Hear Jesus’ voice, look upon His face
January 5, 2018
The Epiphany of the Lord (B)
January 5, 2018

Say ‘enough’ to social ills

Bishop Francis Alleyne


The cry of “enough” is not applicable only to the disrespect towards women, but it would also be fitting to say “enough” to social ills-—violence, racism, corruption, suicide, carnage on the road, unbecoming conduct in Parliament and unemployment.

This was the crux of Bishop Francis Alleyne’s Christmas message to the diocese. The full text was published in the diocesan weekly, Catholic Standard, December 22.

In his message, the Bishop referenced the “#MeToo” movement used on social media in the latter part of 2017 to describe a spectrum of stories told by women ranging from harassment in the streets, exploitation in the workplace to severe instances of grave and repeated violence and violation.

Commenting on the campaign, Bishop Alleyne said that it began with one person, as it were, raising her hand and saying “enough”. That one act, he said, opened a way and gave courage and words for millions of others to say “me too”. “Until that moment a great silence covered a multitude of sins. A dumbness and deafness and blindness prevailed while inappropriate attitudes and behaviours persisted.”

He continued, “The stories point to men as the ones mainly responsible for the damaging deeds and very sad to say, these males were very often ‘significant others’ in the lives of the victims.” Bishop Alleyne hoped that in time, all would see another “MeToo” going viral as men own up to transgressions and resolve to take their place as protectors and nurturers.

“While the stories are tragic, they are at the same time stories of faith. In the very act of bringing these ills to light, the victims have asserted their rights, their worth, their integrity and their identity as children of God. That is an act of faith. They have said ‘enough’ and made it clear that there has to be another way forward.”

The bishop reminded the faithful that when God took on human form, He laid out a plan of repentance and communion, a plan which said “enough” to all forms and expressions of human conflict, distress, brokenness and showed all the way to be reconciled and in communion with Him and with one another through love, sacrifice, service and self-giving.

“In coming to us and taking on our nature, God, through his Son, gave us and is giving us the opening to say “me too”. I want to live the full stature of my humanity and pursue this by following him, being his disciple and living my baptism,” Bishop Alleyne said.

The bishop explained that Christmas has a unique way of bringing one’s stature to the surface. Even amid the hype, glamour and commerce which have, to a great extent, displaced the true manner in which we can best celebrate Our Lord’s birth, the Christmas Spirit still puts people in touch with others and with the better side of themselves.

“There is thoughtfulness, outreach and celebration that infects and affects many hearts in a wonderful way,” Bishop Alleyne said.