Hunger, disease, devastating gang violence, fuel shortages, economic collapse: Haiti is in an unprecedented situation. The country’s Catholic bishops already tried to draw the international community’s attention to the “extreme gravity” of the problems last Christmas 2022. Even the UN Under-Secretary General, Amina Mohammed, has drawn attention to this terrible situation, but there are still no solutions.
Scala News publishes the reflection of Father Renold Antoine, CSsR, sent to us from Port au Prince:
Haiti, 13 years on…
“There is nothing new under the sun”, says Qoheleth in one of his maxims (Qo 1, 9). This phrase, well known to many, says a lot for many Haitians who lived through the experience of the earthquake of 12 January 2010. Well, 13 years after this tragedy, nothing has changed for the good of the country; the ravages of the disaster that began on that fateful day continue to spread in concentric circles. Every day since that day, a new sector has been affected, a new area has been hit, and a part of the country is sinking. The disasters we experience are both natural and man-made. We have not yet risen to leave this way of the cross that has been going on since that day.
Years go by, and days multiply; a country on its knees, few are those who seek solutions to the acute crisis the country is going through. The new normal is to accept national impotence and dead-end situations.
The politician, businessman, religious person and simple mortal is added every day to the long list of victims of insecurity and runs the risk that justice will never solve his murder or bring his killers to justice.
We are assailed by bad news, and there is little reason to rejoice. The cycle does not stop. Nor does the circus that accompanies it.
However, amid this dark situation, some buildings have been rebuilt, including St. Gerard’s parish, which has completed a year of consecration. We never cease to thank God for this immense work that has allowed its reconstruction with the support of many international benefactors. So far, the church is unfinished. The contributions of the faithful cannot complete the construction thoroughly, and the assistance of all is still required. Hence the need to pray for a better tomorrow so that the country can find the path to peace and stability, progress and social justice.
May the passing of the years not allow Haitians to lose the meaning of 12 January. May it serve not only as a date of remembrance to mark mourning, but also as a lever date to symbolise the reconstruction of the country.
Fr. Renold ANTOINE, C.Ss.R.