Honduran Cardinal Criticizes Evangelical Sects

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras, MAY 2, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga accused evangelical sects of becoming “an unbridled industry determined to exact a tithe” in Honduras.

In public statements, the 58-year-old archbishop of Tegucigalpa stressed that the groups, which refer to themselves as evangelicals, “are at ease because they don´t have to account to anyone; they have no hierarchy. … These types of Protestants are an industry, because any person who is accredited as pastor, receives a tithe from his followers, just because he is anti-Catholic.”

However, he added, “faith cannot become an industry.”

The cardinal, who was president of the Latin American bishops´ council from 1995 to 1999, said: “I would do wrong to keep quiet about this, simply because the existing freedom of religion and worship in Honduras must not be confused with permissiveness.”

Cardinal Rodríguez appealed to the government to review the work of the evangelical church in Honduras, “because I do not wish to create a religious confrontation or divide Honduras even more. I only wish to maintain an ecumenical dialogue to promote my people´s unity.”