Skip to comments.Exclusive: Papal nuncio gives dramatic report on Church in Haiti
Posted on 01/14/2010 10:52:35 AM PST by NYer
.- In an exclusive email to CNA, the Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, has revealed the details surrounding the death of the Archbishop of Haiti, the condition of the buildings at the nunciature, the archdiocese and the major seminary, as well as an updated body count of priests, religious, and seminarians in Port-au-Prince, which was hit by a massive earthquake on Tuesday.
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has a great presence here, said the nuncio. But due to the difficult situation, the lack of clean water, and the fact that all the gas stations are closed, they are contemplating moving their headquarters to Gonaives. Today, leaders from CRS and Caritas will meet with the nuncio and his staff at the nunciature.
Archbishop Bernardito Auza reports that the good and smiling archbishop of Port-au-Prince, was waiting on his balcony for a ride to a ceremony when the earthquake hit.
The intensity of the earthquake pushed him down off the balcony headfirst and he died immediately on impact, the nuncio told CNA. Since there is no electricity, his body has been moved to the nearby town of Gonaives. The Archbishop Auza suggested an immediate burial, but the suggestion was not adopted since it would conflict with local tradition and would be taken as an insult.
The vicar general of Port-au-Prince, Monsignor Charles Benoit, and the Chancellor, Don Cherie, are still under the pile of rubble from the four-storey building that housed the archdiocesan offices.
Archbishop Auza said the chancellor seems to be dead, but we still have hope for Monsignor Benoit. We dont have the numbers, but there are several dead priests and male and female religious whose bodies havent been recovered from the rubble, he added.
On Wednesday evening the nuncio said he visited the major seminary, where he found only one building still standing. Only one priest from the formation team is unaccounted for as of yet. Nine seminarians are confirmed dead, and four more are still missing. Archbishop Auza also visited various religious communities and expressed the Holy Fathers concern and solidarity.
The nunciature, where Archbishop Auza lived, has been destroyed as well, even though it is in a part of the city that was not damaged as heavily. The nuncio explained that he and the personnel are sleeping in the garden. Despite the demise of the nunciature, the archbishop and his staff are hosting many meetings, with bishops from around the country flocking to the nunciature as a place to coordinate and make decisions.
Fearing a tsunami, many people have also left the city for the hills, Archbishop Auza said. Though a tsunami is unlikely, he is of the opinion that it is better for people to leave the capital, as there is nothing there for them. In the city itself, people walk around aimlessly. Many are also sleeping in the streets, he related.
Archbishop Auza also relayed an assessment of the airport in Port au Prince, saying it is incapacitated. As of yesterday, not one airplane bearing aid had arrived. Due to the earthquake, the control tower collapsed and is completely destroyed. Today, the first arrival, an American military plane, is expected.
Just a question: the other side of the island is the Dominican Republic. Has anyone seen an mention of that country being affected by the quake? Seems unlikely that it would not have been.
The island is essentially one big mountain and the earthquake would not have hit the DR nearly as bad. Also, the DR has a much better infrastructure than Haiti. There was some damage from what I’ve heard, but nothing significant, especially when compared to Port-au-Prince.
I was listening to a radio interview with a Salvation Army representative yesterday, and he said the damage was centered in Port Au Prince, and that damage was much less even in other parts of Haiti. For instance, a hospital they run in another city about 75 miles away sustained no damage. So apparently this was a very localized event.
How much damage is there in Sacramento when there is an earthquake in San Francisco?
Found this pic on msnbc.com's photo library.
But.....but.....Pat Robertson said they all worship Voodoo down there.
50% of Haitians practice Voodoo and Santaria which are occult and pagan practices that are deeply rooted in their culture.
Many posters on here think Catholics are basically voodoo worshipers too.
Damage from a shallow quake is both very local and very severe. The epicenter was just slightly west of downtown.
Oh, my goodness, the crucifix still standing and it seems unharmed.
Thank you, God. That is a sign.
LOL! How do they make such ridiculous judgments? Ignorance of what the Catholic Church really is — my answer.
Thank you for posting this!
Scroll down slightly for the Haitian relief fund.
Our pastor sent out an Email today recommending that we donate to the KoM. We are having a special collection on Sunday.
Every penny that is donated goes directly to the people of Haiti - KoM absorbs all administrative costs.
They already have three relief teams on the ground in Haiti.
According to the KoM website, their hospital in Milot (which is well to the north of Port-au-Prince, almost to Cap Haitien on the main road) was only slightly damaged, is fully operational, and is expecting to receive critical patients via airlift from Port-au-Prince.
WOW that church got nailed
I'm guessing that planes from US and South America would have to make a stop at Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, or Jamaica to refuel. One bright spot is that Haiti is within helicopter range (and well within V-22 Osprey range) of Gitmo.