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Violence in Haiti causes postponement of episcopal visitation

Jan 24, 2016

Tapio_meal

The ACC orphanage in Tapio was one of the sites scheduled for the 2016 episcopal visitation, now postponed.

The ACC in Haiti will have to wait for its 2016 episcopal visitation. 

Though Archbishop Haverland was originally scheduled to visit the country from January 22-26, sources recommended that he postpone the trip, only hours before the flight was to leave the ground.  The reason—the violent protests surrounding the Haitian presidential election.

Though the impoverished Caribbean nation has partnered with the international community to establish a working democracy, putting ideals into practice has proven difficult.  With incumbent president Michael Martelly constitutionally barred from running for office a second time, an election took place in October of 2015. However, with no candidate receiving a plurality, a runoff was scheduled, first for December 17th, then for January 17th, and finally for January 24th, right in the middle of the archbishop’s already scheduled trip.  Following a mid-January boycott by one of the candidates, protests ensued, which became more and more violent as the polling date approached. 

Rioting near the airport and roadblocks on major arteries led the US Embassy to warn against all non-essential travel, and though most of the visitation’s itinerary involved stops outside of Port-au-Prince, the ACC’s Vicar General in Haiti, Father Jean Bien-Aime, notified the archbishop on Friday that the situation was too unstable to continue with the trip.

While the postponement is a disappointment to all the parties involved, the trip will be rescheduled.  On the agenda will be a visitation to the Diocese of the South supported orphanage in Tapio, and the consecration of the newly completed church of Sainte Therese de Lisieux.

For more on this story and others like it, see the upcoming issue of The Trinitarian.

Tagged: haiti, protests, visitation, postponed, tapio, consecration