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Haitian bishop’s condition stable after he was caught in explosion

Bishop Pierre-André Dumas, of Haiti

Our Lady of Fatima International Pilgrim Statue | Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED

J-P Mauro - published on 02/22/24

Bishop Pierre-André Dumas of the Diocese of Anse-à-Veau et Miragoâne sustained "serious burns" to his face, arms, and legs.

The vice president of the Haitian Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Pierre-André Dumas, was the victim of rising levels of violence in Haiti on Sunday. The Caribbean nation has seen unrest continuing to surge, particularly since Prime Minister Claude Joseph was assassinated in 2021.

According to Aid to the Church in Need, Bishop Dumas was visiting Port-au-Prince when the house that he was staying in was “affected by an explosion,” although the report does not explain what caused the explosion. Authorities have not yet determined if the explosion was due to a gas leak or to criminal activity.

The Secretariat of the Episcopal Conference of Haiti (CEH) has issued a statement that Bishop Dumas is in stable condition. While he is expected to survive his injuries, the report notes that he sustained “serious burns” to his face, arms, and legs. Archbishop Max Leroy Mesidor of Port au Prince, President of the Bishops’ Conference in Haiti, has asked for prayers for Bishop Dumas’ quick recovery. 

Vatican News notes how Haiti has long been at the mercy of gangs struggling for control of the territory, with violence and criminal activity only rising in recent years. A UN report has called January 2024 “the bloodiest month in over two years,” which saw “1,108 people killed, injured, or kidnapped.”

Crux Now points to a 2023 UN report that found “2,327 people were killed, injured or kidnapped” between just October and December. In the entirety of 2023, it is estimated that 8,400 people were victims of such violence or captivity in the island nation with a population of 11.45 million. 

The Haitian Bishops’ Conference has pleaded for an end to the violence that has gripped Haiti. In a January 8 statement, they wrote:

“Blood and tears have flown too much through the assassinations, kidnappings, and violence perpetrated in the past three years … We have suffered enough! Close the blood valve and stop counting the dead!”

The bishops added, “Let’s mobilize all of our energies, let’s unite, and let’s commit ourselves, together, decidedly, without violence, in the path that will lead us to the new Haiti that we all desire.”

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