Why are they leaving Honduras, Cardinal Maradiaga?
Just for a moment, let’s set aside the debate about American immigration policy, and ask a different question: Why are thousands of people willing to leave their homes in Honduras and walk 1,500 miles to reach the US border, knowing full well that they can’t enter Texas legally?
The answer, according to a spokesman for migrants, is simple: “hunger and death.” The people in the migrant caravan might look to the US as a land of milk and honey. But they also see their own homeland as a nation without a future.
Why? Why can’t the people of Honduras establish a reasonably secure and comfortable society? Why is their nation plagued by gang violence, chronic poverty, drug trafficking, and political corruption?
Those are the questions that I would be asking constantly, if I were the leading Catholic prelate in Honduras. Of course I’m not. Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga is. And since Cardinal Maradiaga is also the chairman of the Council of Cardinals, offering Pope Francis advice on how to restructure the Vatican, it’s not irrelevant to ask how he handles problems in his own bailiwick. We already know that Cardinal Maradiaga has:
- received large monthly payments from the government—and invested the funds in European financial ventures rather than in his own cash-starved country;
- said the sex-abuse scandal is a creation of anti-Catholic media; and
- ducked questions about a sex-abuse scandal in the archdiocesan seminary, which resulted in the resignation of his vicar general.
And now the nightly newscasts show the stream of people leaving the country where Cardinal Maradiaga is the leading pastor.
This is not to say that the cardinal is responsible for all his country’s woes. But it does seem reasonable to suggest that before he dispenses more advice for the reform of the universal Church, he might turn his attention to the problems in his own back yard.
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