Govt ignores churches when making policies: Archbishop


THE Government continues to ignore churches when formulating policies although it recognises churches as development partners, Rabaul Archbishop Francesco Panfilo said in Kokopo recently.
“Normally, the Government considers churches a partner in service delivery. Government agencies appreciate what we do in the fields of education, health, and other social services,” he said.
“They like us to do more yet they ignore us when it comes to the formulation of policies. At times we feel like a pizza delivery boy who delivers pizza door to door.
“The delivery boy does not have a say in the preparation and baking of the pizza; he is just expected to deliver pizza.”
Panfilo was addressing the inaugural Islands mayors’ conference in Kokopo.
He said the understanding of churches on “development partnership” went deeper.
“The church works for the integral development of the human person, because we believe that every human being has been created in the image and likeness of God, and was redeemed by the blood of Christ and has a goal which is eternal life,” he said.
Panfilo said the Catholic church got involved in education, health, and other social services to carry Christ to all; the salvation of the world.
“We ask nothing except to put ourselves at the services of all humanity, especially the suffering and the excluded. We believe that the effort to proclaim the Gospel to the people today is rendered to the Christian community and also to humanity,” he said.
He said the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and redeem people.
“This is what the Lord expects of his church; nothing more, nothing less. The church is a willing partner with anyone who wants to serve the people,” he said.

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