Friday, July 3, 2015

Honduran bishops on current crisis

Dialogue for Peace in the Society
“Blessed are those who work for peace” (Matthew 5:9)

Our Country is stirred up in the face of so much corruption, violence, hunger, and impunity. For quite some time, many of us Hondurans have come denouncing social injustice.

The Church has raised its voice in many occasions through the Bishops’ Conference, bishops and priests in their dioceses, [those who live] the Consecrated Life and faithful lay Christians, speaking prophetic word, denouncing so much sin, and announcing the Reign of God where justice, respect for the life and dignity of human beings, the promotion of the common good, and the inclusion of the neediest might become a reality.

We cannot be indifferent in the face of the cry of a people who weeps for those who have died by so much violence, who suffer poverty for lack of employment, and who see their children leave in a migration which separates families and uproots people from their faith and their culture, a migration which is forced because there is nothing to eat or death by homicide stalks them, devouring each day many Hondurans.

Therefore, we as members of the Bishops’ Conference, representing the Catholic people, pilgrims here in Honduras, we unite ourselves with all those who struggle for a better Honduras and we proclaim that there cannot be peace without social justice, fraternity without reconciliation, solidarity without compassion for the poorest, social harmony without eradicating impunity, nor progress without throwing out the corruption which does so much evil to all of us.

In a country where many moral, judicial, and labor rules have been broken, for the purpose of benefiting a few who unduly enrich themselves, we believe that one must follow the courageous path of eradicating organized crime, delinquency, and drug consumption which causes so much destruction for the young and their families.

The institutional strengthening of the State is urgent and necessary, especially the Public Ministry[1]. We cannot be quiet in the face of the sad case of Social Security[2] in which thousands were and still are victims. We also cannot be silent in the face of the unfinished purification of the National Police, in the face of hired assassins, extortion, or the badly-named war tax,[3] which so many of the population suffer.

In whatever democracy, the only way to solve differences is dialogue, which is open, respectful, and sincere, with capacity for listening and which provides concrete and verifiable solutions which benefit society. All of us should assume our share of mutual responsibility in this critical moment of our history. We are grateful that the international community wishes to accompany us in this process, respecting our sovereignty and proper values.

We have learned from the Gospel of Jesus Christ and from the Social Doctrine of the Church that the way to attain the dignity of the human person and the inclusion of the poorest – the disposables as Pope Francis puts it – consists in living with a heart infinitely merciful who makes the option to save all and which, without rejecting anyone, seeks the Reign of God.

Honduran Bishops’ Conference
Tegucigalpa, 2 July 2015

[1] El Ministerio Público (the Public Ministry) is responsible for advocating for the victims of crimes. (Note of the translator.)
[2] The Honduran Social Security Institute (IHSS) is responsible for the health needs of Honduran  workers. (Note of the translator.)
[3] Several of the gangs impose a war tax on businesses where they are or demand a “war tax” from bus and taxi companies. (Note of the translator.)
 The original can be found here:

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