Puerto Plata (Agenzia Fides) - The many sufferings of the Haitian people who continue to suffer are reason of concern. Haitians have been welcomed by the Catholic Church in the Dominican Republic "because they are brothers who need to feel they are part of a family": these are the sentiments expressed by Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chavez, Auxiliary Bishop of San Salvador, in his homily on Saturday 5 January in Puerto Plata, who recalled the first Mass celebrated in America 525 years ago, 6 January 1494 (see Fides 5/01/2019).
The Cardinal, Special Envoy of the Holy Father, presided over the celebration in the temple of Las Americas, in Isabela, in the province of Puerto Plata, in the Dominican Republic, together with the Dominican Episcopal Conference, in the presence of President Danilo Medina and first Lady, Cándida Montilla, state officials and thousands of faithful.
The religious ceremony began with a welcome speech by the Bishop of the diocese of Puerto Plata, Mgr. Julio César Corniel Amaro, who stressed the historical importance of this event of faith, not only for the Dominican Republic, but for all Latin America. Cardinal Rosa Chavez greeted the faithful in the name of the Holy Father and urged them to always "proclaim the Catholic faith courageously and to live it with love", as recommended by the Holy Father himself in the letter with which he named him his Special envoy for this circumstance. The celebration also closed the Year of the Eucharist 2018.
After the Eucharistic celebration, the Cardinal held a brief press conference with media operators, during which he commented the difficult situation in Nicaragua. The complex situation in Venezuela invites everyone to pray, he continued, and to work within the country, in order to achieve true peace.
Regarding the caravans of Central American migrants, he said that these people are driven by poverty and we need to change many things so that everyone can see their rights, now denied, respected in their country. Finally, Cardinal Rosa Chavez asked to commit oneself to fighting corruption, perhaps the greatest evil on the continent: "it is a cancer that destroys everyone", he concluded. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 07/01/2019)