August 12, 2009

The position of the Catholic Church in Honduras

On July 4, 2009, Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez read a statement signed by the 11 Catholic bishops of Honduras stating their position on the political situation and their hopes for Honduras. (English transcript included in the video.)

At the end he makes a personal plea to Mel Zelaya to not return to Honduras right now to avoid a blood bath. He reminds Zelaya, a close personal friend of the Cardinal, of three of the commandments, and that to date, not one person had died in the conflict in Honduras. The second part of the plea was shown over and over again on television during that day.

Additionally, another priest made an emergency call to CNN just prior to Zelaya's meeting with the OAS that day, pleading with Zelaya not to return, begging him not to be the cause of bloodshed.

As we know, Mel Zelaya ignored the pleas and tried to return to Honduras. His plane was refused landing and one person was killed in the riot outside the airport grounds.

Cardinal Rodriguez was nominated as a potential successor to Pope John Paul II in April 2005. He is widely respected among Catholic and non-Catholic people of Honduras. From Wikipedia: Widely viewed as a moderate, he is considered a rising star of the Latin American Church. His campaign for human rights and the poor have won widespread praise. Cardinal Rodríguez is further admired as a dynamic pastor who brokered peace accords with rebels and led rebuilding efforts after a natural disaster. He is an outspoken proponent of the cancellation of Third World debt.

Zelaya had this to say about his friend and priest: "The Cardinal betrayed the people, the poor. He took off his robes to put on a military uniform. And with his words, he really contributed to the assassinations that have taken place in Honduras."
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