Sunday, October 11, 2009

Honduran Bishops on Dialogue

Statement of the Honduran Episcopal Conference on the dialogue

“Let us seek what contributes to peace and make us grow together.” (Romans 14: 19)

1. We, the bishops of the Honduras Bishops’ Conference, meeting in our Ordinary Assembly, feel very united to all the people who, both within and outside of Honduras, have paid attention to the dialogue which is being held in order to seek a constructive exit to the political crisis which our country is living.

2. We have experienced in our own flesh, in the Church and in society, the sufferings, divisions and violence which this prolonged crisis has brought with it. He have lived the worry and the fear that a solution might be sought by the paths of violence.

3. We declare our support of the dialogue which began anew on October 7. In every moment we have advocated for that pedagogy [educational process] of sincere dialogue which diligently seeks the best solution for everyone in charity and truth.

4. We ask those directly involved in the dialogue and those they represent that “everyone of them, overcoming personal inclinations, make efforts to seek the truth and resolutely pursue the common good.” (Words of Pope Benedict XVI about the situation in Honduras at the Angelus, Sunday, July 12, 2009)

5. We cannot continue with the uncertainty, personal and social tension, and the economic deterioration. What is urgent is a solution which is just, peaceful, and agreed upon which “assures peaceful life together and an authentic democratic life.” (Words of Pope Benedict XVI)

6. The presence of members of the Organization of American States, the European Community, and the national and international press is a sign of the interest there is that this dialogue carries the ship of our nation to a good port. The people of Honduras have put many hopes in this national dialogue which cannot remain frustrated since that would lead to a great deception and increasing personal and social tensions.

7. In this climate of dialogue which ought to be respectful and understanding, every form of violence – of word or deed – would be prejudicial and would be an attack on the attitudes which favor dialogue and would lead to a failure of credibility for those who provoked such violence.

8. We believe that the established dialogue is not to be narrowed to a technique of solving conflicts but it has an ethical dimension, since the exercise [of dialogue] implies moral attitudes and is at the service of what is good, just and true for our people. Consequently, those who sit at the “table of dialogue” have a serious responsibility before God and before society which they ought not forget or underestimate.

9. We are conscious that a political agreement is not the total solution to the serious problems which plague Honduras, but at least would place the country in the suitable institutional conditions to confront them, in the framework of a joint plan, with the participation of everyone, in accord with the principle of subsidiarity and with a new style of political working which “places the common good as the principle imperative for the construction of a new society.” (Pastoral Letter of the Honduras Bishops’ Conference, “By the Paths of Hope,” # 15, March, 2006)

10. We are praying persistently and with confidence that God would grant all of us, and especially those responsible for this dialogue, wisdom, capacity to listen, social sensitivity, and a spirit of discernment. We know that other persons are praying for this intention. We invite the Catholic faithful and all believers to intensify that prayer so that God will grant us times of peaceful living together, social justice, and development with solidarity.

Tegucigalpa, October 8, 2009
Signed by the archbishop and the bishops of the country

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Declaration of the national Caritas of Honduras

Declaration on the State of Siege in Honduras


1. Moved by faith in Jesus Christ, the fount of justice, truth, fraternity, peace, and life, Caritas of Honduras declares its deep concern and dismay in the face of the direction the country is going which troubles and frightens even more large parts of the population; therefore, we join the different voices which have let themselves be heard in this moment and we express our longing in order that we together may construct a nation in peace, tranquility, and liberty.

2. The critical situation in which we have lived since before June 28 and which was deepened from that date on, has been exacerbated increasingly until it has come to the taking of extreme measures by those who are now at the front of the nation, such as the declaration of a state of siege for 45 days, an act which we consider disproportionate in terms of the force imposed, as well as illegitimate and an obstacle to dialogue, because it damages the fundamental rights of the person, such as freedom of expression, assembly, association, normal circulation – rights and guarantees contained in articles 69, 72, 78, 81, and 84 of the Constitution of the Republic.

3. We are worried about the manner that in the pursuit of maintaining an alleged social peace, the life and physical integrity of so many people who have participated in the marches of the resistance have been wounded. We reject the death threats that Father Ismael Moreno, S.J., has received and the boycott [interruptions?] of the transmissions of Radio Progreso in the diocese of Yoro, Radio Santa Rosa in Copán and other means of communication.

4. It is urgent to reverse as soon as possible this measure which affects and restricts the liberties of all those of us who live in Honduras, increases the tensions, the fear and aggressiveness in the population, without helping solve the real problem of the country.

5. W e make a call for a frank and true dialogue which involves all sectors without excluding anyone, so that accompanied by a mature reflection we may seek together the spaces which will bring us to consensus, discarding every imposition of political positions and personal or group interests and that for one time we think about the common good of this country.

6. We believe that the plan of life which God has for all of us commits us as citizens to the construction of a nation in which living together as brothers and sisters, respectfully and in a dignified manner, is promoted. We also believe that only with the responsible exercise of freedom can we work for the defense and security of life as a right and a duty of everyone. Therefore, we declare our urgent call and our support of the urgent pursuit of reconciliation and social peace in the framework of a Rule of Law which we all desire to become a reality in our country.

7. Longing for and working for a society built on justice, truth, fraternity and respect for life, we shall achieve peace, tranquility, and freedom for this country.

Tegucigalpa, 30 September, 2009.