Here is an excerpt of a commentary written by Dr Michael Abrahams ( Twitter @mikeyabrahams ) . I have to say this was a well written and balanced piece. Feel free to leave your comments
CHRONIXX, FYAH AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
On Tuesday, October 21, 2014, The Gleaner published a letter entitled, ‘Do You Know Rome, Chronixx?’ written by my good friend Andrea Wray. In the letter, Andrea, a devout Roman Catholic, took umbrage with the lyrics of a song by Chronixx entitled ‘Start A Fyah’. In the song, Chronixx sings of burning down the Vatican and Rome.
She expressed concern that songs like that could incite violence, and invited the singer to visit “Rome-related organizations” such as Brothers of the Poor, Mustard Seed Communities, Alpha Boys’ Home and all the Catholic schools.
The letter, and the ensuing comments, prompted me to reflect on my ambivalent feelings toward the Catholic Church, as, over the years, the Church has simultaneously angered and moved me.
I absolutely understand and can relate to the sentiments in the song, acknowledging that the ‘fyah’ mentioned in many reggae songs is a metaphorical burning that represents the repudiation and denouncement of practices deemed to be unjust and offensive.
In the first verse, Chronixx sings:
“I was there when the ships came
An chastise I inna Jesus name”.
This is a clear reference to slavery, and the Catholic Church had a huge hand in that. Many respected leaders in the Church, including some popes, considered the enslavement of humans to be acceptable and sanctioned by God. For example, St. Thomas Aquinas, who, as his name suggests, is a ‘saint’, stated that “slavery among men is natural, for some are naturally slaves”.
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