Catholic clergy call for show's removal

Senior clergy of Samoa’s Catholic Church have decried comments by a pastor of the Samoa Independent Seventh Day Adventist Church who has criticised other churches in his TV1 Samoa religious program.

The Assistant Archbishop of the Catholic Church in Mulivai, Father Muliau Stowers, told the Samoa Observer in an interview that the preaching by Pastor Willie Papu of the S.I.S.D.A.C. which criticised other churches is ‘unethical’ and ‘lacked biblical knowledge’ and the show [Fa’afofoga ae se’i fetalai le Tusi Paia] should be discontinued.

“(The Bible) is for life but not to murder the spirit of other churches or to criticise the other person. No, it's the word of God, its purpose is to guide lives to focus on one purpose alone and that is God,” he said.

“But it wasn’t intended for criticisms like these, like what he is clearly doing to the other churches, especially the Catholics and that’s what’s been so saddening about this since Reverend Papu began attacking us like this.

“With his beliefs, it shows that he lacks the knowledge and understanding of the Bible and the things it talks about. He is simply translating the Bible word by word instead of understanding that there is deepness behind each word of the Bible.”

The Catholic Church in Samoa bore the brunt of Reverend Papu’s criticism during the television show, when he claimed that the Pope is the “beast” from the Bible’s Book of Revelation, and made reference to the papal tiara which he says are the signs of the beast.

But Father Stowers, in response, said the papal tiara shows the Pope serving as the son of God due to the tiara’s true indications.

The accusations directed at the Catholic Church are worrying for Father Stowers, as he warns that the church’s new members could retaliate, and appealed to Pastor Papu to focus on providing guidance for Christians to live up to God’s expectations.

Pastor Papu’s style of preaching has not gone unnoticed, with a lot of Samoan churchgoers from other congregations also taking to social media to debate his preaching, as he has also made comments about other local churches.

Pastor Papu’s television program can be viewed on TV1 Samoa from 6-7pm every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday between June 8 and July 4.

Attempts by the Samoa Observer to get a comment from the TV1 Samoa management were unsuccessful.

But Father Stowers, has not given up on his attempt to get the program off-air, as he said it is divisive and affects a large number of Samoan Christians and their beliefs.

“By the looks of it, TV1 is siding with Pastor Papu and his beliefs which they should not be doing because a number of Christians are used to our normal day of believing in God,” he said. “They should do something about this or else the people will continue the debate about this issue.”

Reverend Vavatau Taufao of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (C.C.C.S) told Samoa Observer that he will be making comments on behalf of his church on E.F.K.S Television soon.

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