Adam Oleszczuk delivers his Sunday homily.
PHILIPSBURG–St. Martin of Tours Parish Priest Adam Oleszczuk delivered a fiery homily on Sunday about government’s move to allow Carnival to go on (see related story) while continuing its fervent push to close or limit church attendees in these “troubled times.”
“Don’t we have enough trouble already? When trouble comes, they want to close the churches and now they want to keep Carnival. They need to do their soul-searching, truly,” he said of the National Alliance/United People’s party coalition government.
“I have a question today for all of us: why, why our government decided to keep Carnival?” he said, a statement that drew thunderous applause from the congregation.
“Our leaders are too young to lead this people. Too young to lead the government. They need to have some experience before they make decisions for the whole island. You may not agree with what I am saying, some of you might not, but I want to go on record, because when trouble starts, I want them to know what I thought,” the parish priest told worshippers in the historical St. Martin of Tours Church on Front Street.
To emphasise his disagreement with the holding of the Carnival calendar of events, he declared: “I want to put it on the livestreaming” referring to the church’s adjusted way of reaching souls in the ongoing pandemic.
“I want everybody to hear that I do not agree with that. As the Parish priest of St. Martin of Tours Church, I do not agree with that,” he pressed on in his homily.
St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) said last week that government is convinced that the agreed-on public health protocols to be implemented by the foundation will ensure public safety and as such it has been granted the green light to proceed with planning and execution of Carnival 2021.
Government’s decision was taken with the understanding that should St. Maarten’s COVID-19 situation worsen in regard to the spread of the virus and medical capacity, cancellation of Carnival 2021 can still take place. As such, the infection rate will continue to be monitored as well as the capacity of the health sector to handle any possible outbreak.
The highly anticipated J’ouvert Morning parade, including jump-ups, will not be allowed, as these events pose the largest health risk in terms of COVID-19 contamination and spread.