By Fr. Clement S. Jolly, C.S.R.

Help, O Lord, for good men have vanished:
Truth has gone from the sons of men.
Falsehood they speak to one another,
With lying lips, with a false heart.
(Psalm 12)

The frivolity and irresponsibility which are displayed in many areas
in Dominica have reached an unfortunate climax. A sense of
responsibility seems to be far from the minds of many. A call for
accountability is blatantly dismissed as a subversive activity
deserving immediate retaliation. Where are we going to? Are we
witnessing the beginning of a police state with the Grand Inquisitor
already in place?

If there is still any moral sense left in this country, there should
be a public outcry at this moment. For a minister of government to
suggest that a business establishment should be banned by the public
in retaliation for the exercise of the civil rights of the proprietor
is grossly incomprehensible. This is particularly so because, in the
1970’s, the honourable gentleman was at the helm of the vindication of
the rights of public servants. To my mind, this is low; this is
abject; this is disgraceful. Indeed, this is disgusting!

It is reported that the philosopher Socrates, in broad daylight, went
about the city with a lighted lantern. He was asked for the meaning of
that action. His response was that he was looking for an honest man.
He was in search of a man of integrity. I fear that we have reached
this stage in Dominica. I say so because many whom we revered for
their sense of justice and integrity have seemed to abandon the path
of righteousness.

This recent incident is a symbol of the direction which this country
is taking. And it is doing so, at least, with the tacit approval of
many Christian men and women. This is truly appalling. Perhaps what we
are witnessing is a level of intolerance, arrogance and intransigence
which has assumed tremendous proportions.

This is a democratic country. Many people think that democracy is
merely exercised on Election Day. No. Democracy is a way of life. It
has to do with relationships. It speaks of duties and
responsibilities. It calls for participation. It is all about
transparency, accountability, humble service and justice.

Mr. Jerry Brisbane is fully within his rights as a citizen of the
Commonwealth of Dominica to make the approaches that he has made to
the People’s Republic of China, the European Union, the International
Monetary Fund, the World Bank and USAID. He is right in having his
concerns. Mr. Jerry Brisbane should be applauded for his courage, his
sense of civic responsibility and his sense of justice.

My suggestion is that the people of Dominica, as a show of support for
this champion of justice, should frequent Brizee’s Mart particularly
during this Christmas season. This would be just a small reward for
being a champion of human rights which are being eroded in this

O Judgement, thou art fled to brutish beasts
And men have lost their reason.

1 Comment on "THE TRIUMPH OF ABSURDITY – Fr. Clement S. Jolly, C.S.R."

  1. Parry R. Bellor | November 28, 2010 at 9:48 AM | Reply

    Managing Director
    A response to Fr. Jolly

    “EEF I WUZ” PARRY BELLOT, I would try to remember that “fools rush in where angels fear to tread” especially when it comes to “expressing strong disagreement” with God’s anointed. But I would be contra-motivated by continuing proof that even THEY are NOT immune from error or even wrong-doing – witness the child molestation priest scandals of recent times. I would also note that even the Pope – of generally accepted “infallibility” fame – only last weekend has changed his mind and has now publicly accepted that the use of condoms can sometimes be a good thing to reduce HIV. Amen to that! I am therefore encouraged to hope for a similar change in mind by the Church in: allowing priests to marry, accepting women as fully equal PRIESTS, and (that’s perhaps a long shot…) even a general acceptance that gays deserve full legal rights in any civilized, justice-based society.

    So…EEF I WUZ
    PARRY BELLOT, I would be saying all the above to introduce and justify this criticism of my much respected pastor, FR CLEMENT JOLLY, for some of his statements in a recent article (SUN, Nov 22). Of course, he has the RIGHT to express his opinion. As has JERRY BRISBANE. But those (like myself) who disagree strongly with the two’s position ALSO have the right to publicly express that disagreement and to question the FAIRNESS, the BASIS and the APPROPRIATENESS for their extreme anti-government sentiment. Fr Jolly used strong language: “human rights are being eroded in this country…”a call for accountability is dismissed as subversive… “we [may be] witnessing the start of a police state in Dominica…” and “Mr. Brisbane should be applauded for his civic responsibility and sense of justice…” With respect, Father, I believe that a “sense of justice” requires that YOU indicate where our human rights are being eroded and provide at least some evidence of how we must be becoming a police state! Gone are the days when because a priest said something we accepted it without question. Still, it is because many of us continue to rely on the many religions of the world to provide some moral and ethical guidance in these modern times that I am particularly disappointed that you appear to have made accusations without any back-up in FACTS. That is not just or priestly. It is, rather, at the level of talk show gossip and talk show propagandists. I prefer to be guided by others in the religious community who appear more reasoned in their “political” and, yes, “ethical” positioning.

    EEF I WUZ…
    A LIKE -MINDED FOLLOWER of the ongoing POLTICAL DEBATES, I would therefore place my stock, have more considered confidence in the recent comments of Rev. Greenaway in this newspaper. He noted that justice requires we give persons the benefit of the doubt before accusing them, for example, of accumulating “massive unaccountable wealth” (the real underlying issue…). I am also impressed, Fr. Jolly, by your own Bishop Malzaire who on SEVERAL occasions has pointed out that while the Church must continue ALWAYS to advocate for justice and integrity, it cannot be expected to have the competence and the civil authority to examine governance matters in DETAIL or as some regularly demand, PRONOUNCE who is guilty and call for their immediate resignation and/or removal from office. While their logic admittedly suits my cause (and that of some 62% of the current electorate – though this indeed does not by itself establish RIGHT or WRONG…) I am hoping that, in humility and prayer, you can accept that the position of Rev Greenaway and Bishop Malzaire is FAIR, BALANCED & REASONABLE. I await your comments.

    EFF I WUZ.…
    FATHER JOLLY, I would ask myself whether I have ever tried to speak with the Prime Minister directly on the allegations of corruption. I would humbly consider whether in advocating for the poor and vulnerable as the Good Lord has asked me to, I have not unfairly and hastily judged those I deem very powerful in the society. Even the proven rich sometimes are the greatest supporters and helpers of the poor. There is one big supporter of my church who, as a very successful businessman, is one of the biggest and generous supporters of charities in Dominica… Could it be that the “Red Clinic” for example, instead of being the “political vote-getting tool” it is portrayed as by those in political opposition, could be a Prime Minister’s genuine effort to help those most in need – and to assist them quicker than the normal government bureaucracies would allow? Have I with an open mind discussed it with persons of different perspectives to get the true picture? I hope and pray I still have the sincerity to ask these questions… Could it be that, despite my noble intentions, I may have been genuinely misinformed?

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