Religion - Haiti Observer Blog

Religion, Haiti Observer Blog. Read the following articles about Religion


Religious Freedom in Haiti

Those who would seek to protect the freedom of all Haitians to choose and practice their religion have accomplished an applaudable feat in putting on a religious freedom festival that has hopes of continuing in perpetuity.

In February 2014 the Seventh-day Adventist Church put on the religious freedom festival that was organized by their Haitian Union Mission and received sponsorship from the International Religious Liberty Association. The turnout for the first iteration numbered into the 3,000s and many advocates went away from the festival calling for a national day of religious freedom in Haiti.

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Pope Francis received President Michel Martelly in private audience

Haitian President Michel Martelly's recent tour of Europe was timed to coincide with Cardinal Chibly Langlois'(Haiti's first cardinal) induction into the College of Cardinals. Martelly was granted an audience with Pope Francis after a presentation of the Haiti delegation was made to him. The delegates each received a blessing from Francis: Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship, Pierre-Richard Casimir; Envoy Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Haiti to the Holy See, Karl Henry Guiteau; Special Counsellor to the Presidency, Gregory Mayard-Paul; and President of the Senate, Simon Desras Dieuseul.

After the introductions, President Martelly and Pope Francis exchanged symbolic tributes. Martelly presented Francis a bronze dove of peace, and he in turn gave Martelly the Angel of Peace medal. He also gave him the Aparecida. As a courtesy gift for the First Lady he gave her the Gaudiam Evangelii.

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A shift by Vatican in Hispaniola as new cardinal elected

The new Roman Catholic Pope has, at the outset of his run, taken stances and made decisions that have had him labeled as reformative. His latest appointment of a Cardinal for the island of Hispaniola has been one more such move, Chibly Langlois.

There can only be one! The Spanish part of the island, the Dominican Republic, has always held the honor of being home to a Roman Cardinal. But, after Pope Francis' recent naming of his 19 new cardinals, it is Haiti and its 'little priest that could' which now has the ear and attention of the Holy See.

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History of Haiti and the Catholic Church

The pope, the Curia in Rome and the Haitian Bishops are the spiritual leaders of the Catholic church in Haiti including nine dioceses of which two are archdioceses. In 1511 the dioceses of Saint Domingo were found and the island of Hispaniola was divided among bishoprics. Concepcion then remained the only diocese until 1862.

The first wave of evangelization was terminated by the Haitian revolution. Instability hit the territory for decades and poverty, mistreatment of slaves and a class system became the fate of the country. Haiti consequently was declared as the first black independent nation and almost all the clergy left the area after the 1804 massacre.

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What is a Cardinal in the Catholic Religion?

Cardinals, for the time it takes them to decide who the next pope in the Catholic world will be, are arguably the most important, influential group within the denomination. Ever since 1059, before which the pope had been selected first by the clergy and those of the Roman diocese, then in part by the nobility, the cardinals have held this high power after the pope gained a stronger sense of independence from politics.

Within the realm of the cardinal are different orders, namely bishops, priests and deacons. The cardinal bishops are the high priests of the church. Today, most cardinals are bishops, but the actual term "cardinal bishop" is used to refer only to those from the seven suburbicarian dioceses of the Church in the vicinity of Rome.

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Not to Share Wealth with Poor is Theft, Pope Francis

On November 27, 2013, Pope Francis, the 266th and current Pope of the Catholic Church has taken aim at capitalism and termed it as theft unless wealth is shared with poor. In an 84-page document, he has urged that to save the economy, the world leaders should intensify their efforts to fight against poverty and inequality.

Rich people should share their wealth with the poor. Pope Francis also warned that the present financial system supports uneven distribution of wealth; people are becoming aggressive, corrupted, and heartless. They always want to accumulate more for own. Nobody cares when a homeless aged person dies carelessly but if the stock market loses two points it becomes a sensational news.

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Worcester Parish to help Immaculate Conception Parish in Les Anglais

The prosperous Christ the King Parish (CKP) of Worcester has voted to subsidize Immaculate Conception Parish (ICP) in the poorer town of Les Anglais. Before the parish council met to vote on the matter, the church made an outreach to their parishioners with a letter informing them of the proposal being discussed. The majority of parishioners were decidedly enthusiastic about the twinning of the two parishes.

Les Anglais, a fertile farming community, is subject to hurricane activity, which repeatedly damages its infrastructure, and has been in need of support for some time. With a monthly donation of $600.00, ICP School will receive tuition, teachers' pay, textbooks, and a hot meal.

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Mgr Langlois Chibly, New Haitian Cardinal

Here is the new Haitian Cardinal, Mgr Langlois Chibly. He was nominated by Pope Francis on January 12, 2014.

Monseigneur Langlois Chibly is 55 year old who was born in the Valley of Jacmel.

He was ordained priest in 1991 and by 2004, he was appointed Bishop in the city of Fort-Liberte. He then moved to Les Cayes to bicome the Bishop there.

Politically, Monseigneur Chibly was expected to take part in the dialogue between President Michel Martelly and the opposition to find a solution to the current political crisis in Haiti

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Haitian Cardinal named by Pope Francis

On Sunday, Pope Francis named his first batch of cardinals and one of those selected is Haitian. This means for the first time a Haitian Cardinal will be among those who will be eligible to elect the next pope.

Monseigneur Langlois Chibly, Bishop of Les Cayes is now new Cardinal from Haiti. This is the first in the history of the country.

How about that?

Pope Francis said he will elevate a total of 19 prelates to the rank of cardinal on February. The new cardinals include people from Italy, Germany, Britain, Nicaragua, Canada, Ivory Coast, Brazil, Argentina, South Korea, Chile, Burkina Faso, the Philippines and Haiti.

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The History of Voodoo

Voodoo is more correctly pronounced as "Voudon". It is an Afro-Caribbean religion originated in Haiti. Voodoo teaches belief in an unknown, uninvolved, supreme creator god called "Bondye" (good god). The believers of Voodoo worship many 'loa' or spirits. Each of these spirits or loa has own domain that represents specific parts of life. A farmer praises and offers to the spirit of agriculture; Erzulie Freda is the spirit of love. Loa are the intermediaries between humanity and Bondye-- the Creator who lives far from the world.

A Haitian professor, Leslie Desmangles who teaches at Hartford's Trinity College has written a book related to these practices named "The Encyclopedia of the Paranormal". He has said that "voudon" in Haiti refers to an assortment of many cultural elements that include folk medical practices, cult of ancestors, many traditional system of ethics, stories, songs, proverbs, folklores, personal beliefs and practices. It is more than a religion or belief; it is a way of life. The followers of this practice can be found in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, United States, Brazil and elsewhere.

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