Haiti church calls for the release of kidnapped priests and nunsTuesday, April 13, 2021
PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti (CMC)— The Haitian government has condemned the kidnapping of seven religious people, including five priests, describing the crime as “this new unspeakable action of deviant elements of society.”
Reports said that members of the criminal gang “400 mawozo” abducted the seven including two nuns, while they were going to the installation ceremony of a priest at the immaculate church of Galette Chambon (Ganthier) on Sunday.
“On behalf of the Government of the Republic, the Ministry of Worship vehemently condemns the kidnapping followed by the sequestration, on Sunday April 11, 2021, of seven religious from the Religious Community of Saint Jacques, accompanied by members of their families.
“The Government, which deplores this new unspeakable action of deviant elements of society, has been actively working on the file since yesterday,” the Ministry of Worship said in the statement.
Media reports said that the kidnappers have demanded a million US dollars ransom for their release.
“This is too much. The time has come for these inhuman acts to stop,” Monsignor Pierre-André Dumas, Bishop of Miragoâne said following the abduction, adding “the Church prays and stands in solidarity with all the victims of this odious act”.
The Ministry of Worship said that it shares the concerns of the Apostolic Nunciature, the Episcopal Conference of Haiti, the Catholic Clergy and the parents of the victims, “while urging the kidnappers “to collaborate frankly with the competent authorities in order to facilitate the return of sequestered persons to their communities and their families.
“Aware of its responsibility towards the Nation, the Government wants to reassure the population of its daily efforts to restore peace in the City, guarantee the free movement of citizens, promote and maintain a climate of peace favourable to progress and social development. and sustainable economy of the country.”
Monsignor Max Leroy Mésidor of the Archdiocese of Port-au-Prince, says he has seen for some time the descent into hell of Haitian society and called on the State authorities to ensure that those kidnapped are released as soon as possible.
“Haitians from here and elsewhere, Sisters and brothers, For some time now, we have seen the descent into hell of Haitian society. The forces of evil speak loud and clear, defeat our country and seriously threaten our hope as a people.
“The violence of armed gangs takes an unprecedented proportion. Thus, fear sets in minds and hearts. The people or groups of people who provide the weapons, the public authorities who do nothing to resolve this crisis are not immune to all suspicion. We denounce complacency and complicity wherever they come from. The Bishops, the clergy of Port-au-Prince and the people of God from here and elsewhere are bitterly indignant at the latest turns of events which accentuate the situation of insecurity in the country,” he added.
The five priests abducted include a French national, Father Michel Briand, with the others being Father Evens Joseph, Father Jean Nicaisse Milien, Father Joël Thomas all from the Society of Priests of Saint Jacques (PSJ) and Father Hugues Baptiste, a priest of the Archdiocese of Cap-Haitien
The two nuns have been identified as Sister Anne Marie Dorcélus and Sister Agnès Bordeau, a French national.
In addition, three members of the family of Father Arnel Joseph have also been kidnapped.
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