Samoa Catholic Church appears to back Casinos
The Catholic Church in Samoa appears to have had a change of heart about casinos.
As the second biggest denomination in the country, the spokesperson for the Church, Father Ioane Ono saysthe church is also not too concerned about the casinos opening on Sundays.
Gambling, says Father Ioane, is optional. It is a matter of a person’s choice.
“There is no specific teachings of the [Catholic] church with regards to gambling,” says Father Ioane. “There are other forms of gambling which members of the church use for fundraising purposes like bingo for instance.
“As far as we’re concerned, there are no teachings of the Catholic Church against gambling. There is no specific teaching that the Catholic Church is against gambling.”
Father Ioane’s position completely contradicts that of the National Council of Churches (NCC), a body that is headed by senior Catholic, Deacon Kasiano Le’aupepe.
Asked for his views last year, Deacon Le’aupepe condemned the government’s decision.
“The love of money and the casinos will only drive people further into poverty,” he warned. “People will start to save money to play in the casinos instead of feeding their families.
“The addiction will become too much; it will result in crime as people start stealing to fuel their addiction. Gambling opens the door to the influx of outsiders who have no fear for God.”
Father Ioane sees things differently. He expresses that the Catholic Church is very much in support of the benefits of the casinos.
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