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Haiti - Crisis : Message of hope from the Catholic Bishops of Haiti
21/09/2023 10:08:56

Haiti - Crisis : Message of hope from the Catholic Bishops of Haiti
The Permanent Secretariat of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Haiti has published a message intended for the people of God, the men and women of good will of our country.

We, Bishops of the Catholic Church in Haiti, resound "the cry of an entire people in the face of abandonment", and live with bitterness and pain the suffering of our people caused by the blind violence of heavily armed bandits, cynicism and the indifference of political leaders, and the hesitations of the international community.

" [...] For approximately four years, our country has been experiencing one of the longest and deadliest socio-political and security crises in its entire history. The whole people, the whole country, are affected to the core. [...] The metropolitan region of Port-au-Prince is almost entirely controlled by armed bandits, organized into gangs. In the Artibonite department, strategic points are abandoned to their terrorist actions.

The population is taken hostage by the merciless violence of gangs and their allies; it is screwed in the inaction and complicit silence of the government [...] We see the thick shadows advancing in Haiti "of violence in the service of petty interests of power, greed and division (3)". The daily terrors in Carrefour-Feuilles, in Lilavois (to name only these places), the massacre in the Canaan area, seem to confirm that gangs are given carte blanche to act against the population [...] Violence generates violence, hatred begets more hatred and death more death."

[...] It seems that we have already exhausted all ordinary and normal ways. What must we do as Churches and people in dire straits to change the situation and prevent armed gangs from killing us, from massacring us all ? For more than three years no cry, no moral force has been able to stop them. And yet we must break this chain and prevent it from sinking even further [...]

As Pope Francis states, "becoming a people requires a constant process in which each new generation finds itself engaged. It is slow and arduous work which requires allowing oneself to be integrated, and learning to do so to the point of developing a culture of encounter in multifaceted harmony" [...]

So for the umpteenth time, we propose to progress together "towards a social and political order whose soul will be social charity. We ask all the people of God who are in Haiti, all the baptized here and elsewhere and all our ecclesial institutions to remain actively, in these dark hours of our history as a people [...] Wherever we are, even in the most remote corners, our solidarity, our closeness, our prayer, our exhortations as citizens and as a people can contribute to this. We invite the priests in all the parishes of the ten dioceses of the country, the religious and the lay faithful to organize a real chain of prayers, especially a novena of prayer on the occasion of the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel, for deliverance, liberation of our dear country from the influence and violence of gangs.

We also continue to support with hope the efforts towards the peaceful resolution of this multidimensional crisis. We encourage all initiatives taken to stop the flow of blood and to protect the vulnerable population left to its own devices. We reaffirm loud and clear to the world that this genocide must be stopped. We ask those currently in power to take concrete and strong actions for true historical reconciliation here and today in Haiti.

We also demand that the public authorities and other sectors of the nation stop at the same time their complicity and their support for armed gangs, that the police become the ally of the population, that political-social dialogue is built on based on the real needs of the people. May the solution formulas used for too long and which achieve nothing urgently give way to others to put an end to this inhuman situation which we are trying to survive and which is the shame of such a great nation [...]"

Metropolitan Archbishop of Cap-Haïtien)
President of the CEH

Signatures of the Bishops:

Mgr Launay SATURNÉ
Metropolitan Archbishop of Cap-Haïtien
President of the CEH

Mgr Max Leroy MÉSIDOR
Metropolitan Archbishop of Port-au-Prince
Vice-President of the CEH

Mgr Désinord JEAN
Bishop of Hinche
Bursar of the CEH

Chibly Cardinal LANGLOIS
Bishop of Cayes

Mgr Pierre André DUMAS
Bishop of Anse-à-Veau / Miragoâne

Mgr Joseph Gontrand DÉCOSTE, SJ
Bishop of Jeremiah

Mgr Yves Marie PÉAN, CSC
Bishop of Gonaïves

Mgr Marie Érick Glandas TOUSSAINT
Bishop of Jacmel

Mgr Quesnel ALPHONSE, SMM.
Bishop of Fort-Liberté

Mgr Carles Peters BARTHELUS
Bishop of Port-de-Paix

HL/ HaitiLibre

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