The Government values its long-standing relationship with the Catholic Church and the Catholic community in Singapore, and deeply appreciates Archbishop Nicholas Chia’s many contributions to religious harmony in Singapore.
2 As part of building trust and understanding and to maintain religious harmony in Singapore, government ministers meet regularly with various religious leaders in Singapore. Such closed-door meetings allow a frank exchange of views specially on sensitive subjects. This is a well-established process that is appreciated by both ministers and religious leaders.
3 We note Archbishop Chia’s statement yesterday that he had withdrawn his earlier letter as its contents did not accurately reflect his views on the subject. He also expressed concern that if the letter was used in a manner that he did not intend, it may inadvertently harm the social harmony in Singapore. His decision to withdraw his letter ahead of a political event in June 2012, shows his appreciation of the complexity of our multi-racial, multireligious society, and the need to keep religion and politics separate.
4 The actions by this group to publicise the matter through Mr Au is disrespectful of the Archbishop, and contrary to his views and intentions as conveyed to the group after he had decided to retract his letter. This deliberate breach of the Archbishop’s trust confirms the objective of this group to publicly involve the Catholic Church and the Archbishop in their political agenda.
Ministry Of Home Affairs