Fiji Archbishop calls on Catholics to fast and pray

Fijian Archbishop Petero Mataca has called on Catholics throughout the Fiji islands to pray and fast over the constitutional crisis and coup presently underway in the Pacific island state.

Head of the Roman Catholic Church in Fiji Archbishop Petero Mataca asked Catholics to pray and fast about the current situation.

"I asked [Vicar-General Father Beni Kaloudau] to call on Catholics through out Fiji, Rotuma, Rabi and Kioa Island to fast and pray," Archbishop Mataca told the Fiji Times.

Archbishop Mataca had previously criticised government policies, including its proposal to establish a Reconciliation and Unity Commission with the power, subject to presidential approval, to compensate victims and pardon perpetrators of the coup d'�tat that deposed the elected government of Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry in 2000.

In 2005, the Archbishop described the overthrow of a democratically elected government a serious crime.

The "coup cycle" would continue unless those involved faced the consequences of their crimes, he said.

Te Fiji Muslim League has also appealed to leaders for good sense to prevail in resolving the impasse between the military and the Government, the Fiji Times adds.

League president Hafiz Khan said the impasse was leading to a major concern and was confusing in so far as who was in control.

"It's the poor people who suffer the most in the end even though these people may say that what they're doing is for the poor," he said.

"However, we will continue to pray for the rule of law and for the impasse to stop because it is causing a lot of agony."

"We appeal to leaders for good sense to prevail in putting an end to the impasse," Mr Khan told the Fiji Times.

Pray for nation, Fiji church head pleads (Fiji Times, 6/12/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Archbishop Petero Mataca (Wikipedia)
Suva Archdiocese (Catholic-Hierarchy)
Fiji Coup (Wikipedia)

Catholic Church condemns coup (CathNews, 29/5/00)

6 Dec 2006