Thursday, September 24, 2009

New statement from the diocese of Santa Rosa de Copán

Today after a four day meeting of the priests with the bishop, this statement was issued. The following is my hurried translation.

Communication of the Diocese of Santa Rosa de Copán

1. We, the presbyterate [the priests] of the diocese of Santa Rosa de Copán, always faithful to the values of the Kingdom of God and to the people whom we have been entrusted to shepherd, illumined by the Word of God and the church Magisterium [teaching authority], have analyzed the phenomenon of the coup d’état and after a mature examination we want to share our reflections about it.

2. We reject the coup d’état because it violates the constitution of the Republic, principally articles 3, 71, 72, 84, and 102, restricts constitutional guarantees, puts the Armed Forces and the National Police in opposition to the humble people, compels the people to insurrection (cf. Constitution article 3), causes instability and unrest in the citizenry, and has caused grief to many families because of homicides, and the wounded and beaten whose number increases every day.

3. The group of families, extremely enriched, with businesses which live from the projects financed by the State with the taxes that the citizenry pays and the money which comes from friendly countries, ought to tell the Honduran people the causes and reasons which brought them to bring about the coup d’état against the government of José Manuel Zelaya Rosales or discredit the usurper government (cfr. Constitution article 3)

4. We believe that no material good is worth the life of so many persons who by orders of Robert Micheletti Baín, head of the Joint Chief of Staffs General Romeo Vásquez Velásquez, minister of security Jorge Alberto Rodas Gamero, advisor Billy Joya and bought about by evil agents of the National Police, and this has been done for the purpose of obstructing the people’s demonstrations.

5. We remind all the citizens that no one owes obedience to a usurper government and that no one ought to obey an order to kill persons. (Cfr. Constitution, Article 3)

6. We hold responsible Mr. Roberto Micheletti Baín, the current National Congress and the magistrates of the Supreme Court for all the damages which have come over the people and their possessions after the coup d’état.

7 . As ordained priests, we are in solidarity with our brother in the priesthood, Father Andrés Tamayo, defender of our forests and prophet of these times, demanding that the Catholic Church should not aid the economically rich group but the poor.

8. The coup d’état is the fruit of the unjust distribution of wealth, which generates in Honduras profound inequalities, in regard to food, work, education, health, the possibility of expression and citizen participation, since 80% of our impoverished people is again victim of a power play, where the pride of the most wealthy wishes to intrude.

9. Called by the cry of many of our Catholic and non-catholic brothers [and sisters], who hope from us a prophetic word, in defense of truth and justice, illuminating from our faith the current circumstances and accompanying the people in their suffering of their struggle for vindication, we cite the words of our beloved Pope Benedict XVI: “To desire the common good and strive towards it is a requirement of justice and charity. To work for the common good is on the one hand to be solicitous for, and on the other hand to avail oneself of, that complex of institutions that give structure to the life of society, juridically, civilly, politically and culturally.” (Cfr. Caritas in veritate, n. 7)

The words of our Lord Jesus Christ console our people.

“Blessed are the poor, for the Kingdom of heaven is theirs. Blessed those who hunger and thirst got justice for they shall be filled.” (Cfr. Matthew 5,6)

10. This coup has been the opportunity to seek the aid of all the countries of the United Nations; because all the nations of the world had taken account of the way Honduras was being administered and governed and how the economic aid, which they were contributing for the social and human development of our country, was being used. We cast out an SOS to all men and women of good will. Do not abandon the five million poor and the two and half million indigent [extremely poor] of Honduras, oppressed today by a military dictatorship to which the traitors of the fatherland have closed ranks.

11. We thank Brazil for giving diplomatic asylum to Honduran president José Manuel Zelaya.

12. Concerned about our fatherland, we will not rest until the constitutional order, interrupted by the coup, is reestablished. With the Word of God, the teaching, coming together, prayer, and above all the celebration of the Holy Mass, we hope to overcome (cfr. Acts 2: 42-47).

13. We do not have enemies, if anyone opposes us it is because of fear of the Catholic religion, which the immense majority of the people in western Honduras belong to.

14. Belonging to a political party ought not be above belonging to the Church, whenever [the church] tries to defend the people against social injustice.

15. We pass on to you what Pope Benedict XVI tells us, about the theology which we ought to profess in the economic and political realm. “This dynamic of charity received and given is what gives rise to the Church's social teaching, which is caritas in veritate in re sociali: the proclamation of the truth of Christ's love in society. This doctrine is a service to charity, but its locus is truth. Truth preserves and expresses charity's power to liberate in the ever-changing events of history. It is at the same time the truth of faith and of reason, both in the distinction and also in the convergence of those two cognitive fields. Development, social well-being, the search for a satisfactory solution to the grave socio-economic problems besetting humanity, all need this truth. What they need even more is that this truth should be loved and demonstrated. Without truth, without trust and love for what is true, there is no social conscience and responsibility, and social action ends up serving private interests and the logic of power, resulting in social fragmentation, especially in a globalized society at difficult times like the present.” (Caritas in veritate, n. 5).

16. We urge you to persevere in the base church communities in order to carry out the popular ministry which we have undertaken in all the parishes.

17. With the powerful help of Our Lady of Suyapa, Helper of Christians, we are sure that you will live free of all weaknesses of body and soul.

18. With the blessing of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, may you also receive ours.

Your brothers and friends of the presbyterate of the diocese of Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras, Central America.

September 24, 2009


The original Spanish can be found at my Spanish blog.

Slighty revised and corrected, September 27, 2009

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