AMERICA/PUERTO RICO - Redemptorists write to Trump: "His words on poor Countries are disparaging"

Monday, 22 January 2018 orders   politics   human rights  


San Juan (Agenzia Fides) - "We turn to you, Mr. President, for the purpose of commenting on the negative impact of your disparaging words on Thursday 11 January 2018 in the presence of some members of the EUA Congress describing Haiti, El Salvador and the poor countries of Africa as "Shithole countries". This is how the Letter from the Redemptorists of Puerto Rico to President Donald Trump. In the letter, the signatories present themselves as "Catholic Missionaries of the Redemptorist Congregation, members of the Province of San Juan, which includes the peoples of Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The call of our Congregation is to evangelize the poor, and this includes proclaiming the Gospel explicitly, showing solidarity and promoting the fundamental rights of justice and freedom for the neediest. "The love for this mission", the Letter continues "has pushed the brothers from Spain and the United States to serve in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic one hundred years ago. This same love has guided us to serve the people you despise, Africa, Haiti and El Salvador". Faithful "to our call to be witnesses of the Redeemer in a wounded world". "We reject your words as unfair, offensive and derogatory" reads the letter sent by them to the US President "because they disfigure the image and dignity of men and women created in the image and likeness of God" and "contradict the Gospel of Jesus Christ that looks with respect to the dignity of the poor". "On the eighth anniversary of the earthquake - recall among other things the Redemptorists to President Trump - in which Haiti mourns its 200,000 dead, your words trample the sensibilities of a people. And of a country that sent 800 of its men to fight for the independence of the United States". "If it is true that your expressions obscure the horizon and cause unrest in the feelings of our people, we are encouraged by the words of John Paul II, for African-Americans, October 13, 1992, in Santo Domingo, at the opening of the work of the IV General Conference of the Latin American episcopate: "I could not" Pope Wojtyla said on that occasion "be near with my message of the greatest affection for the African-American populations, which constitute a relevant part of the whole continent and which, with their human and Christian values, and also with their culture, enrich the Church and society of so many Countries. I remember those words of Simon Bolivar who says that "America is the result of the union of Europe and Africa with aboriginal elements, so there can be no racial prejudices and, if they were born, America it would return to the primordial chaos" (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 22/01/2018)