Sunday, May 24, 2009
ARCHBISHOP BARNEY AUZA OF TALIBON IS THE NEW ENVOY TO HAITI
TOUGH TASKS AWAITS FILIPINO PAPAL ENVOY TO HAITI
CBCP NEWS MANILA, July 21, 2008 — Newly consecrated Filipino archbishop Bernardito Auza has the least enviable job in his latest pastoral mission.
As the new apostolic nuncio to Haiti, the 49-year old Boholano prelate is faced with squaring a tough circle of ever-growing challenges.
The latest reports from the international media makes grim reading.
It highlights a never-ending conflict and even bloodshed as its people are longing for economic and political stability.
The words used by Papal nuncio in the Philippines Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams in describing Archbishop Auza’s work are “not a small one.”
Haiti is one of the poorest countries on earth with about 56 percent of its 8.2 million populations live in extreme poverty.
Adams, in his sermon during Auza’s thanksgiving Mass at the Manila Cathedral yesterday, said the news from Haiti is not very good.
The country, he said, is deeply in need and the economy bleed dry, violence everywhere.
“There a people wait to be helped in their efforts of material and spiritual progress,” said Adams.
At one time around 85% of the eight million or so Haitians were Catholics. Today, they make up less than 50% of the population.
And sadly, many of them only have a hazy understanding of the teachings of the Church— especially those unable to afford a good education.
Adams said the situation in Haiti represents a major challenge for the Catholic Church and needs to be countered with the help of priests, religious and lay pastoral workers.
Auza will celebrate Mass with Haiti’s Catholic bishops on September 9 but he will officially assume his post as Papal nuncio on August 15
He himself admitted the urgent issues he has to face in his new assignment. “There are many issues, I’m sure,” Auza said.
Pope Benedict XVI appointed Auza as Nuncio to Haiti last May 8 but it was only last July 3 when he was ordained to the episcopacy by Vatican’s Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone at the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome.
The prelate is the fourth Filipino to be appointed to such a high diplomatic position in the Catholic Church.
The first to be named apostolic nuncio is Archbishop Oswaldo Padilla, now in Korea . The third is his younger brother, Archbishop Francisco Padilla, now in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands . The second is Archbishop Adolfo Yllana currently in Pakistan . (Roy Lagarde)
Dear Jesus by Lorraine Hess
Words and music by Fr. J. Roel Lungay