ACN in solidarity with the Catholic Church
Latest: Three of the seven religious kidnapped on Sunday, April 11 were released on Thursday, April 22. This is excellent news, but it does not prevent the country from remaining under the pressure of potential kidnappings that are now part of the daily life of Haitians. This is why we decided to publish this text, which was published last week, and which reflects the tragedy of what Haitians are living today.
The Pontifical aid organization, Aid to the Church in Need is in solidarity with the country’s Catholic Church. At its meeting on April 13, the Haitian Bishops’ Conference condemned the kidnappings with “great disgust” and lamented a “dictatorship of kidnapping.” The bishops called on all Catholic institutions in the island nation, such as schools and universities, to close today (April 15) in order to protest the increasing number of kidnappings. In addition, all bells in the country should ring at noon (local time). The bishops invited the priests to implore the grace of God for the land and the conversion of hearts at the masses. The bishops themselves gathered for mass with the same intention.
On Mercy Sunday (April 11), five priests, three religious women and three lay people were kidnapped on the way to a priest’s inauguration. Three of them have been released thus far. A priest and a nun had already been kidnapped the previous year.
“The life of Haitians has been a nightmare.”
Speaking to ACN, Msgr. Jean Desinord, Bishop of Hinche, stated there was great fear among Catholic priests and religious that they might become victims of kidnapping themselves.
“For several years, the life of Haitians has been a nightmare,” said the bishops. Heavily armed bandits kidnapped citizens, even children are not spared. “The majority of the abducted people are humiliated, raped and tortured. Some of them do not find their way back to normal. When does this Way of the Cross end?,” ask the bishops.
“We must not allow the bandits to kidnap, rape and kill anymore,” emphasize the bishops. This requires a conversion of hearts and attitudes. “Let us unite in prayer and let us intensify our efforts to build another country that corresponds to what the Lord wants for us.”
The bishops expressly thank all who have shown their solidarity through their prayers and words of encouragement.
Worse than the Earthquake
Finally, in a radio interview with ACN Canada (Vues d’ailleurs, on Radio VM in French, Thursdays at 9:30) Father Joseph Larose, a Monfortain originally from Haiti who works with the diaspora Haitian population in the US and Canada, considers the current situation to be “worse than the Earthquake in January 2010.”