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Catholic bishop calls for end to insurrection in Haiti

by Will Hobbs
Haiti-ACN-Main_article_image.jpg - Banner image

Bishop Declan Lang, Chair of the International Affairs Department, has voiced his apprehension regarding the swiftly deteriorating circumstances in Haiti.

Senior clergy from within the nation have cautioned that Haiti teeters on the edge of civil conflict, with armed factions wreaking havoc in the streets. Bishop Lang remarked, "We have heard the pleas for peace and disarmament in Haiti.

"Our prayers reach out to our Haitian brethren during this Lenten season, a period of contemplation and rejuvenation culminating in the Easter festivities, the commemoration of new beginnings.

"I urge Catholics in England and Wales to unite with me in prayer for justice, peace, and the alleviation of suffering in Haiti."

For weeks, Haiti has been besieged by extreme violence following a rebellion by armed factions aiming to depose Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

Archbishop Mésidor of Port-au-Prince, and President of the Haitian Bishops’ Conference, conveyed to the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), "There exists a palpable threat of civil strife erupting... The armed factions operate akin to a disciplined military force."

He further elaborated, "Law enforcement struggles to contend with them." Archbishop Mésidor also elucidated that kidnappings are rampant, and members of the clergy are at risk of abduction, stating, "Kidnappings occur ubiquitously... Fear pervades everyone, including the clergy. Venturing beyond Port-au-Prince poses peril. The factions even infiltrate churches to abduct congregants."

During the Angelus address on Sunday, March 17, Pope Francis expressed relief over the liberation of two educators and four of six religious figures who were abducted in Haiti.

He implored for the release of the remaining two captives — and all others — in the "beloved nation, so deeply scarred by violence."

The Pontiff urged political and societal leaders to "collaborate in a spirit of solidarity towards the pursuit of the common good, facilitating a peaceful transition to a nation that, with international support, may establish robust institutions capable of reinstating order and tranquillity among its populace."

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