Samoa’s Catholic archbishop lashes Government, warns of dictatorship

Samoa’s Catholic archbishop used the ‘dictatorship’ word several times while lacerating the country’s political leaders in a public Mass on Monday.

Alapati Lui Mataeliga took the opportunity to lash out at the Human Rights Protection Party-led (H.R.P.P.) caretaker Government and its leadership during Samoa’s constitutional crisis.

His fiery sermon covered the crisis triggered by caretaker Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi’s refusal to concede defeat and several controversial Bills rushed through parliament last year.

Tuilaepa and a few H.R.P.P. members were sitting in the front row of the congregation during the Mass.

Samoa is sliding into a dictatorship, the leader of Samoa’s second largest religion warned during his sermon.

Alapati decried the current state of the nation on the eve of Samoa’s 59 years of independence.

“There is no peace and there is no unison and it appears as if our forefathers shed blood for no reason,” he said.

“This all comes down to Government leaders fighting for power.”

He went on to remind the leaders that they are public servants, called to serve Samoa. They should remember the Government was elected by the same people who can remove them from power.

“The heart of any democratic government is the constitution and the rule of law.

“The constitution outlines the rule of law and its purpose is to interpret and protect what stipulates under the law and what’s happening now, the constitution is broken with a number of amendments, some of which were rushed into law.

The caretaker Government lost the election as they didn’t listen to the public, he said.

“Our constitution has lost its sacredness and the same applies to the law, it’s not being followed.”

The caretaker Government’s disregard of the Courts’ judgements was highlighted, as was its preference for overseas judges and lawyers.

“Maybe they will also bring in overseas police officers … it is saddening this colonial rule as a result of actions by those in the greed for power.

“And power stinks and it will also kill you if you don’t know how to use it!”

Saying “absolute power corrupts absolutely”, Alapati again stressed that Samoa is heading into a dictatorship.

“It will not end well; the biggest concern is the impact on the members of the public,” he said.

He urged Samoa’s chiefs to intervene and “make a stand for Samoa as a whole.”

If the chiefs won’t act the Catholic Church will, out of love for Samoa and its people.

“We will march in the country and will carry the cross and the word of God with prayers and hymns.”

Referencing the importance of Samoa’s Independence day, Alapati called for peace in the country.

“Stop this madness of dictatorship and being conceited and be humble,” he said.

The Archbishop appealed to Samoa’s current Head of State to stand up for peace and for Samoans everywhere to pray ‘for their kingdom to be from heaven’.


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