25 Oct 2007

Fiji paramount chief critical of bishop over his role in People's Charter

1:24 pm on 25 October 2007

The education minister in Fiji's deposed government and paramount chief of the Burebasaga Confederacy, Ro Teimumu Kepa, has criticised the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Archbishop Petero Mataca, for agreeing to co-chair the national council for the People's Charter.

Ro Teimumu is quoted as saying the head of the church should have remained neutral because by accepting "a political position" with the interim government, he had lost the trust of many of the church's members.

Confirming that she was part of a delegation which went to see Archbishop Mataca, Ro Teimumu said she was speaking as a member of the church and not from her political or chiefly position.

But the Fiji Council of Churches has supported Archbishop Mataca, saying his decision provides a window of opportunity for the nation to move forward.

The Fiji Times reports that the general secretary of the Council, the Reverend Isireli Kacimaiwai, has called on council members to reconsider their view on the People's Charter, adding that there is room for middle ground and compromise.