Catholic bishops in Haiti have expressed grave concern for the “shameless corruption” that is spreading at all levels of society and now becoming rampant.
The plague of corruption, they said, must be denounced and fought with force by those who hold authority, and with the generous support of all citizens, animated by a strong moral conscience.
“This is a situation that promotes impunity and the illicit accumulation of wealth, lack of trust in political institutions, especially in the administration of justice and public investment, which are not always transparent, neither equal for all, nor effective,” the bishops said in their traditional Christmas message to clergy, religious and faithful.
Excerpts from the message were featured in an online news source, Haiti Libre, December 22. In it, the bishops quoted passages from St John Paul II’s The Church in America and Message for the World Day of Peace of 1998.
Though they acknowledged some people fructify honestly their credit, many others, they believed, enriched themselves fraudulently to the detriment of the impoverished population. “With impunity, the perpetrators of evil are tolerated, even protected by those who should chastise them and bring them back on track,” the statement said.
The bishops urged the holders of the three powers of the state to take firm measures and concerted decisions to create conditions conducive to job creation, state stability and security of the nation. They also urged the elites of different sectors and politicians to invest more in the consolidation of institutions, respect for democratic rules and the development of the country.
“We urge the Haitians from here and our compatriots in the diaspora to feel themselves challenged by such a dramatic situation and become aware of their civic responsibility towards the Haitian nation to build together and on values, such as: living together with people and the vocation to develop it; the pursuit of the common good, which wants the good of everyone; and respect for human dignity, honesty and civility.”
In expressing best wishes for Christmas and the new year, the bishops called on the faithful to say: no to the division which weakens and destroys the nation; yes, to the union that is strength; come together with their intelligence, talents, resources and wealth at the service of building a solid rule of law, a democratic and prosperous nation, and a Haiti that looks with confidence at its future to live fully and with hope.