Message of the Diocese of Santa Rosa de Copán
The diocese of Santa Rosa de Copán, faithful to the mission of announcing the Kingdom of God and of denouncing situations of injustice, asks all Hondurans to take profound efforts to re-establish social peace.
We, the great majority of Hondurans, do no want confrontations in the streets, civil wars, or wars with other peoples.
Therefore we ask the groups who have altered the public order to put all the good will they have into resolving by means of Dialogue the present crisis which has been produced by the social inequality in which we have always lived.
As those who are responsible for guiding the Catholic Church in Western Honduras, we repudiate the substance, the form, and the style with which a new Head of the Executive Branch has been imposed on the People. If President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales had committed something illegal he has the right to a just trial just like every Honduran citizen and in general every human being. Article 84 of the current Constitution says in its text, “No one can be arrested unless by virtue of a written command of the Competent Authority.”
The coup d’etat of June 28 has these consequences: protests of the citizenry in the streets and highways, a climate of insecurity and fear in families because of the limitation of constitutional rights, including:
The right to freedom of movement, freedom of association and to demonstrate, inviolability of one’s home, the right of private property, freedom of the press and of dissemination of ideas and opinions, personal freedom, including the right not to be detained administratively in a police station for more than 24 hours and [the right to] a limit of six days of investigative detention under judicial orders, which would lead to indefinite detentions. All this mentioned above is contained in the Decree about the “State of Exception” which was being drawn up yesterday, July 1, in the National Congress. With this we are coming near to a massive violation of human rights. In regard to this we especially repudiate:
- The violent manner in which Radio Progreso and other means of communication were silenced.
- Illegal detentions.
- The exiling of some countrymen/women.
- The bloody beatings and wounds.
We wish to remind everyone, especially the Armed Forces and the National Police, of the fifth commandment which says” “You shall not kill” (Exodus 20:13). This commandment forbids also beating, wounding, and all abuse of human beings who are created in the image and likeness of God and who are Temples of the Holy Spirit.
We regret every violation of the Constitution of the Republic which those who have governed us have been doing up to now. We reject every threat and meddling of foreign nations in the internal affairs of Honduras.
We Hondurans want PEACE.
No more lies. We want to be told the truth. No more injustice. We want respect for the integrity of the person and respect for human rights. We want to live in freedom. We do not want repression.
The call of Jesus is to live in love. Therefore, no more hatred, no more revenge, no more violence, no more spitefulness.
Jesus says in Mark 4:40, “Why do you have so much fear? How is it that you do not believe?” Inspired by these words of Jesus we invite all of you to trust in the merciful and saving presence of the Lord who accompanies us in our pilgrimage.
Let us intensify our prayer for Honduras.
Let us beg the Lord to grant that we may achieve Peace and prosperity and let us ask our patron, Saint Rose of Lima, to intercede for us.
Santa Rosa de Copán, July 1, 2009
Diocesan Pastoral Council
Diocesan Pastoral Council
This message was delivered publicly by Monseñor Luis Alfonso Santos, SDB, bishop of the diocese of Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras, in San Marcos Ocotopeque, Honduras, on Thursday, July 2, 2009, at 12:30 pm.
Translated by John Donaghy.