Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Santa Rosa priests support Father Melo


I hate the one who does evil, he will not gather together with me. Far from me is the twisted heart; I will not approve the evil doer.(Psalm 100)

The Priests of the diocese of Santa Rosa de Copán, having learned of the information about the threats put forth by various media against Father Ismael Moreno (Padre Melo) to national and international communities, make it known that:
  1. We are in solidarity with Father Ismael Moreno, out brother in the ministerial priesthood of Jesus Christ.
  2. The defense of the virginity and the chastity of a young woman, in the history of the church, led to martyrdom for missionary priests and bishops, for example, the Salesians Bishop Luis Versiglia and Father Caravario.
  3. We are firmly convinced that the action of Father Ismael Moreno is based in the defense of the dignity of the human person and of the human rights of Miss Irma Melissa Villanueva.
  4. Sexual assault of women is brutish conduct which intends to demonstrate superiority and brute force as a way to intimidate and to caution all those who think differently.
  5. The judicial and police authorities of Honduras ought to act in adherence to the law and to justice against the police who committed lewd acts against and sexual rape of Irma Melissa Villanueva, and hopefully they will not go unpunished as on past occasions; for example, the police who wounded with bullets the demonstrators in Colonia 6 de Mayo, in Macuelizo, Santa Bárbara, June 17, 2006.
  6. The competent authorities ought to process the formal accusation which Father Valentín Menéndez, S.J., superior of the Jesuits, presented to the Special Prosecutor for Human Rights of San Pedro Sula, dated April 17, 2010.
  7. He have taken the word of Mr. Oscar Álvares, Minister of Security, and President Porfirio Lobo Sosa, who have publicly affirmed that in this government corruption and criminal police forces will not be tolerated.
  8. With this message we call upon all the bishops, priests, deacons, seminarians, and all the base ecclesial communities to join with us in one soul and one heart to defend the Catholic Church seriously threatened in terms of the moral and physical security of several priests.


Santa Rosa de Copán, April 30, 2010.
Presbytery (the priests) of the Diocese of Santa Rosa de Copán [Honduras]

The original Spanish can be found on my Spanish language blog.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Jesuit statement regarding threats to Padre Melo

Statement of the Jesuits of Honduras

The superiors of the Society of Jesus in Honduras, in the face of the threats and duress that repeatedly target Father Ismael Moreno, S.J. (Padre Melo), we declare the following before national and international public opinion:

First: We denounce the fact that in the last few weeks Padre Melo has been the object of death threats by unknown persons through text messages and calls to his dell phone. Such threats are related to the humanitarian decision to provide protection for the young woman Irma Melissa Villanueva in a case already known by the Public Ministry’s District Attorney’s office and by various national and international human rights organizations.

Second: we affirm that the relation of Padre Melo with Irma Melissa and her family is exclusively in terms of the actions that occurred on August 14 in Choloma, the day Irma Melissa accused various policemen of having raped her on the occasion of a march of the Resistance in that city. The action of Padre Melo is in the framework of a Christian commitment in the face of situations that require the humanitarian accompaniment of members of religious communities such as he.

Third: we note that the threats against Padre Melo don’t refer only to him. The Society of Jesus denounces the fact that Gerardo Chévez, Radio Progreso reporter, also is receiving threats and intimidation for his informative work in the Radio.

Fourth: we note that on Friday, April 17, Father Valentín Menéndez, S.J., superior of the Jesuits in El Progreso, Yoro, presented a formal complaint (denunciation) to the Special District Attorney for Human Rights in San Pedro Sula in which he asked that there be an ongoing investigation of the threats and duress against Padre Melo.

Fifth: we demand that the national authorities conduct a diligent and effective investigation of the deeds which have been denounced and we make an urgent appeal to national and international human rights organizations to follow up on this case.

Released in the city of El Progreso, in the department of Yoro, the nineteenth of April, 2010.

Valentín Menéndez S.I.
Superior of the Jesuits of El Progreso.
Carlos Solano S.I.
Superior of the Jesuits of Yoro
Juan José Colato S.I.
Superior of the Jesuits of Tocoa.

Spanish original can be found at the Radio Progreso blog or at my Spanish language blog.