Priest sees room to work on conflict


Churches have been urged to teach people about political life as they are usually close to their congregation and can help them in communicating what people want the country to achieve for them, a priest says.
Speaking at the 2017 Melanesian Association of Theological Schools conference recently, Marist priest Andrew Murray said often politics seemed like a great ball of chaos and confusion.
Murray believes that philosophy and the church can help make distinctions so that people will be able to clarify the activities in which they are engaged in.
He  says that the people of PNG were still learning about the difference between tribal life governed by custom and political life governed by law which was often confusing, especially for those in rural and remote villages.
The church for them is therefore one link to the government.
He believes, however, that the relationship between the government and people has improved over time with both slowly learning how to live well, truthfully and justly as a united country.
He said, it is important to make a distinction between three kinds of life all are engaged in; the life of the family in a home; the life of the clan and tribe in a village; and the political life of a country.
Murray said each of these lives were different. Even though the same people live them, they have different origins and rules and difficulties arise when we confuse them.
“Political life is different and it is not necessary to live as political communities in countries. We could remain living simply in tribes, but do it so as to have better lives.”
Murray used Aristotle to distinguish external goods like property and money; goods of the body like health, strength and beauty, and goods of the soul, like understanding and moral and religious virtue.

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