Catholic Culture Overview
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‘There is no place that is safe’: Haiti’s leading prelate has not been to his cathedral in 2 years

March 29, 2024

» Continue to this story on Aid to the Church in Need

CWN Editor's Note: In an interview with Aid to the Church in Need, the president of the Haitian Bishops’ Conference discussed the intense violence the nation has been undergoing.

“There is a real danger of civil war breaking out in the country,” warned Archbishop Max Leroy M├ęsidor of Port-au-Prince, the nation’s capital and largest city. “The armed gangs act like an organized army. They are very well-equipped and very well-armed. The police cannot keep up with them.”

“There is no place that is safe,” he continued. “There are kidnappings everywhere. Whether you are rich or poor, an intellectual or illiterate, anyone can be kidnapped.”

Asked, “How dangerous is it to be a bishop in Haiti today?”, Archbishop Ridor explained that “I cannot visit two-thirds of my diocese because the roads are blocked,” and that he has not been to his cathedral in two years. “Daily life consists of suffering, violence, gunfights, poverty, and deprivation.”

The prelate said that “the people are living the faith despite these circumstances. Perhaps there was gunfire in the neighborhood the night before. But the next day, even at 6 o’clock in the morning, the church is full.”

“For the processions or for the Stations of the Cross, even in the center of Port-au-Prince, there can be 50,000 people,” he added. “Sometimes I am speechless.”

The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.


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