Express Editorial : Daily

IN between our national celebrations and observations in the transition from 2020 into 2021, it seems useful and wise, to contemplate somewhat, the dedication of the coming year by Pope Francis as The Year of the Family.

A news release from the Vatican on December 27 stated that the Pontiff had declared 2021 as the Year of “Amoris Laetitia Family”. This translates into the Joy of Family Love, and it marks the fifth anniversary of his release of the document “Amoris Laetitia,” The Joy of Love. It is expressed as an “Apostolic Exhortation on Love in the Family”.

In great but simple detail, its spells out the roles and functions, as well as the aspirations of members of a family, of wives and husbands, and about the importance of loving and caring for their off-spring.

He says, for example, that “a child is a human being of immense worth, and may never be used for one’s own benefit. So it matters little whether this new life is convenient for you, whether it has features that please you, or whether it fits into your plans and aspirations,” for children are a gift, each one unique and irreplaceable.

Mothers are presented herein as “the strongest antidote to the spread of self-centred individualism,” since it is they who testify to the beauty of life. A society without mothers would be dehumanised, for they are always, even in the worst of times, “witnesses to tenderness, dedication and moral strength”.

With respect to the role of fathers, the Pontiff asks us to consider that in today’s western civilisation, the father figure is symbolically absent, missing or vanished. This is a truth we can acknowledge all too well in our own local experience. On top of this, is the accompanying reality manhood itself “seems to be called into question”. We are cautioned to notice the extent to which fathers themselves are caught up in themselves and in their work, and in their own self-fulfilment, to such an extent that they neglect their families.

Making a direct connection with the realities of the now, the Pontiff has pointed to the situation in which families and communities the world over have been forced to ponder the implications of the Covid pandemic. It is described as having highlighted the central role of the family as the “domestic church,” and has shown the importance of community ties between families.

It is thus with this kind of realisation, and the need to deepen the bonds which have been developed over the year now coming to a close, as a direct result of the pandemic, that the importance of healthy, re-dedicated family life takes on fresh meaning and importance.

Such imperatives as are required to continue weathering, ultimately to triumph over this global existential threat, call for a positive re-dedication to the ideals of healthy family life.

There is no guarantee that we will feel the same way all through life, we are asked to acknowledge in the Amoris Laetitia. But if a couple can come up with a shared and lasting project, “they can love one another and live as one until death do them part, enjoying an enriching intimacy”.

How about that as a New Year resolution?


Yesterday’s back-to-back news conferences, first by the Ministers of Finance and Energy, and then by the president-general of the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union, turned up too many contradictions for public comfort.

It just doesn’t make sense on a lot of levels, and from various angles, this shooting of a soldier by a police officer at a birthday party, or get-together, in Point Fortin last Friday.

Every passing day living with the Covid-19 situation is more stressful than the one before in every country in the world. The situation of some people who have lost their loved ones, or their job, or their house, or their friends, or their money, or their sanity is becoming daily more unbearable.

I urge each and every constituent in Tobago where THA elections are to be held simultaneously with by-elections in five electoral districts in Trinidad (Morne Coco/Alyce Glenn in the Diego Martin Regional Corporation; Arima Central, in the Arima Borough Corporation; Hollywood in the Point Fortin Borough Corporation; Cunupia in the Chaguanas Borough Corporation; and Hindustan/St Mary in the Princes Town Regional Corporation) who is eligible to vote in those elections scheduled for Monday to come out and exercise their franchise.

Something amazing is happening in T&T and we must be thankful to the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB).

Trinidadians and Tobagonians of low and middle income, who after spending a few measly dollars on a Lotto ticket and then winning millions of dollars, somehow miraculously acquire the art of acting normal.

While it can be said the West Indies cricket team has one of the worst youth players-to-senior team legend records in the history of the sport, it can also be said the Indian cricket team has one of the best such records. WI would therefore do well to study them in great detail.