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Haiti - Religion : An envoy of Benedict XVI is expected in Haiti
08/01/2011 14:14:39

Haiti - Religion : An envoy of Benedict XVI is expected in Haiti
An envoy of the Pope is expected in Haiti a year after the deadly earthquake that devastated the island. Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, and the deputy secretary of the Dicastery, the Father Segundo Tejado Muñoz, will be on site from January 10 to 13 to manifest the support of Benedict XVI to the public. A national day of remembrance and meditation was proclaimed on January 12 by the Haitian authorities. The toll of the disaster amounted to 220.000 dead and over 300,000 injured. According to NGOs there would still have tens of thousands of bodies under the rubble. The international community has pledged nearly $10 billion for reconstruction, but this assistance comes in dribs and drabs...

To mark this anniversary, a Mass will be celebrated by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State of the Holy See, at 16:30 in the Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome to commemorate the victims of earthquake .

The arrival in Haiti of Cardinal Robert Sarah is part of a proximity message of the Holy Father.

Cardinal Robert Sarah - "This is especially a proximity message of the Holy Father, the Holy Father is always, since the events of January 12, 2010, near of the Haitian people, with the Haitian people in their prayer, also in practical solidarity and this solidarity concrete, will also be shown by my physical presence, of course the Holy Father also gives me donations, which will enable this country to rebuild particularly at the level of the schools such as the churches. So the message is really a message of proximity, of affection and mostly of proximity who wants to be a real participation of the Holy See at the country's reconstruction."

According to you why and it is important that the Haitian people either the engine of their own reconstruction ?

Cardinal Robert Sarah - "It's obviously they are the first actors of this reconstruction, of course the world, the international community can help, but they are the first concerned and should really get involved in this immense work. That is why, we want to show tthey will not alone, that we will sympathize with all what happened, but also we want to bring with them the hard work of rebuilding their country, not just with the material reconstruction but also the reconstruction of people who have been traumatized by this event."

Is it important that this reconstruction is done also spiritually ?

Cardinal Robert Sarah - "Certainly, and I will have the opportunity to meet with bishops, and i will have an exchange with them, especially for recall their mission of spiritual reconstruction and that it is their duty. They must involve the priests, men and women religious, everyone ... So I think it is important, this reconstruction interior, and this is the work of the church precisely."

How do not forget the Haitian according to you ?

Cardinal Robert Sarah - "Justly, I'm going at the name of the Holy Father, call upon the international community, so that this enthusiasm revealed earlier, do not go out, but that the people continues to help this people, alone, the Haitian can not really rebuild their country. It will be an opportunity for me to appeal for solidarity of around the world in relation to Haiti."

How the Cor Unum helped and helps Haiti ?

Cardinal Robert Sarah - "Well before the earthquake and also during, the Cor Unum has been very active with the Haitian people, we have mainly been active in building schools, hospitals and agriculture. There are people who undertake to try to see how to improve the culture in the country, even if the soil and rather poor."

HL/ HaitiLibre / Interview conducted with Cardinal Sarah by Oliver Bonnel, to few hours of his departure from Rome.

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