Auxiliary Bishop Gregorio Rosa Chavez of San Salvador called for prayers for peace this past weekend in Honduras after a military coup ousted President Manuel Zelaya and exiled him to Costa Rica. The president was also impeached by the Honduran Congress.
According to the Efe news agency, Bishop Rosa Chavez said during a press conference, “We need to pray to God that things will return to normal.” “We pray that peace will return to Honduras,” he added, calling the crisis “a traumatic moment that the region is experiencing.”
Bishop Rosa Chavez later pointed out that the Church always “desires there to be peace in all countries, that there is stability and hope for the poor.” He said events in Honduras were being followed very closely in El Salvador and that Salvadorans hope “that things will return to normal as soon as possible.”
For his part, the president of El Salvador, Mauricio Funes, held a press conference on Monday to express his position regarding the Honduran political crisis.
Recently the Bishops’ Conference of Honduras had expressed its concern with the political crisis taking place in the country and strongly called on all politicians to work for peace.
Prior to the military coup, President Zelaya tried to hold a referrendum that, if successful, would have allowed him to stand for another term in November, despite the fact that the country's constitution limits a president's service to one term. The country's highest court declared the referrendum unconstitutional and, claiming they were protecting the Constitution, the military exiled Zelaya to Costa Rica. Hours later, the Honduran Congress swore in its speaker Micheletti as the interim president until January, when Zelaya's term expires.
At a press conference in Washington D.C. this morning, President Obama described the coup as undemocratic. “President Zelaya was democratically elected. He had not yet completed his term. We believe that the coup was not legal and that President Zelaya remains the President of Honduras, the democratically elected President there. In that we have joined all the countries in the region, including Colombia and the Organization of American States,” he said.