We were astonished to read yesterday that a prominent Jesuit missonary in Fiji, of over 30 years experience there and aged 76, was to be deported because of a tiff with the regime. He'd written a joking letter to a Fiji newspaper that a new Fiji flag should have a Chinese reference instead of the Union Jack. And more of course because he had changed his mind. Earlier Father Kevin Barr had been pragmatic and gone along with the military regime doing his bit for the poor and underprivileged in Fiji, but recently he changed his mind about who to go along with. When he became critical, especially dropping a few bombs about emails and phone calls, he was looked upon with distaste and told to leave Fiji by Sunday. Some media said he had fled to the Australian Embassy rather than risk whatever.... Well, someone has changed their minds. He is now allowed to stay on, at least until the end of the year. Interesting times. Jesuits I find okay, they are usually intelligent and practical, not buried in esoteric books. Not quite liberation theology but on the right track.
So - to be or not to be, that is the question. Will he stay on but become silent?
So far the first story has hit the media, but the follow-up needs to be told quickly, that the bosses have changed their minds about Father Kevin.