The Church, as the government of God, is an integral and democratic institution. It is the life of every community which works in the lives if individuals. It is called upon to pledge to the words freedom, justice and peace in the world; to denounce violations of human indignity, to identify itself with the poor and oppressed. This principle does not make the church a political party or as taking sides with political parties, but as God is the Father of all above all, His Church is above all parties, apppointed by God to see that all justices are done on this planet, the Earth, and to freely speak against all injustices and wrong doing.
Daily Gleaner - May 21, 1972
The Prime Minister Hon. Michael Manley has described as a “…healthy development”
The role of the Church in the Caribbean in focusing attention on the problems of the people, during discussions at Jamaica House on Friday with Archimandrite Abba Laike M. Mandefro, Head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the U.S.A and Jamaica. With Mr. Manley was Senator the Hon. Dudley Thompson Minister of State in the Office Of the Prime Minister.
Abba Mandefro who arrived in Jamaica on Thursday on a four-day visit at the invitation of the Government, was accompanied by Abba Gabre Eyesus Smith of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the U.S.A, Deacon Tekle of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Jamaica and Mr. George Shoucair, Legal adviser to the Church. He also called on the Governor General Sir Clifford' Campbell at King's House.
Mr. Manley pointed out that Governments in the Western Hemisphere had lost spiritual inspiration because of the separation between Church and State. The Jamaican Government wanted to build a bridge of understanding between Church and State, he said. And referred to the appointment of the Rev. Ashley Smith as his advisor on Church State relations. The Prime Minister stated that in the Caribbean the Church was focusing it’s attention on the problems of the people and this is of “…tremendous significance.” The Church was not only concerned with the spiritual salvation of the people but temporal sufferings of the people and this was a healthy development.
Father Mandefro emphasized the importance of a close relationship between Church and State. He said that it was essential that Government work closely with the Church “… because the church is the people and the people the church and the government is of the people.”
He explained that in Ethiopia separation between Church and State did not exist.
Archimandrite Abba Laike M. Mandefro, Head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the U.S.A and Jamaica was a guest of honour at a luncheon given by the Prime Minister Hon. Michael Manley at Jamaica House on Friday, May 19.
Archimandrite Mandefro is on a four-day visit to Jamaica at the invitation of the Government.
In welcoming Archimandrite Mandefro Mr. Manley said that his presence symbolized two things, which he regarded of significance to Jamaica – the new dialogue between Africa, Jamaica, and the development of closer relations between church and state.
The Prime Minister said that he genuinely believed that any government that denied itself to spiritual advice impoverished itself by this denial.
He continued to say that one of the greatest experiences he ever had was three years ago when as Leader of the Opposition he was received in audience by His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie. That audience was a source of inspiration Mr. Manley stated and he was particularly impressed with the Emperor’s views on the importance of education in human development.
Replying Archimandrite Mandefro said, “… Our brothers and sisters in the West have been cut off from the real cultural heritage of their own.” He expressed the need to develop closer cultural ties between Jamaica and Africa. Archimandrite Mandefro hoped that all the church leaders in Jamaica would give their support to the building of their communities. Among others present were: Hon. David Coore Q.C, The Hon. P.J Patterson. Sir Egerton Richardson. His Excellency Keith Johnson. The Rev. S.U Hastings, Rev. Ashley Smith.
Mr. J. M. Lloyd, Councillor Vin Bennett, Mr. Vernon Wilson, Mr. Grant, Mr. George Shoucair, Dr. Abeng Doonquah, Deacon Gilbert Arscott. Mrs. Corina Meeks, Mr. Dennis Watson, Mr. Mortimer Planno, Mr. Kassahun Kidane. Kesis Gabre Eyesus Smith, Rev. Fr. K.J Mock Yen and Mr. Lorell Bruce.