Honduran bishop says he will try to launch dialogue to resolve crisis
Published: September 17, 2009
EUGENE, Ore. (CNS) -- A Honduran bishop told Catholic News Service he would launch an effort to resolve the apparently intractable crisis in the Central American country. Honduran Bishop Luis Santos Villeda of Santa Rosa de Copan told Catholic News Service Sept. 16 he would see "if an internal dialogue is possible" between "the Resistance" -- Hondurans who oppose the de facto government installed in a June 28 coup -- "and the economically powerful who are behind the coup." "Dialogue many times seems impossible at the beginning, but as things get clarified the parties come to accept it," he said. "And attempting to open a dialogue is strategically important at this point, because if the armed forces and the police continue killing the people of the Resistance -- they've already killed eight -- and breaking their arms with batons, this could provoke widespread resentment that could evolve into a civil war." Bishop Santos has participated in two public demonstrations of the Resistance. On Sept. 12 he celebrated Mass with eight other priests during a demonstration in the streets of Santa Barbara, and the following day he was joined by six other priests as he celebrated Mass during a demonstration in La Esperanza. Yet the bishop denied he is a member of the Resistance. "It's the people who are in the Resistance, not me," he told Catholic News Service in a telephone interview. "My task is to provide pastoral accompaniment, encouraging them spiritually to love God and their neighbor. My message is that faith in Jesus Christ and the love of God are necessary to confront the social injustice that reigns in Honduras and which has become more visible with the coup d'etat."
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