Think before you vote: Head of Fiji’s Catholic Church


Fri 18 Jul 2014

SUVA, Fiji — With the looming general election, the head of the country’s second largest Christian denomination, Archbishop Peter Loy Chong urged Catholics to make informed decisions for the betterment of the country when they cast their votes on 17 September.

Archbishop Chong said the election was an important part of the country’s history because it would define our future.

Speaking at a workshop organised for the church leaders and politicians at the St Joseph’s Secondary School in Suva Thursday, he said while the church was apolitical, it had a responsibility to inform its members to make wise decisions.

“The Catholic Church recognises that the political decisions of the Fijian people in the election will define the future of our nation,” Archbishop Chong said.

He said the church would contribute towards building a better Fiji.

“The Catholic Church, therefore, wishes to contribute to building a better Fiji by helping our Catholics make a well-informed political decision based on the scriptures and the teachings of the church.”

He said politics could be understood in the wider and more general sense as the dynamic organisation of the whole life of the society.

“In this respect, it constitutes a duty of responsible and active human participation for all citizens.

“The church is not an expert in politics. Rather, the church is an expert in the gospel of Jesus Christ and whatever that pertains to the promotion and protection of the human person as a son and daughter of God.

“The Catholic Church is clear in her role in politics. Pope Paul VI’s letter clearly states the role of the church and State are separate.”

Archbishop Chong said the United States Conference of Bishops defined the church’s role in politics as one of forming the conscience of people so they made well-informed and responsible decisions.

“Hence, the church seeks to equip its members to address political and social questions by helping them to develop a well-informed conscience.

“Catholics have a serious and lifelong obligation to form their conscience in accord with human reason and the teaching of the church.”


18 thoughts on “

  1. A vote to FF is a vote to Khayium – Taliban rule for many years.
    A vote to FF is a vote to future coup as people will legitimatise coup.
    The message must go very clear that no one supports people who grabbed power via coup.

  2. Archbishop Chong has echoed very correctly the true role of religion in any nation’s political situation. The Church is apolitical.
    However, to make the best choice as to who we as Christians need to vote for in the elections, we can ask God in prayer to guide and direct us.
    Thank you Archbishop for that timely message.

  3. A vote for sodelpa is a vote for racism. And that’s not what christainity preaches.

    A vote for sodelpa is a vote for a class society and this is what jesus fought against.

    A vote for sodelpa is a vote for revenge and chritainity teaches us to be forgiving.


  4. As Bainimarama went to school at Marist the good Bishop might appeal to Bhai’s Catholic link to give up of exploiting the country as God will not continue to grace an illegal brutal evil and lying dictator.

  5. As advised by Archbishop we need to think before we vote for the candidate we decide to vote for. Think about the persons available and what their records are. Statements recently made by bai seem to make the impression that he wants to rule the country exclusively when he said that there would be no coalition in his govt if he wins. What about the things he preaches about inclusiveness and unity. All this now seem BS and far cry from his statement. Think.

  6. The late Arch Bishop Mataca has showed us the way ,no question about that.It was how you should build a better Fiji and all those values a being engraved in the Constitution,Its about love forgiveness and whatever that God has taught us its all there in you hearts.Sodelpa seems to be the opposite direction

  7. @ anasa roko

    Do your sorry state of being a favour and get help for your inferiority complex against Catholicism. It’s clearly an unhealthy obsession with lost, ill-informed, dimwits like u.

    The days of trying to use the Church for the appearance of moral legitimacy are well and truly over for u, bai n khai. Chew on that..

  8. @ Mayweather

    Isn’t Chaudhary part of the Sodelpa coalition? What does that indicate to you?

    Love and forgiveness will surely follow the wheels of justice. Or did you mean something else?

  9. Prof Wadan’s analysis in today’s Fiji Times is seriously flawed for the following reason:

    1. The growth in 1999 should not be attributed to FLP as it only came to power after May. It was the SVT budget and policies that resulted in the growth supported partially by the recovery in the sugar industry due to the drought the year before.

    2. You can not compare the average growth of 5, 8 or 10 years with 1 year. Maybe Wadan needs to go and do basic course on statss.

    3. Wadan calculates the average growth under FB govt and includes 2009. Again, it seems Wadan has frgotton his basic sats course that 2009 was an outlier year with GFC that did not affect any other Govt. Hence, 2009 should be excluded.

    4. On debt, Wadan does not tell the public that under LQ, the Govt debt rose by more than 100%. He also conviently ignores the sale of assets under SDL of CNB and others.

    5 wadan assumes debt will be $475m higher because of assets sales. The reality is debt is not higher.

    6. Wadan conveniently ignores that there has been more than 3 times natural disasters during the last 8 years.

    7. Lastly, wadan is hell bent to show half truths. A reflection of his bitterness. But more a reflection of his political alligence.

    8. Wadan, your time is over. Not everyone will believe you and your one sided comments.

  10. Narsey supports FLP.
    He even wants to be the leader if Mahen chor dury is unable to stand for elections.

  11. Narsey supports himself, yet more drivel from him today. Still suffering from small man syndrome.

  12. good job wadan. you are the only one doing in-depth analysis and provoking thought and reaction. I look forward to all your articles, so do many others.

  13. Think before you cast your vote for FLP chorwa Mahen. Vote for NFP which has been consistent in its opposition of coups.

  14. One thing Wadan Narsey has not taken into consideration in his analysis is the amount of capital spending.

    I guess when one wants to show the negative picture, one will leave out the important factors and spice the analysis with “masala as the learned prof has done.

    However, had the not so learned prof bothered to check the total caputal expenditure, he would have noticed that the IG spent twice or $1.4billin more than the LQ govt. What this means is that had theIG spent the same amount, Debt would have actually declined even if we took the assset sales.

    Now I hope the not so learned prof can put some so called “gobar” on his face for misleading the people of fiji with his faulty analysis.

  15. Thank you Archibishop. We need to hear wise and enlightened counsel from people like you. May the Lord continue to bless you sir. Vinaka

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