A memorable day for the Catholic Church of Haiti

The new Prime Minister Jovenel Moïse settles down against a backdrop of galloping insecurity.

A few hours after the resignation of Joseph Jouthe, fourth prime minister in four years, Jovenel Moïse appointed Claude Joseph, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, to take over the interim. This comes at a time when insecurity in Haiti has reached a point of no return. During its first session of the Superior Council of the National Police (CSPN), he said to himself “ committed to restoring peace and security in the country “. During the past week, the cases of murders and kidnappings have continued to increase, the most emblematic of which are the killings in the district of Bel-Air, on April 1 and the kidnapping of the seven religious, Sunday at the Cross. -des-Bouquets.

The French prosecution announced on Monday the opening of an investigation in Paris. Jovenel Moïse for his part informed on his twitter account that “the interim Prime Minister, Dr Claude Joseph, is invested in his functions, this April 14, during a Council of Ministers held at the National Palace. All the country’s resources are mobilized to urgently address the phenomenon of insecurity“. Subsequently, the executive carried out a cabinet reshuffle. For its part, the Catholic Church, hard hit, was at the initiative, this Thursday, of a day of closure, which was widely observed.

At 12 p.m. local time, church bells and chimes rang for one minute across the country. This peaceful demonstration follows the appeal of the Episcopal Conference of Haiti (CEH) in reaction to the indifference of the authorities in the face of rampant insecurity. The Catholic Church, usually very reserved, released a note the day before to deplore the phenomenon. And call for a day of solidarity with the victims. “We, the Bishops’ Conference and the CHR, we protest against these bad acts in our country. We ask all Catholic, priestly, congregational, university and all our other institutions to stop working this Thursday April 15th. We ask that, throughout the country, at noon, that all the church bells ring and that we celebrate mass in all our churches to ask God for the change for Haiti.», Wrote Mgrs Launay Saturne and Pierre-André Dumas, respectively president and vice-president of the CEH as well as the fourteen other signatory bishops.

Pans concert

In the overflowing Saint-Pierre church in Pétion-Ville, mass is celebrated by Cardinal Chibly-Langlois, bishop of Cayes and several priests. The faithful chant “Well bouké», «We are at the end of the line“, And brandish slogans hostile to power before being invited”put away their signs to pray in peace“. Leaders of opposition parties also attended the religious ceremony, which was broadcast live by TV and radio stations.

At the end of the mass, tear gas fumes invaded the interior of the church, creating a wind of panic in the assistance which rushed for the exits. André Michel, leader of the democratic sector, denounces this attack and sees the sign “that we can do nothing with this government“. Equipped with saucepans and spoons, groups sang slogans asking the president to respect the Constitution.

To support this movement, universities have relayed the appeal of the UNHCR. Catholic schools have also closed their doors. The private business sector was no exception. Through employers’ associations, its members say to themselves “decided to support and encourage companies to observe a day of closure», Thus rallying to the call of the religious. For his part, the head of the Movement for the Transformation and Valorization of Haiti (MTVAyiti), Dr Réginald Boulos, who also attended the religious ceremony, “applauded the initiative of the private sector (…). The nation needs all of its children, without exclusion, in the fight for social justiceHe wrote.

Some radio stations, notably Métropole, invited their listeners to observe a minute of silence. “It is for the first time in fifty years of existence that the station calls for a position in solidarity with the victims.Said presenter Wendell Théodore.

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