“And the entire world speaks about the poverty in Haiti,” he said, repeating that the natural disasters combined with the widespread poverty has created a “catastrophic situation” in the Caribbean state.
The cardinal also thanked people for their prayers after the earthquake.
“Yes, I was a victim during the earthquake, and I can tell you that to see something falling all around you is something quite breathtaking. And to escape … is another miracle,” Langlois said.
The 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti about 90 miles west of the capital Port-au-Prince on the morning of Aug. 14. It was stronger than the 2010 earthquake from which the island is still recovering.
The earthquake killed at least 2,207 people with more than 12,260 people sustaining injuries, according to a USAID report published on Sept. 7.
Two days after the quake, Tropical Storm Grace made landfall in Haiti overnight, flooding the country with as much as 15 inches of rain in a single day in certain areas.
More than 100,000 homes were destroyed, as were at least seven churches. A Catholic rectory in the diocese of Les Cayes, where Cardinal Langlois serves as bishop, was severely damaged causing three fatalities: one priest and two employees.
Haiti has also been battling a spike of gang violence and kidnappings for ransom this year.
The Archdiocese of Port-au-Prince said in a statement in April that gang violence had reached “unprecedented” levels in the country.
“Now the church of Haiti, in effect, is very much in the frontlines considering the situation we live in the country today. You’ve got ongoing violence, attacks, a considerable amount of stress,” Langois said
The Haitian president Jovenel Moïse was assassinated in his home in July by a group of gunmen.
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The violence has also directly touched the Church. Ten Catholic leaders were kidnapped in Haiti on April 11 by one of the several criminal groups operating in the country.
Four Haitian priests and a nun as well as one French priest and one nun were among the kidnapped, who were not released by their captors until April 30.
“This earthquake struck a country that was hard hit by COVID-19 and in an economic crisis, and in a political crisis after the assassination of the president,” Aloysius John, the secretary general of Caritas Internationalis, said at the webinar.
“Haiti has perhaps become a forgotten emergency,” John said.
“We cannot turn a blind eye on Haiti. People are suffering … and the needs are tremendous in the country and international support is more than ever indispensable. So we need to reach out to the Haitian people in need,” he said.