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Haiti: Bishops Condemn Kidnappings Of Catholic Priests, Nuns

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Seven Catholic priests and nuns were kidnapped in Haiti on Sunday, and are being held for ransom.

The five priests and two nuns were abducted at Croix-des-Bouquets, a suburb of Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince. According to local news, they were taken while on the way to attend the installation of a parish priest. 

According to Haitian media, the “400 Mawozo” gang admitted culpability for the kidnapping, and is demanding $1 million in ransom. 

Two of the kidnapped, one priest and one nun, are citizens of France.

Church leaders in Haiti have condemned the kidnappings, and called for action to be taken against the perpetrators.

Fr. Gilbert Peltrop, the secretary general of the Haitian Conference of the Religious, told Reuters that “the nation must stand up to fight these thugs.” 

Bishop Pierre-André Dumas, vice president of the Episcopal Conference of Haiti and the bishop of Anse-à-Veau et Miragoâne, told AFP that “the Church prays and stands in solidarity with all the victims of this heinous act.” 

“This is too much,” he said. “The time has come for these inhuman acts to stop.” 

The Archdiocese of Port-au-Prince warned in a statement that gang violence has reached “unprecedented” levels in the country.

“For some time now, we have been witnessing the descent into hell of Haitian society,” the archdiocese stated, as reported by AFP. “The public authorities who are doing nothing to resolve this crisis are not immune from suspicion,” the statement continued, condemning “complacency and complicity.”

The number of kidnappings for ransom has recently increased in Haiti, and protests have denounced the surge of violence plaguing the country. 

Over the Easter Triduum, four members of a church were kidnapped during a ceremony that was being broadcast live on Facebook.

On April 1, four members of the Seventh-day Adventist Gospel Kreyòl Ministry Church in Diquini, Haiti were abducted while performing at the ceremony. Many who were watching the service reportedly thought the kidnapping was an April Fool’s Day prank, before realizing they had witnessed a crime. 

The foursome, including the church’s pastor, pianist, and two technicians, were held as hostages until Easter Sunday, and were released after a ransom was paid.

Dr. Gregory M. Figaro, whose father founded the church in Diquini, was present at the kidnapping and said a man with a gun gained entry to the church after knocking on the door. 

“If this can happen, then anything is possible in the country because there is no respect for any institution, whether it’s a church or school,” Figaro told the Miami Herald after the kidnapping. “They are even grabbing people from inside their home.”

Haiti has also been affected by other crises, including natural disasters and a lack of health care infrastructure to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

CNA

CNA

The Catholic News Agency (CNA) has been, since 2004, one of the fastest growing Catholic news providers to the English speaking world. The Catholic News Agency takes much of its mission from its sister agency, ACI Prensa, which was founded in Lima, Peru, in 1980 by Fr. Adalbert Marie Mohm (†1986).

One thought on “Haiti: Bishops Condemn Kidnappings Of Catholic Priests, Nuns

  • Avatar
    April 13, 2021 at 3:38 am
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    Oh please Lord & all the Angels & Saints please wrap all your arms around those that are being kidnapped & harmed, etc. Please bring EVERYONE kidnapped home safe & sound.

    Also Lord please pray for everyone & Haiti including those that committing major sins, the kidnappers, etc that you can spark love, care, hope, peace all that you want for everyone in that country that you are able to reach their hearts & minds to see the error of their ways. That they see you can live a good positive religious peaceful hopeful good life so crime. There are better ways to live, ways to make a mentally emotionally physically religiously healthy productive life wo crime.💜🙏😇😍❤️

    Reply

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