Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley presents a gift to Bishop-elect of the Roman Catholic Church Neil Scantlebury, during a recent courtesy call at Ilaro Court. (S. Maughan/BGIS)

Societal issues, such as gun violence, and practical ways to solve them were discussed recently when Bishop-elect of the Roman Catholic Church Neil Scantlebury, paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, at Ilaro Court.

And, Ms. Mottley told Bishop-elect Scantlebury that she looked forward to seeing how Government could work with the faith-based communities to help stabilise the social fabric of society.

“Let us agree to work together in key areas to ensure there is no social implosion of our society,” she urged, adding: “I have every confidence we will make it, but it requires daily reinforcement.”

 The Prime Minister said it was necessary to ensure that the moral compass of young citizens was working. 

She stressed that Government would do what was required, including utilising its National Transformation Initiative, and suggested that the Church also had a role to play and would have to do its part. 

However, she noted that parents also had a responsibility to instill that strong moral compass in their children. She added that this internalised set of values, which helps persons determine right from wrong, must be reinforced by every institution these unattached young people interact with.

Ms. Mottley underlined the critical importance of parental education, and expressed a desire to work with the faith-based community in this area. In addition, she said homework clubs were needed, proffering the view that they would make a difference in the lives of young people.

During the discussions, the Prime Minister acknowledged that Government must find a way of better deploying its resources with regard to social services; highlighted the importance of the Barbados YouthADVANCE Corps, and stressed the need to have more young people trained in sports.   

Bishop-elect Scantlebury, who will be ordained next Friday, said the Roman Catholic Church would work on its youth programmes and do its part to reach out and help. He spoke about the Catholic Church’s HUB programme and its success stories in helping people.

He added that people needed to not only love themselves, but reach out and help others.  The Prime Minister agreed, saying the reboot message must be “love people in spite of”.     

Ms. Mottley congratulated the Bishop-elect on his elevation, saying “it is an absolute sense of pride” to have him return to Barbados and be in charge of the Diocese of Bridgetown.   

Those attending the courtesy call included Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Dr. Jerome Walcott; Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, Cynthia Forde; Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Alies Jordan, and Catholic Priest Father Clement Paul.

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