AMERICA/HAITI - The 3 nuns of the Madeleine community and 4 of the 6 religious of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart have been released

Monday, 11 March 2024

Port-au-Prince (Agenzia Fides) - The three nuns of the Saint Joseph of Cluny congregation kidnapped on Tuesday, March 5 from the La Madeleine orphanage have been released. According to the Conference of Haitian Religious, a group of armed bandits had taken the nuns from Croix-des-Bouquets. Furthermore, the local press reports that four of the six religious of the Congregation of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart were released yesterday, March 10, but there is no concrete news from the Haitian National Police (PNH).
The six religious were kidnapped on February 23 while they were on their way to the mission of the Jean XXIII school in Port-au-Prince, in the Bicentenaire neighborhood.
On February 18, Pierre André Dumas, bishop of Anse-à-Veau Miragoâne, was seriously injured in an explosion in Port au Prince. No gang claimed responsibility for the attack against the prelate, who is also vice president of the Haitian Episcopal Conference (CEH) and the PNH has not located the perpetrators.
Msgr. Dumas is currently hospitalized in Florida where he is recovering. In January, the bishop had offered himself as a hostage in exchange for the six nuns of the Saint Anne congregation, kidnapped in Port-au-Prince, for whom Pope Francis also launched his appeal for release. The vice president of CEH has always criticized and fought against the criminal gangs that operate in Haiti, especially against the crime of kidnapping, which he describes as an inhuman and despicable practice. He is also hard on the Haitian political class, whom he constantly asks to abandon individualism to overcome the economic, political and social crisis that is overwhelming the Caribbean country.
Msgr. Dumas had recently appealed for a peaceful transition of power, "society is paralyzed by fear and this is a symbol of failure".
At the Angelus yesterday, March 10, Pope Francis, from St. Peter's Square, addressed his call to prayer for the Haitian people. "I follow with concern and sorrow the grave crisis afflicting Haiti, and the violent episodes which occurred in recent days. I am close to the Church and to the dear Haitian population, which has been plagued by many sufferings for years. I invite you to pray, by the intercession of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, that every sort of violence may cease, and that everyone may offer their contribution to the growth of peace and reconciliation in the country, with the renewed support of the international community". (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 11/3/2024)