Marijuana is the other issue that the Council of Churches has taken issue with as they say that they were never consulted by the Government. The council notes, quote, “Despite assurances that this present government has made to the Council of Churches that it would seek and consider input on important moral and societal issues, it has not. The Church is left to respond to the pastoral challenges of societal ills without benefit of input. We find this inconsiderate and disrespectful.” End of quote. The position of the Churches on this issue is, and we quote, “With regard to the legalization of marijuana, the Council of Churches believes that the growth and distribution of marijuana creates and/or enhances societal and moral ills already plaguing our country. Legalizing the growing and distribution of a drug, which will ultimately be available, locally, and consumed on a recreational basis that causes effects on the human body, particularly our youth, is not a path civil society should choose to take. Nor should our attention be diverted from current health crises in our country of not only COVID-19, but also diabetes, high-blood pressure, and other diseases that plague our society. Nor do we want to “add fuel” by contributing to the risks for the use of other illegal/illicit/proscribed substances through the legalization of marijuana.” End of quote. Bishop Wright says
Bishop Philip Wright, Belize Council of Churches: “The marijuana issue is only of course one of a number of issues that we feel if we do not address it now we worry about the future in terms of decisions that will affect the country, will affect our people the very people we serve as well and also undermine that very relationship that we’ve had of mutual respect, dialogue and consultation.”
Reporter: How many persons would you say you guys represent as the leaders of the Council of Churches ?
Bishop Philip Wright, Belize Council of Churches: “Well that’s an interesting question because I think the next census figures may give us some more accurate picture but I would like to think that combined we are well over fifty percent of the population the Roman Catholics, the Anglicans, the Methodists, the Salvation Army, Presbyterian, several others; I am pretty certain that it’s more than fifty percent of the population.”
Another concerning matter for the council of Churches is the continuing debate on the Equal Opportunities Bill. We expect this administration to invite a dialogue with the Council of Churches on the matter before any final decision is made.