Monday 18 December, 2017

Catholic Church Supports DSH Days after Expressing Concerns

The Roman Catholic Church appears to have had a change of heart regarding the Desert Star Holdings (DSH) project, just about a week after it expressed concerns regarding certain aspects of the project and its potential impact on residents in Vieux Fort.

Head of the Church in St. Lucia, Archbishop Robert Rivas has gone on record stating that the Church is not against the project.

“The Church is not against the DSH project and welcomes the policy decision to conduct feasibility studies and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) by the government,” Rivas said.

His comments are contained in a letter to the government, which unlike a previous statement from him that outlined the Church’s concerns about the project and was made public, has yet to be released in the public domain.

Rivas also said in his letter dated May 8, 2017, that the Church is ready to move forward with the government and the local communities in the interest of nation-building, development and progress for a better St. Lucia.

“In a spirit of reconciliation and peace we ask forgiveness of anyone who was offended by our solidarity with the local community, and likewise we offer forgiveness to all who were less than charitable in their comments and interventions,” Rivas said.

Rivas previous statement drew heated comment from several persons and dominated the talk shows here.

“It was meant to be a voice for citizens grappling with the impact of the development on their communities,” Rivas said referring to his previous statement.

The Archbishop is today talking about maintaining an open channel of communication with the government for any future issues that may arise.

“The Church is happy to collaborate with the government wherever it serves her mission of spreading the gospel in caring for the poor, the vulnerable, the youth and the elderly of the nation and to join the government in addressing the issues of violence, health care, unemployment, crime and any other social ills as they occur,” he said.

He requested of government to continue to host meetings with the surrounding communities so that they will be kept well informed of the process, the possible impact and also benefit from the potential employment that the project may generate.