The decision by the Mormon Church to build an enormous temple in front of the most popular Marian shrine in Honduras, Our Lady of Suyapa, has unleashed a wave of criticism and protest, according to Honduran media.
Protestors say the construction of the temple would block the famous view of the shrine of Our Lady of Suyapa as it is approached from a distance.
According to the Honduran daily La Tribuna, “Many Hondurans are concerned because they see an imminent danger that the view that the country has enjoyed of the main Catholic church of Honduras for 262 years is in jeopardy.”
Mormons, whose presence in the country is on the rise, but who have never been the object of hostility on the part of Catholics, have asked the local government for a permit to begin construction.
A large number of the faithful, however, have requested the permit be blocked. “This is about safeguarding the integrity of this national monument, and with the construction of a gigantic temple mere feet from the church of Our Lady of Suyapa, we Hondurans are obliged to conserve, rescue and protect the cultural patrimony of the country,” the protesters said.
Mormon leaders were later forced to cancel their plans because the mayor of Tegucigalpa did not issue the necessary construction permits.
The Marian shrine was visited by Pope John Paul II on March 8, 1983, before a crowd of more than one million.