The paths of our conversion
We, priests and lay members of the Diocesan Pastoral Council of the diocese of Trujillo, in the company of our bishop, have reflected on the situation we are living in Honduras in these days before the feast of the Nativity.
We recognize the turnout, enthusiasm, and hope with which the people went to the polls (urnas) on November 26; nevertheless, seventeen days after the general elections without a resolution of the conflict generated by the fraud which the discredited Supreme Electoral Tribunal [TSE: Tribunal Supremo Electoral] backed, we feel the need to share our stance as Catholic Christians in such difficult times.
The voice of the people converted into a cry, demand respect for their right, resounds strongly in the hearing of the diocesan church. We feel that the defiant cry of a people who walk under the domination of those who throughout history trample on, manipulate, and play with the dignity of the poor. In the face of this drama, we do not have solutions to offer, but we do have the certainty that the God of the poor walks with us and his Kingdom of love, truth, justice, and inclusion is the alternative proposal to the kingdom of violence, injustice, exclusion, and death.
Above all, we wish to ask pardon to not having lifted up our voice with greater force when we should have [a su debido tiempo] to reject the violation of the Constitution by the Supreme Court of Justice when it declared valid the re-election of the president which our Magna Carta prohibits. We lament not having taken measures against the acceptance as candidate for the presidency of the Republic the current President on the part of the Supreme Electoral Council. As a consequence of that violation of the Constitution and the Election Law, we now live a period which is leaving serious wounds and breaches in our society.
We wish to be in solidarity with all the people who live with much suffering and indignation the necessity to confirm, one more time, the interminable corruption which from the spheres of political and economic power robs the people of the guarantee to respect their rights as citizens.
In particular, we offer our solidarity with the families which have lost their loved one as a product of the repression of the institutions which ought to be those that guarantee the security of citizens; as church, just like all the people, peace is what concerns us, but the Gospel teaches us that there cannot be peace where there is no justice.
We wish to be at the side of those who, from their poverty, hope for better times and who, nevertheless, in the face of the game of ambitions which control those responsible in the administration of the state, see evaporating the possibility of a future which lets them to get out of their situation of injustice, inequality, and exclusion.
From out Christian values, we join ourselves to those who struggle for a resolution of the current conflict, based in the TRUTH, regardless of the political option from which have undertaken this struggle.
We reject the militarization by the Government of the Department of Colón, the repression with which the population is treated, and the subsequent violation of their human rights, and we demand an investigation of all the violent acts, including the milling of more that fourteen persons and the sabotage and downing of the antenna tower of Radio Progreso, in Cerro Canta Callo, Tegucigalpa.
As church, we express our concern and fear of a possible persecution of persons who oppose their government, defenders of Human Rights, social activists [luchadores], communicators, etc., as well as against organizations and institutions with a position that is critical and which denounces abuses.
We are equally concerned about the breaking up of the institutionality [the quality of being a viable institution) in the country, especially of those which have been created to sustain a fragile democracy and which have been setup to favor a dictatorial regime in the country.
In this process we recognize the strength, creativity, and spontaneity of the youth who are taking up the challenges which the reality puts in their hands, as well as the role that women are playing in the different fronts of struggle.
We especially encourage the youth to incorporate in their lives the struggle for the defense of the rights of citizens, as many of them have done in these moments, but guided always by the values of our democratic culture and our faith in God which excludes violence.
We believe that our struggle doesn’t have to be only in favor of one candidate or one political party but in defense of transparency in the results of the recent elections and of all the actions and processes proper to the democratic system for which Honduras has chosen.
We demand from all the social communications media the right to be duly informed and without the twisting the truth; from them we hope a true independence and an attachment [apego] to the truth which permits them to fulfill ethically their social role.
We suggest that all members of the Catholic Church to circulate this message and reflect on it in the meetings of all church groups and organisms. We ask that this position be interpreted correctly as an expression of the communion with which we Catholics want to live our commitment, in the midst of this world, with Jesus Christ and the values of the Kingdom which he has inaugurated.
May the Christmas which we are going to celebrate be an opportunity to rescue what this feast means, liberated from consumerism and strengthened by the love of God and of our families.