values in the walks of life in Dominica.
According to Pastor Rodney, at least right now, he is not sure of the true intention of the ministry.
“At this moment there is nothing much I can say except to say that we’ve always had the matters of church dealt with by a minister and in recent past, it was Honorable Catherine Daniel,” he stated. “I do not know what the intention is, I do not know what the objective is and I do not know what difference it going to make at this point in time.”
He did say the attempt to incorporate Christian values in walks of life is a “noble” venture.
“But the truth is, that doesn’t come from the sky,” he stated. “I hope in fact that it happens. The reality though, is that if we want to start that now, we, the Evangelical Association, would be prepared to be on board with it but our truth is that over the years, for example, we have written on certain matters that we have not even gotten responses to. We have asked, sometimes in the public, for consultation matters that we have not been consulted on.”
He stated that if the ministry is ‘brand new,’ then it must be explained “and somebody needs to say where we intend to go.”
“There is no excitement for me as far as naming a Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs is concerned, no excitement in that,” Pastor Rodney said, adding that more clarification is needed on the matter.
Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Roseau, His Lordship Gabriel Malzaire, has already welcomed the establishment of a Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs.
He said that although he doesn’t quite know what the responsibility of the Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs is, it was a ‘good move.’