(Port au Prince, Haiti) The missionary work of Redemptorists in some countries is very difficult due to natural causes or sometimes due to causes of the same political and social reality that the region where the mission continues. Haiti, after the 2010 earthquake, has not achieved economic and social stability for many reasons, natural tragedies, misguided political management, uncontrolled popular reaction, and others.
In times of the COVID 19 pandemic, the Redemptorist missions continue. With many difficulties, but they continue with the protection of the patron saint of Haiti, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and with the blessing of the Redeemer.
Today, we update the information of the poorest country in America, with a note sent by Father Renold Antoine, Redemptorist Missionary:
In a note published and signed by the members of the Episcopal Conference of Haiti, the bishops denounce the storm that is looming on the horizon with the publication of the latest decrees of President Jovenel Moïse that clearly attack the culture and values of the Haitian people.
While the coronavirus continues its course in the country, not as lethal as had been anticipated. The country is experiencing other tragedies that are worse than the COVID-19 pandemic, such as insecurity, misery, unemployment, sickness, political instability, corruption, etc. However, in the latter, the national government publishes two decrees that make a lot of ink flow. One of these decrees speaks of the Unique National Identification Number and the Unique National Identification Card. The other talks about the New Penal Code, by the executive. The hierarchs say they expect “courage, lucidity, wisdom and, above all, respect from the Executive Branch not to arbitrarily impose on the Haitian people what simply goes against the true values.”
“We, the Catholic bishops of Haiti, simply want to vigorously declare that this is ethically and morally unacceptable on several points, both in terms of procedure and content. In fact, at various points, this Draft Decree is a particularly serious attack on the very essence of our humanity. It involves the difficult and complex problems of human life: sexual majority, incest, sexual orientation, sex change, etc. “Writes the Haitian Episcopal Conference. According to the bishops, these burning questions require consultation and reflection. That is why this project carries with it considerable upheavals that seriously and dangerously modify the foundations of what our civilization built for the respect of humanity, the dignity, the life, the family.
In this same order, the bishops invited the executive to focus rather on the real problems of Haitians and seek to solve them, instead of seeking to import foreign values and external to our traditions, “We remind the Executive Power that it is their moral and ethical responsibility not giving in to ideological pressures from wherever they come from, not involving the Haitian people, without consulting them, on this path that may not lead to even more catastrophic collapse than we know today. Is it really the urgency of the moment, to pass into effect and discretion this Draft Decree on the New Penal Code, which must be absolutely questioned?”
With this note, the bishops ask that these decisions be stopped and blocked for the good of the population, because these decrees threaten the very foundations of our society, of our coexistence, of our culture, of faith and Christian morality.
May Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Patroness of Haiti, protect us from all evil and preserve us from all danger.
Father Renold Antoine,