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Hatian Bishop Responds to Coronavirus

‘Stay at home, make every home become a domestic Church’

In the face of the health emergency involving more and more all the countries of the world, Mgr. Pierre-André Dumas, Bishop of the diocese of Anse-à-Veau et Miragoâne, in Haiti, has sent the message addressed to the faithful of his diocese to Fides News Agency. The text begins by explaining the meaning of Lent, “to make our inner life become stronger, because only in this way can we meet God and discover solidarity towards others”.

“Considering the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic in Haiti and in the world, we are faced with the risk of having to change our social and ecclesial life, which boasts a two-thousand-year tradition. Thus, taking into account the measures of our government and the indications of the Bishops’ Conference of Haiti, I invite you to stay at home and make each house become a domestic Church to live in prayer and solidarity with the poorest and sickest”.

The Bishop asks the priests for greater pastoral presence in charity, “to announce to the people of God and to the sick of Covid-19, to health workers, the plenary indulgence; celebrate the Eucharist with a group with not more than 10 people; suspend any pastoral and religious activity with parish groups; to ensure that the community does not panic, preaching the message that God never abandons his people”. Finally, the Bishop invokes the protection of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, patroness of Haiti, remembering that the people’s prayer has been heard on other occasions.

Haiti, among the poorest country in America, tackles the health emergency of coronavirus with very few resources. In fact, Haiti lives in a “permanent” health emergency, because there is no national health system. The real health centers are the clinics of NGOs and the Church. The first news three days ago declared 2 deaths for Covid-19, but it is assumed that there are now several other deaths due to the same cause. As of March 20, schools and ports have been closed, there are controls on all means of transport of goods. It is feared that the measures taken by the President of Haiti on the 20th will not be able to stop the mobility of groups of people who go in search of an occasional job to earn the necessary for survival.

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