Grenadian Catholics move to oust Trini Bishop Clyde Harvey

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Bishop Clyde Harvey. – File photo

FEUDING in the RC Church in Grenada has resulted in an attempt to remove Trinidadian Bishop Clyde Harvey from the position.

The move follows Harvey’s suspension of local priest Fr Gerard Paul from the priesthood, over Paul’s open criticism from the pulpit against him and the hierarchy of the church on their silence over what he called Israel’s genocide of Palestinians in Gaza in the war against Hamas.

A court bailiff hand-delivered Harvey’s two-page letter of suspension to Paul on April 20, informing him he would not be allowed to perform duties as the parish priest at the Holy Family Catholic Church, River Sallee, St Patrick.

Paul defied the suspension and presided over Sunday mass at his church to preach to a congregation of about 70, including members of the media.

A report in The New Today said during his homily, Paul preached on what he described as the evil nation of Israel which continued to starve and kill Palestinians, and at the end of the mass, assigned blame to Harvey for the departure of five African priests from Grenada.

He said Harvey was now targeting him as the sixth priest, but warned he would not succeed.

Paul has started a petition to remove Harvey and the Grenadian newspaper reported that parishioners assembled to sign the petition after Paul announced the launch of a campaign against Harvey for suspending him.

Paul has promised to take the petition to all Catholics on the island as well as in the Caribbean and the diaspora to have Harvey removed. He also plans to write to the Vatican to explain his side of the controversy.

He accused Harvey of poor leadership since he assumed the post some seven years ago.

Harvey has reached the mandatory retirement age as bishop but has been given a two-year extension by Rome while the search continues for his successor.

The two clergymen have been feuding over the past three weeks, since Paul’s open criticism of the church.

Attempts to have Archbishop of Port of Spain Jason Gordon comment were met with silence.

A statement from his desk after the Antilles Episcopal Conference 68th Annual Plenary Meeting in Nassau, Bahamas, said the synodality (a term used to describe the process of fraternal collaboration) requires inner transformation.

The statement said, “A safe space must be created among the bishops, clergy, religious, and the people of God.

At the session, the statement said, “The bishops listened intently to Bishop Clyde Harvey speaking about the unfolding situation in the Grenadian Church. They expressed solidarity with the People of God of Grenada and its shepherd and offered continued support and prayer to bring healing and reconciliation.

“In a spirit of synodality, the bishops discerned the urgency to address four pastoral issues in the regional Church – Evangelisation and Discipleship Formation, Catholic Education, Domestic Church, and vocation. These pastoral matters will require further consideration in dialogue with the People of God.”