Opinion

Peter Tucker Ignites Spiritual Reformation

14 October 2006 at 08:43 | 2161 views

Commentary

By Oswald Hanciles, Freetown

Dr. Peter Tucker, the Chairman of Salone’s Law Reform Commission was head of the civil service in Sierra Leone about forty years ago. In the 1970’s, he was Chief Executive of Race Relations in the British government. He was Chairman of the commission that authored the 1991 Constitution Sierra Leone now uses...Above all his laurels, Dr. Peter Tucker has balls!!. Balls enough to publicly condemn his ‘son in law’, President Kabbah, over Kabbah’s prosecution of the ‘rebel war’ (President Kabbah was married to Peter Tucker’s niece, late Lady Patricia Kabbah).

Tucker said in 1998 that Kabbah was wrong in trying to placate a Hitlerian monster like RUF leader, Foday Sankoh; and like Adolf Hitler and Liberian President Samuel Doe, Tucker was inflexible in his pronouncements that the language that Foday Sankoh would respond to would be ‘the language of steel’. Peter Tucker’s criticism so riled Kabbah that he sacked Tucker as Chairman of the National Policy Advisory Commission (NPAC). That Peter Tucker could turn his intellectual guns on a sitting president in Africa in whose government he served...Well, I feel sorry for the Catholic Archbishop of Freetown and Bo who is now facing Peter Tucker’s ‘Catholic sword’....

Peter Tucker pierced Archbishop Ganda with the accusation that the Archbishop had used the ‘Machete of Injustice’ - against his niece, former Principal in St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Eugenia Rogers. And, he underlined the earlier published ridicule of his niece, Eugenia, with salvoes of sexual and financial immorality of Catholic Church priests in Sierra Leone - with Peter Tucker using a ‘precision guided laser weapon’: naming, in a lengthy open letter published in local newspapers, one Sister Claire who served in Bonthe, and against her vow of chastity, was having a sexual affair with a Lebanese in Bonthe Town.

An Editorial of October 12, 2006 in the Catholic-oriented newspaper, THE CHRISTIAN MONITOR, chastised Peter Tucker for “abusing the Archbishop”. If Peter Tucker spoke the ‘Truth’ about the Catholic Church - like Jesus Christ spoke the Truth about the hypocritical Pharisees 2,000 years ago - does that constitute an ‘abuse’?

What if Peter Tucker and Eugenia Rogers are right?: that Catholic priests in Sierra Leone are violating their priestly vows of chastity, and having love affairs, bearing children, and accumulating riches? Eugenia Rogers, who appeared high-handed, unloving to her students enough for them to raucously protest against her, was receiving inordinate administrative and political support from The Establishment, may not have the moral authority of Martin Luther to do an expose of the Catholic church and ignite a ‘Reformation’ here, but, she could be a catalyst if the Church’s response is the use of ‘Church Authority’.

“One main reason for the survival of the Catholic Church ...is the submission to authority. Therefore, if one abuses the authority of the Church, one is bound to suffer the consequences ..... How can Rogers alone be right, and the rest, including the Bishop, Board, and students of the school be wrong? ....Considering the loss of standards and morals in the school, the Bishop thought it is his responsibility to see its lost glory restored, thus his bold intervention...”, writes the Editorial, in the CHRISTIAN MONITOR, October 12, 2006

500 years ago, apologists for the papal authorities could have penned just what has been written in the Christian Monitor today. Then, in 1517, a priest arrived in Wittenberg (Germany) selling indulgences for the sake of raising money for Pope Leo X and construction work ongoing at the Vatican. (In those days, indulgences were sold by priests or their agents, and those who bought them were made to believe that their ‘sins’ would be absolved in Heaven). Luther’s response was to write a letter to Germany’s most powerful churchman, the Archbishop of Mainz, Albrecht of Hohenzollern.....The Archbishop responded to Luther’s propositions by writing a letter to Pope Leo X. ...Luther’s propositions stirred much debate.

Some complained that to deny the legality of indulgences was to deny the authority of the Pope who had authorized them. Luther acknowledged this, saying that the pope had no such authority. The Church demanded that Luther retract a number of his protests. And rather than retract, Luther described the Church as its people. He announced that he was bound by Holy Scripture alone...; and he would not go against his conscience. Luther’s protest shattered the monolithic Catholic Church - and sired the ‘Protestant Churches’. Clearly, there is need for another Martin Luther, another ‘Reformation’ of nearly all the ‘old churches’ in Sierra Leone.

For indeed, that which the Catholic priests have been accused of - sexual immorality (fornication and adultery), corruption - has also been directed against the hierarchy of the Methodist, United Methodist Church, Anglican, Lutheran churches in Sierra Leone. If an outsider observes the debauchery of these church leaders, one would wonder whether they are basing their lifestyles on ‘Satan’s Bible’ or Jesus Christ’s life in the Holy Bible. Jesus mandated all his followers to follow in his footsteps. Jesus’ life was one of ascetic simplicity. No material possessiveness - “if you have two coats, give one to your brother who has none”. No thoughts of lust. . It was the mystical life..... All of human civilization hinges on such mystical life....

A quiescent ‘holy man’ who desires nothing is trusted to mete out justice; to speak out against injustice - and society pivots on such men. When Christian priests, or Christian denominations, of whatever hue, violate the essence of the Christian creed, they must be publicly condemned - that was the example of Jesus Christ who lashed out against the hypocritical religious leaders of his day: “you empty sepulchers, full of bones inside, but whitewashed on the outside...”. A Christian leader who uses his ‘Christian authority’ to mock the teachings of Jesus automatically loses his most sublime authority, and should be, justifiably, rubbished.....

To the spiritual battlefield trumpeting: “Reformation...Reformation...Reformation” of the Church of Jesus Christ!!!

Dr. Peter Tucker today heads the Law “Reform” Commission - stimulating reformation in our legal systems. Peter Tucker - and the others in other ‘reform institutions’ - like NRA, Decentralization Secretariat, ACC - would not succeed except there is a spiritual reformation in our country. Eugenia Rogers, in being sacked from her job as Principal of St. Joseph’s Secondary School, may have, as the CHRISTIAN MONITOR thunders, “suffered the consequences” of an expose of the Catholic Church here, but, so did Martin Luther....

Comments