Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Honduran bishops December 2017 statement

Honduras Bishops Conference
Las Laureles, Comayegüela, M.D.C. Honduras Central America

“Blessed are those who work for peace, for they will be called children of God.”
(Matthew 5: 9)

As bishops of the Catholic Church in Honduras we address ourselves to all the People of God and to those persons who, like us, love this Honduran fatherland. We do this while preparing for Christmas, fest of peace and love, inviting all the Honduran people to celebrate it, despite the difficulties, because we don’t give ourselves the profound meaning of Christmas but the God of Love give it, the God who became one of us to save us.

Election day, November 26, took place in a generally peaceful atmosphere of order, respect, and even joy. But, sadly, we heard hasty calls to celebrate victory before the time and by many different means. We take note of the data gathered and the recommendations made bu the Observer Missions who accompanied the process. We are saddened that the functioning of the Electoral Tribunal, in spite of having taken into account what was suggested by the international observers, has not succeeded in overcoming the lack of certainty about the results of the general elections.

We confirm, with concern, that the right to protest by means of peaceful demonstrations is not respected by citizens who are converting them into violent and criminal actions. We confirm with sadness that the state security forces, in the fulfillment of their functions, in some cases have exceeded themselves in the use of force and weapons, which has injuries and fatalities.  

WE strongly condemn all violence as attacks on human rights, as a destabilizing factor in the life of the society, and as an impediment to political-social dialogue. We reiterate the need to demand of all political leaders without exception and their supporters that they immediately cease whatsoever type of call to non-peaceful actions so that the country may recover the minimal conditions for normality and the constitutional right to free circulation and respect for private property.

Reflecting on the ways put of the present crisis, we believe that the declaration of the TSE [Supreme Electoral Tribunal] and its publication in the State Official Gazette will not put an end to the conflict, since this [conflict] exposes deep and long-term tensions, accentuated by the decision to permit a presidential re-election without the needed clarity nor with a majority approval, as we noted in our message of February 27, 2017.

This crisis ought to become an opportunity for Honduras to secure itself as a State of Law, to strengthen its institutions with the law, to advance in the struggle against impunity, corruption, organized crime, and to succeed in stopping the increasing impoverishment of the great majority of the population.

For this a major social pact will be necessary, by means of dialogue which is frank, effective, creative, and without condition, which involves all sectors of society. This social pact ought to consider all possible ways of getting out [of the crisis] and has to assume the commitment to return the Constitution to its status as Magna Carta which directs the destiny of the country. Whether it be to reform it in accord with the needs of the nation or initiate the way to a National Constitutional Convention [Asamblea].

We put our trust in our Lord Jesus, who was born in our midst and is our only hope. We wish to offer him this Christmas our commitment of fraternity, of service, of defense of the dignity of every citizen, and to be capable of loving despite the conflicts which confront us. May all violence be laid down before Him since Honduras wishes to receive the Prince of Peace in its heart.

May Holy May of Suyapa continue caring for her sons and daughters in our country.

Tegucigalpa, M.D.C., December 20, 20a7

Conferencia Episcopal de Honduras
Honduras Bishops Conference

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