Monday, August 06, 2012

The protests on the walls

In much of the world, people use the walls of public places to get their position out in the open.

Sadly they may also reveal some of the deep divisions within a society, especially if they are accusatory and defaming.

In December, 2012, the night before Monseñor Darwin Andino was installed as bishop of Santa Rosa de Copán, replacing Monseñor Luis Alfonso Santos, several walls supported slogans which – to all who understand the situation – were subtle, but real, attacks on the ministry of Monseñor Santos who has spoken out forcefully on political matters.

On a wall on the road up to the upper town was this message:

"Catholic Church without politics"

On a wall of the Catholic radio station - in both Spanish and Italian (the latter presumably for the Italian papal delegate who was coming for the installation):

"We don't want politics in the Catholic Church."

Last Sunday, Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez of Tegucigalpa was supposed to come to Santa Rosa de Copán to celebrate Mass and then speak at a lunch to raise money for the cathedral rectory.

I was out of town – taking a short vacation on the Caribbean coast, in Tela – and so I wasn’t planning to attend.

The Cardinal cancelled his visit to avoid problems because “insulting messages” were painted on walls in Santa Rosa. Several newspapers claimed the messages were from “supposed followers” of the Resistance, which opposed the coup. Bishop Andino stated. "I do not know who did this but, as always, there are groups who don’t want the church to speak out and for reasons of security he [the Cardinal] abandoned his visit to this region.”

I took a few photos of what I ran across Monday. Some messages may have been blotted out on Sunday.

A few are insulting - and all addressed him as "cardemal" instead of "cardenal" - "mal" meaning evil in Spanish:

The first panel says: "Cardemal, neither forgetting nor pardoning."
The second says: "Cardemal, god of evil"

This is a rather offensive stencil that was popular just after the 2009 coup:  
"Carde-mal Rodriguez, coup supporter."

This one was on the wall of the Catholic radio station,
 just to the left of the one above:
 "Cardemal, the dead and disappeared because of the coup, 
we await you in the beyond."

But several offer some food for thought for all of us - not just the cardinal.

"Cardemal, violence will beget violence."

 "Cardemal, if the church does not serve the poor, it does not serve God."

These last two may be “the words of the prophets” written on the walls – a la Simon and Garfunkel.


The photos in this blog entry are copyrighted and may not be used without the explicit permission of the blogger.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There are reports that the Cardinal had cancelled his visit to Santa Rosa on Friday. The graffiti appeared overnight between Saturday night and Sunday morning. Thus there might not be a link between the graffiti and the cancellation of the cardinal's visit.