Loading
Exclusive: Papal nuncio gives dramatic report on Church in Haiti

.- In an exclusive email to CNA, the Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, has revealed the details surrounding the death of the Archbishop of Haiti, the condition of the buildings at the nunciature, the archdiocese and the major seminary, as well as an updated body count of priests, religious, and seminarians in Port-au-Prince, which was hit by a massive earthquake on Tuesday.

“Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has a great presence here,” said the nuncio. But due to the difficult situation, the lack of clean water, and the fact that all the gas stations are closed, they are contemplating moving their headquarters to the nearby town of Gonaives. Today, leaders from CRS and Caritas will meet with the nuncio and his staff at the nunciature.

Archbishop Bernardito Auza reports that the “good and smiling archbishop of Port-au-Prince,” was waiting on his balcony for a ride to a ceremony when the earthquake hit.

“The intensity of the earthquake pushed him down off the balcony headfirst and he died immediately on impact,” the nuncio told CNA. Since there is no electricity, his body has been moved to Gonaives. Archbishop Auza suggested an immediate burial, but the suggestion was not adopted since it would conflict with local tradition and would be taken as an insult.

The vicar general of Port-au-Prince, Monsignor Charles Benoit, and the Chancellor, Don Cherie, are still under the pile of rubble from the four-story building that housed the archdiocesan offices.

Archbishop Auza said “the chancellor seems to be dead, but we still have hope for Monsignor Benoit.” “We don’t have the numbers, but there are several dead priests and male and female religious whose bodies haven’t been recovered from the rubble,” he added.

On Wednesday evening the nuncio said he visited the major seminary, where he found only one building left standing. Only one priest from the formation team is unaccounted for as of yet. Nine seminarians are confirmed dead, and four more are still missing. Archbishop Auza also visited various religious communities and expressed the Holy Father’s “concern and solidarity.”

The nunciature, where Archbishop Auza lived, has been destroyed as well, even though it is in a part of the city that was not damaged as heavily. The nuncio explained that he and the personnel are sleeping in the garden. Despite the demise of the nunciature, the archbishop and his staff are hosting many meetings, with bishops from around the country flocking to the nunciature as a place to “coordinate and make decisions.”

Fearing a tsunami, many people have also left the city for the hills, Archbishop Auza said. Though a tsunami is unlikely, he is of the opinion that it is better for people to leave the capital, as there is nothing there for them. In the city itself, people walk around aimlessly. Many are also sleeping in the streets, he related.

Archbishop Auza also relayed an assessment of the airport in Port au Prince, saying it is incapacitated. As of yesterday, not one airplane bearing aid had arrived. Due to the earthquake, the control tower collapsed and is completely destroyed. Today, the first arrival, an American military plane, is expected.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

3D Church mapping
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Jul
30

Liturgical Calendar

July 30, 2014

Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:44-46

Gospel
Date
07/30/14
07/29/14
07/28/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 15: 10, 16-21
Gospel:: Mt 13: 44-46

Saint of the Day

St. Peter Chrysologus »

Saint
Date
07/29/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:44-46

Homily
Date
07/30/14
07/29/14
07/28/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: