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9833: Episcopal Conference of Haiti press release (fwd)

From: Robert Benodin <r.benodin@worldnet.att.net>

Episcopal Conference of Haiti press release
November 30, 2001
The Lord said: “I have indeed seen the misery of my people. I have heard
them crying out, and I am concerned about their suffering.” (EX 3:7)
Towards us too, Bishops, the anguish and the cry of the Haitian people are
rising. This is why convened in Episcopal Conference, we want today and in
this place, to echo their lamentations. The country and the people are
exhausted. Their lamentations are tearing our hearts: Cries of despair and
cries of anguish reflecting their distress. However from many citizens we
are hearing, the roar of the revolt protesting the lack of concern for their
suffering, the lack of respect for their human dignity, the indecency of the
scandalous lies to deceive them. With the people, we denounce all these
humiliating deceptions.
The year 2000 elections were spoiled by grave irregularities, which
constitute one of the principal elements of the crisis. We recognize
however, that the protagonists went through many stages, which seem to
yield, few positive results. One could then believe in good faith, that they
were motivated by good will, in the search of an agreement. But when one
analyzes thoroughly the actual situation, searching deep into the facts; one
finds himself facing ambivalent positioning condemned energetically by the
whole country.
Today, in concert with the people and in their name, we demand unequivocal
gestures. It is time that the given word to be respected and kept as a word
of honor. All solutions, certainly in this circumstance, require sacrifices
and abnegation from all sides. It is not for us Bishops; to dictate the
clauses of the indispensable understanding that one is searching for, an
agreement in good faith that must be respected scrupulously. It is
nevertheless, in our responsibility, to emphasize that with the agreement,
it is also necessary to have a profound structural reform, respecting the
principles of separation of power.
It is our responsibility as well and above all, to call upon the conscience
of the political leaders, men and women of all tendencies and all
sensibilities, for at last they listen to the outcry of impatience rising
dangerously to their hears, for them to intervene and act upon the atrocious
suffering of the people, for them to accept, if it is necessary, to lose, to
let the people win. From both sides, they should be ready even to “lose
 face” to save their brothers and sisters, for which they clam, that they
are defending their causes. For “The greatest among you should be like the
youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.” (LK 22:26.) Jesus
himself became a servant, even a slave. (PHP 2:6-8.)
The Episcopal Conference, by a supplication coming from the heart, invites,
exhorts and implores Lafanmi Lavalas, la Convergence Démocratique, all
sectors of the national life, to transcend the partisan contingencies,
raising themselves at the level to place the entire nation’s interest before
theirs. They must accept, in a spirit of self-sacrifice, to surrender even
their legitimate interests to the interest of social peace. They must give
proof of their civism, of their patriotism and of their unselfishness. The
whole nation will owe them a dept of gratitude.
We are taking this opportunity to transmit to our collaborators in the
pastoral field, to the congregation, the call of the Holly Father, to
observe on the December 14, a day of prayer, of fast, and of sharing, to
obtain from the Lord, peace in the world. The Pope is addressing the
Catholics.  Here we would like to associate all our Christian brothers, all
men of good will, for with one heart we beg the Lord to have mercy on us.

This Press release has the signature of:

Bshp. Hubert Constant, Bishop of Fort Liberté, ECH president
Bshp. Louis Kébreau, Bishop of Hinche, ECH sec. General
Bshp. Francois Gayot, Bishop of Cap Haitian
Bshp. Frantz Colimon, Bishop of Port-de-Paix
Bshp. Joseph Serge Miot, Archbishop coadjutor of Port-au-Prince
Bshp. Pierre Antoine Paulo, Bishop coadjutor of Port-de-Paix
Bishp. Guire Poulard, Bishop of Jacmel, ECH vice-president
Bshp Francois W. Ligondé, Archbishop of Port-au-Prince
Bshp. Emmanuel Constant, Bishop of Gonaives
Bshp. Willy Romélus, Bishop of Jérémie
Bshp. Joseph Lafontant, Bishop auxiliary of Port-au-Prince