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Poverty, corruption mortally wound Honduras, cardinal tells government

Posted By February 9, 2012 | 9:18 am | International
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Poverty, violence, police corruption and disrespect for human life are mortally wounding Honduras, the country's cardinal told the nation's president and top government officials. Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa said the current violence in Honduras is the result of "the impact of narco-business subculture, unstoppable migration and of religious confusion, a result of the invasion of sects," according to a Feb. 6 report by Fides, the Vatican missionary news agency.

By Bridget Kelly
Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Poverty, violence, police corruption and disrespect for human life are mortally wounding Honduras, the country’s cardinal told the nation’s president and top government officials.
Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa said the current violence in Honduras is the result of “the impact of narco-business subculture, unstoppable migration and of religious confusion, a result of the invasion of sects,” according to a Feb. 6 report by Fides, the Vatican missionary news agency.
The cardinal made his comments Feb. 3 during the 265th anniversary celebration of the discovery of the Virgin of Suyapa, the patroness of Honduras. Attending the event was Honduran President Porfirio Lobo, government ministers, top legislators, heads of the judicial branches, local authorities, and thousands of Catholics from around the country.
The cardinal said that the country was bleeding and mortally wounded by violence, growing poverty, a lack of respect for life and corruption among police, reported Fides.
It was a difficult yet “urgent imperative,” the cardinal said, to purge corruption from the national police force, which has been accused of a number of crimes and misdemeanors, according to Fides. The news agency said the government was conducting a corruption sweep of the nation’s police, judges and prosecutors.
In an appeal to government leaders, the cardinal said, “We cannot let ourselves be overcome by evil, but we must overcome evil with good; we cannot live in fear, insomnia, nightmares and grief.”
Only faith and hope can bring peace, stability, security and mutual trust to Honduras, he said.
Cardinal Rodriguez, president of the Vatican-based confederation of Catholic charities — Caritas Internationalis — has advocated that the fight against poverty in Honduras includes providing better education for the poor, reducing corruption within the region, and ending the extreme foreign debt in the world’s poorest nations.
The Central American nation has 8.2 million inhabitants. Daily violence accounts for an average of 20 deaths per day, according to human rights organizations and the local press.

 

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, is seen before Pope Benedict XVI’s celebration of Mass marking the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Dec. 12. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)