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At funeral of Port-au-Prince archbishop, bishop urges Haitians to return to God

Catholic World News - January 25, 2010

Eleven days after Haiti’s leading prelate perished in the earthquake that killed over 100,000, the funeral Mass of Archbishop Joseph Miot of Port-au-Prince took place on January 23 adjacent to the ruins of the cathedral. Archbishop Miot, 63, was ordained a priest in 1975, appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Port-au-Prince in 1997, and became Archbishop of Port-au-Prince in 2008.

“For anyone who has turned away from God, now is the time to return,” preached Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Lafontant during the two-hour Mass. “God had something to say, and he said it here,” the bishop said. “He did it because he wants Haiti to become a new country.”

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, who flew to Haiti on a private plane owned by a friend, represented the US bishops at the funeral. He was joined by Msgr. David Malloy, general secretary of the US bishops’ conference.

The Vatican has released messages that Pope Benedict XVI sent to Haiti’s President Rene Preval and to Archbishop Louis Kebreau of Cap-Haitien, the president of Haiti’s episcopal conference, promising the solidarity of the worldwide Church. The Holy Father told the Haitian leaders that the Church “through her institutions, will remain - and not only in these moments of great commotion - alongside the people who have been so sorely tried by this tragedy, and will, to the limit of her powers, help them regain the chance to build a better future.”

Pope Benedict welcomed "the rapid mobilization of the international community” to bring relief to the survivors and help the nation rebuild.

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