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Thursday 23 May 2019
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Tobago priest calls for end to violence

A Roman Catholic priest has urged his parishioners to pray for an end to violence, not only in TT but throughout the world.

Fr Leslie Tang Kai, delivering the sermon at St Joseph RC Church, Scarborough, Tobago, on Good Friday, lamented violence had become a way of life.

He alluded to the recent murder of retired policeman Donald Parks, saying crime was "right in our back yards."

"Let us end violence not only in our homes, but throughout the world," he urged listeners, who included Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon.

Tang Kai made his appeal against the backdrop of the Good Friday gospel reading which details the events leading up to Jesus Christ's suffering and death in Calvary.

Referring to the portion of the reading in which Christ died after uttering the words, “It is accomplished,” Tang Kai wondered if Christians were truly reflecting on the significance of Jesus' final words.

"As Christians, we have to ask ourselves if the Father's will is being fulfilled in our lives."

Tang Kai said many people no longer seemed to know the difference between right and wrong.

"Truth is now clouded by lies and politics has a morality of its own."

He also recalled a politician saying he would sleep with the Devil to get what he wanted.

The priest told the packed congregation, Christ's suffering and death on a cross was meant to encourage sinners to repent to facilitate a renewed life, which, he said, includes love, peace, joy, patience, self-control and gentleness.

"If we are followers of God, there is no room for hatred, violence and greed....let us be open to all the spirit of God has for us. We have a power given to us by the one given to us to restore."

Tang Kai, in his homily, also told parishioners that speaking ill about one-another can be more deadly than violence.

"By mere speech we can kill one-another. Our tongue is more deadly (than the weapons used to commit violent crime). Let us learn to be more charitable in our speech and let us think of others as we want them to think of us."

He also encouraged the congregation to develop a closer relationship with God and one-another.

"In that way, his words, 'It is accomplished will be fulfilled in our lives.'"

Tang Kai said love was not about sex, passion or intimacy but respect and value for one-another.

Earlier, parishioners had participated in a re-enactment of the Way of Cross, which chronicled Christ's journey to the place of his crucifixion.

The walk began at St Joseph RC and ended at St Anthony's RC Church, Mason Hall.

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