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From Venice, Pope turns attention to Haiti



Workers construct a gate at a neighborhood in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, meant to keep gang violence out, on April 27, 2024. A long-awaited transitional ruling council was sworn in on April 25 in Haiti, marking a critical step forward in restoring functional government in a country rocked by months of gang violence.

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 04/29/24

"The population is desperate due to the collapse of the healthcare system, the scarcity of food, and the violence that is driving people to flee."

At the end of his one-day visit to Venice on Sunday, Pope Francis appealed for peace before leading the midday Regina Caeli. He particularly stressed the situation in Haiti.

I am thinking of Haiti, where a state of emergency is in force and the population is desperate due to the collapse of the healthcare system, the scarcity of food, and the violence that is driving people to flee. Let us entrust to the Lord the work and decisions of the new Transitional Presidential Council, which took office last Thursday in Port-au-Prince, so that, with the renewed support of the international Community, it may lead the country to achieve the peace and stability it so badly needs.

The nine-person “transitional council” took office in a secret ceremony, unpublicized because of the threat of violence from the ruling gangs. Since the end of February, the Haitian capital has been overrun by gangs, and residents are essentially stuck there.

The first task of the council is to choose a new prime minister. The former one, Ariel Henry, who took over in 2021 after the president was killed, has formally resigned.

Some 2,500 people have been killed since the start of the year, and countless have been kidnapped, including a number of religious. As much as 40% of the population does not have enough to eat.

Other areas

The Pope also reiterated his call for peace in Ukraine, the Holy Land, and Myanmar.

I think of beleaguered Ukraine, Palestine and Israel, of the Rohingya and the many populations who suffer because of war and violence. May the God of Peace enlighten hearts so that the will for dialogue and reconciliation may grow in everyone.

HaitiPope FrancisWar
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