Latin American Prelates Back Honduran Cardinal

Promise Prayer for Political Crisis

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BOGOTA, Colombia, JULY 24, 2009 ( The Latin American bishops’ council is expressing support for the position taken by the president of the Honduran episcopate regarding the political crisis under way in Honduras after a coup last month ousted the president.

Cardinal Óscar Rodíguez Madariaga, archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and president of Caritas Internationalis, has affirmed that the Church is on neither side of the battle, but is calling for dialogue in defense of democracy and peace.

A letter from the Latin American bishops’ council (CELAM) after a coordination meeting in Bogota that ended Thursday affirmed the prelates’ support for the Honduran cardinal.

«We have been following the difficult situation that the dear nation of Honduras and the Church that pilgrims there is going through,» the Latin American bishops assured. «We want to express to Your Eminence our fraternal greetings and sincere expression of solidarity.

«We have placed on the altar of the Lord our prayer for Your Eminence, for the members of the episcopal conference, and for the entire Honduran people so that the Lord of life gives you the wisdom and courage necessary in such a way that, using constitutional means, and through sincere dialogue, the peace and reconciliation desired by everyone is consolidated.»

The letter is signed by the officials of CELAM: the archbishop of Aparecida, Brazil; the archbishop of Merida, Venezuela; the archbishop of Corrientes, Argentina; and the auxiliary bishop of Guadalajara, Mexico.

Under fire

Meanwhile, the political unrest in Honduras only promises to escalate.

The ousted president, Manuel Zelaya, is in Nicaragua just south of the Honduran border and promising that he is going to try to return home and retake the presidency, perhaps as early as Saturday.

He says the mediation efforts led by Costa Rican President Óscar Arias Sánchez have broken down.

Before Zelaya’s first failed attempt to return to Honduras days after the coup, Cardinal Rodíguez Madariaga warned that his return could cause a bloodbath.

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