Catholic Church in Haiti holds day of prayer for release of 6 kidnapped nuns, others

Max Leroy Mesidor Archbishop of Port-au-Prince Max Leroy Mésidor. | Credit: Salesian priests of Haiti

The Haitian Conference of Religious (CHR) and the Archdiocese of Port-au-Prince held a day of prayer, meditation, and Eucharistic adoration Jan. 24 to intercede for the release of the people kidnapped by an armed gang, including six nuns from the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Anne.

Father Morachel Bonhomme, president of the CHR, confirmed Jan. 19 the hijacking of the bus that was transporting the nuns and others.

“We invite priests, men and women religious, and the lay faithful to organize in all parishes and communities an unceasing prayer chain for the release of those kidnapped and their return to their families,” wrote Bonhomme and Metropolitan Archbishop of Port-au-Prince Max Mésidor in a Jan. 22 joint statement.

They also strongly condemned this “heinous and criminal” act as well as the rest of the kidnappings that take place in the Caribbean country “with total impunity.” They pointed out that these acts cause consternation among all citizens of goodwill and tarnish the country’s image internationally.

The Church in Haiti expressed its solidarity with the Congregation of Sisters of St. Anne, with the relatives of the rest of the kidnapped people, and with all those affected by violence carried out by crime gangs that act with impunity — and that even control 80% of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

Finally, the statement appealed “to the conscience of the kidnappers” to release the hostages unharmed. Bishop Pierre André Dumas of the Diocese of Anse-à-Veau and Miragoâne on Jan. 22 offered to take the place of those held captive.

Dumas told Vatican News: “Please take me in their place. I’m ready!” He also pointed out that “kidnapping women who dedicate their lives to saving the poor and young is an act that will see the judgment of God.”

According to Dumas, the captors are demanding $3 million for the release of the nuns and their companions. The bishop pointed to the pastoral and humanitarian work of the Sisters of St. Anne, who have dedicated themselves “to curing the wounds of one of the poorest people in the world” and have given their lives completely to Haiti.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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