“There is also an increase in verbal violence in which reckless and unsavoury utterances are made against one another. Such uncivil and vulgar statements are not compatible with our societal and cultural values and norms,” the members of CABICOL say, urging that the verbal confrontations stop “immediately.”
“We can always agree and disagree in a very polite and civil manner, thus teaching the younger generation good mannerism,” they further say and continue, “Liberia cannot afford to tread this path. These are signs of early warning to which all Liberians and our international partners must now take seriously and attend to.”
The reported spike in cases of rape in recent days in the country is also a cause for concern for the members of CABICOL, a situation they condemn “in the strongest possible term.”
“This is diabolical violence should have no place in our society. It is a flagrant violation of the inalienable rights that should be protected and defended at all times. Rape kills the physical and psychological state of victims and our nation. It is a deadly crime against our nation,” the Bishops in Liberia say in their August 25 collective statement.
Rape is a non-bailable offence in the west African country. However, some public servants, including the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia, are calling for the death penalty to be introduced as punishment for the perpetrators of rape.
“In as much as we strongly condemn this nefarious act, the death penalty cannot serve as an adequate remedy to this problem,” the Catholic Church leaders in Liberia say in their August 25 statement.
They explain, “As Bishops of the Catholic Church, we uphold the teaching of the Church as contained in the revised version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in 2267, which states that the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person.”
Instead of introducing the death penalty, the members of CABICOL call for “strict application of the laws against rape” as well as the “re-education of all, to the intrinsic values of the human person, the protection of the rights of all especially of women and children.”
The Bishops in Liberia are also concerned about “an ugly and creepy culture of militant tendency growing up in our society.”
“Adepts of political institutions adorn political symbols rather than national symbols during national functions. Thus, militarism is placed over and above patriotism. This too is a form of violence that needs to stop,” the Bishops say.