Haiti: Bishop pray for peaceful Christmas under sign of rebirth
The Catholic Bishops of Haiti release a message at the start of Advent, and urge the suffering nation to look to the birth of Jesus as a sign of hope in a future of peace and security.
"It is time to work with determination to build fraternity among the people of Haiti, who are today wounded and torn by fratricidal struggles for power, greed, divisive policies, unrestrained profit systems, and the hateful ideological tendencies that manipulate the actions and destinies of our people."
The Bishop of Haiti launched this appeal in a Christmas message released at the start of Advent.
In their message, the Bishops invite Haitians to embark on a path of dialogue and to work together to help engender the hope represented by the birth of Jesus.
The Bishops say Christmas "enlightens us and invites us to take our destiny into our hands."
They also express their solidarity with the suffering of the Haitian people and offer their condolences for the victims of senseless violence.
"The dramatic situation of our people worsens by the day," say the Bishops, "with the hellish grip of armed groups, skyrocketing cost of living, disorientation of young people leaving the country, manifest indifference of the authorities, and intransigence of political actors who cannot reach a compromise."
"On the other hand," the message reads, "the context of the Synod of the Church invites us to act differently in Haiti. Listen to each other, engage in sincere dialogue, walk together, and live together to better discern according to the Holy Spirit and to build our nation together."
Awaken consciences at Christmas
The Bishops invite the faithful to "undertake a real spiritual and civil awakening," starting from personal and collective conversion, to fight against defeatism and evil that have marked all aspects of social, political, economic, and cultural life.
"This awakening will require the commitment of everyone for Haiti's recovery," they admit.
Finally, the Bishops say the joy of Christmas will be even greater "if concrete measures are taken for a resolution of the crisis."
They name these measures as "broad and reasonable consensus among the various protagonists, a commitment by the authorities to restore a climate of peace and put an end to the illegal trafficking of weapons and ammunition, and the unequivocal support of the international community for disarmament and the recovery of the country."