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International community, Haitian government ignoring Church

Catholic World News - January 12, 2011

One year after the earthquake that devastated Haiti, bishops are charging that the nation’s government and the international community are ignoring the Church to the nation’s detriment.

“The Church remains the one functioning network in Haiti that is able to get things done,” said Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, chairman of the USCCB Haiti advisory group. “The Haitian government and the international community ignore the Church to the detriment of the overall goal of helping Haitians help themselves.”

“The problem we have is the Church is marginalized,” said Archbishop Louis Kebreau of Cap-Haitien, president of the Haitian bishops’ conference. “They [government officials and aid workers] don’t make contact with us. The Church is present and filled with the people, and we could give them information. We can help them, but they don’t ask us.”

“One gets the impression that they are more interested in making money than taking care of people,” the Haitian archbishop added.

“We cannot and will not turn our backs on our brothers and sisters in Haiti,” said Archbishop Wenski. “As people of faith, we begin by remembering the dead and praying for those still recovering. At the same time, we will continue to provide support and caring to the Haitian people, and to remind our government of its role in working toward a strong and prosperous Haiti.”

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