WASHINGTON (February 23, 2004) -- The Bishops of the Church in America, in San Antonio, Texas for their annual meeting, sent a message of greetings and solidarity to the Bishops of the Church in Haiti.
"Be assured that you and all the people of Haiti are in our prayers," they said. "We are confident that, under the maternal protection of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, the Church in Haiti will emerge from the present crisis strengthened and ever more united."
Below is the text of the message and list of participants in the meeting of the Bishops of the Church in America.
San Antonio, Texas, USA
February 23, 2004
Most Reverend Hubert Constant, O.M.I.
Archbishop of Cap-Haïtien
Conférence Épiscopale d'Haïti
Fax: (011) (509) 223-5318
Dear Archbishop Constant,
We, the Bishops of the Church in America, gathered in San Antonio, Texas for our annual meeting, send greetings to you and all the bishops of the Church in Haiti at this time of special peril.
Every day brings new accounts in our media about the violence that is afflicting Haitian society and causing additional harm to so many Haitian people, already afflicted by intense poverty and other social ills. We wish to express our solidarity with them and with the many faithful priests, religious and lay leaders who minister to them.
We are aware of the efforts your Conference has been making recently to encourage a peaceful resolution of the ever-deepening political crisis. One sign of hope in this dark time is the Peace Building and Reconciliation Commission recently established by the Episcopal Conference of Haiti, under the leadership of Archbishop Emeritus François Gayot, S.M.M. as Commission President, and Bishop Joseph LaFontant as Vice President. We send our prayerful best wishes that this Commission may help guide the people of Haiti along the paths of genuine peace and reconciliation.
Be assured that you and all the people of Haiti are in our prayers. We are confident that, under the maternal protection of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, the Church in Haiti will emerge from the present crisis strengthened and ever more united.
Fraternally yours in Christ,
CONSEJO EPISCOPAL LATINOAMERICANO (CELAM)
Card. Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa; Arzobispo de Santiago de Chile; Presidente del CELAM
Mons. Carlos Aguiar Retes; Obispo de Texcoco, México; Primer Vicepresidente
Mons. Geraldo Lyrio Rocha; Arzobispo de Vitória da Conquista, Brasil; Segundo Vicepresidente
Mons. Andrés Stanovnik, O.F.M., Cap.; Obispo de Reconquista, Argentina; Secretario General Interino
Card. Pedro Rubiano Sáenz; Arzobispo de Bogotá, Columbia; Presidente del Comité Económico
Representantes de Conferencias Episcopales de América Latina:
Card. Julio Terrazas Sandoval, C.SS.R.; Arzobispo de Santa Cruz de la Sierra; Pres. de la. Con. Ep. (Bolivia)
Card. Geraldo Majella Agnelo; Arzobispo de São Salvador; Presidente de la CNBB (Brasil)
Mons. Alberto Suárez Inda; Arzobispo de Morelia; Vicepresidente de la CEM (México)
Mons. Catalino Claudio Giménez Medina; Obispo de Caacupé; Pres. de la Con. Ep. (Paraguay)
Mons. Ramón Benito De La Rosa y Carpio; Arzobispo de Santiago de los Caballeros; Pres. (Rep.Dom.)
CONFÉRENCE DES ÉVÊQUES CATHOLIQUES DU CANADA (CECC)
CANADIAN CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS (CCCB)
Archbishop Brendan M. O'Brien, Archbishop of St. John's, NF, President
Archbishop André Gaumond, Archbishop of Sherbrooke, QC, Vice President
Most Reverend V. James Weisgerber, Archbishop of Winnipeg, MB, Co-treasurer
UNITED STATES CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS (USCCB)
Bishop Wilton D. Gregory; Bishop of Belleville, Illinois; President
Bishop William S. Skylstad; Bishop of Spokane, Washington; Vice President
Archbishop James P. Keleher; Archbishop of Kansas City, Kansas; Treasurer
Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan; Archbishop of Santa Fe, New Mexico; Secretary
Bishop John H. Ricard, SSJ; Bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida; Chairman, International Policy
Bishop John R. Manz; Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, Illinois; Chairman, Church in Latin America