Apart from defending the constitutionality of Section 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code, the Roman Catholic Diocese is stirring up much opposition against the Government’s elusive Petrocaribe Program. A release from Reverend Father Noel Leslie of the Diocese revealed that in their senate meeting on July 1st, Leslie on behalf of the churches voted in favour of the General Revenue Supplementary Appropriation Bill and the General Supplementary Appropriation and the Amendments to the Petrocaribe Loans Act 2015. The release says and we quote, “As a senator nominated by the Council of Churches, I am obligated to vote in accordance with the majority decision of that body and which I represent in the senate. The release continues to state, “The roman catholic church of Belize which shepherds 40% of the Belizean population respectfully holds a different position from the one I (Leslie) presented in the Senate on July 1st”.
In the release Father Leslie goes on to state and we quote “The bishop of Belize and Belmopan His Excellency Bishop Dorick Wright joins me in calling for a repeal of the Petrocaribe Loans Act 2015 and its amendments and for the return to the adherence to the principals outlined in the finance and audit reform act 2005.” end quote. So what does all this mean? Simply put, the Church feels that the Petrocaribe Loans Act was derived to correct transgressions in the borrowing and spending of public funds and encourages greater transparency and accountability of the public purse.
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