Pope Francis has called for the release of six religious sisters and other hostages who were kidnapped while travelling on a bus in the Haitian capital of Port-Au-Prince. Source: Global Sisters Report.
The sisters, from the Congregation of the Sisters of St Anne, and other passengers were kidnapped on Friday, according to the Haitian Conference of Religious.
“These many kidnappings fill the consecrated people of Haiti with sadness and fear,” said a statement, signed by conference president Fr Morachel Bonhomme.
Pope Francis appealed on Sunday for the release of all the hostages, while praying for “social harmony” in the country, Vatican News reported. In remarks after the Angelus, he said he had “learned with sorrow the news of the kidnapping” of the sisters and the others. “I call on everyone to stop the violence, which causes so much suffering to that dear population,” Pope Francis said.
Fr Bonhomme prayed that “the spirit of strength be given” to the sisters “to find a way out of this terrible situation.”
“May the solidarity of the consecrated people of Haiti and the world help them overcome this difficult ordeal,” he added.
In a statement published on Friday, the local bishop, Bishop Pierre-André Dumas of Anse-à-Veau et Miragoâne, prayed “to help us put an end to this bitter nightmare and this tragic ordeal of our people which has lasted too long.” He also offered himself in exchange for the hostages.
“Let us call for the release of these nuns as well as their driver and the other passengers of the bus,” the bishop said. “We also ask that these abject and criminal practices be stopped on the sacred land of Haiti since they degrade the dignity of the human being … by plunging us into the inhuman abyss of nothingness.”
The Congregation of the Sisters of St Anne, founded in the Canadian province of Quebec in the 1850s, started working in Haiti in 1944. The order focuses on educational projects in Haiti and has 40 sisters in the country, according to its website.
Armed men kidnap 6 nuns, others in Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince (By David Agren, OSV News via Global Sisters Report)