Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Independence Day

The Central American countries celebrate Independence Day on September 15, usually with parades. School marching bands and students will march throughout town. Sometimes there will be folk dances and usually honor students will parade with sashes noting their academic excellence.

In some parts of Honduras this year the parades have been small because some schools are not participating. But here in Santa Rosa there were parades Sunday and Monday, with today’s parade as the culmination.

The major secondary schools marched but at the end of the parade at least 200 marched in opposition to the coup, in support of the resistance. I recognized some of the people in the march, including Padre Fausto Milla, some colleagues, and people from the countryside. It was very calm – though there were shouted slogans. As the group passed down the street I could see people greeting their neighbors and acquaintances who were watching. It was all very civil.

I learned that the regional Resistance movement chose Padre Fausto Milla as their coordinator.

With the bishop expressing his public support of the resistance at Intibucá on Sunday and Padre Fausto’s prominent role, the church is, to a large degree, becoming a voice for the poor against the coup d’état. Also, the bishop offered Padre Andrés Tamayo the opportunity to serve in the diocese. (Padre Tamayo was removed from his parish in the diocese of Jutigalpa and the government says it is revoking his citizenship.)

There are priests in the diocese who want to remain somewhat neutral in order to minister to all sides in a very politicized situation. There may be some who believe that Zelaya should have been removed from office or brought to trial. Yet there are significant number of priests who are in opposition to the coup.

I think this may because in this diocese we see the effects of the political system that engendered the coup – a political system that supports the continuing concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few. And so, from the standpoint of the preferential option for the poor, standing with Christ, the poor man of Nazareth, means for them standing with the poor and therefore being a sign of contradiction to the economic and political powers that be which the coup represents.

Notice that the man in the center has a Archbishop Oscar Romero t-shirt and a red Che Guevara band on his hat.

1 comment:

tejasjeff said...

Che had no use for the church and unless you quickly agreed to do whatever he decided was the policy of the week ,would have had you in shot.
Nice guy to praise and emulate.
Romero maybe ,Che in his own words-
"I am not Christ or a philanthropist, old lady, I am all the contrary of a Christ.... I fight for the things I believe in, with all the weapons at my disposal and try to leave the other man dead so that I don't get nailed to a cross or any other place."