Pope’s Condolences for Killing of Haitian President

Holy Father Condemns All Forms of violence

Haitian President
The Pope prays the Rosary in St. Peter's Basilica, May 1, 2021 © Vatican Media

The Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin sent a telegram of sympathy, in Pope Francis’ name, to the Apostolic Nunciature in Haiti, following the assassination on July 7, 2021, of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse.

“On hearing the news of the atrocious assassination of which H.E. Mr. Jovenel Moïse was victim, His holiness Pope Francis expresses his condolences to the Haitian people and to his wife, also gravely wounded, whose life he commends to God,” reads the text.

“While he prays to the Father of Mercy for the repose of the soul of the deceased, the Holy Father expresses his sadness and condemns all forms of violence as means to resolve crises and conflicts.”

Pope Francis also “wishes the dear Haitian people a future of fraternal concord, solidarity, and prosperity” and “in a sign of consolation, invokes an abundance of divine blessings upon Haiti and all its inhabitants.”

Message of the Haitian Episcopate

 In a note, the Catholic Bishops of Haiti condemn and deplore “the assassination of the country’s President and express their “sincere condolences.” The Episcopate stresses in its message that “violence can only engender violence, and leads to hatred” and this is an attitude that “will never help our country to come out of this political impasse, which can only be resolved through dialogue, consensus, and a spirit of compromise for the higher interest of the nation, for the common good of the country.”

Given what has occurred, the Prelates exhort: “Lay down your arms! Opt for life! “Choose, finally, fraternal coexistence in the interest of all and in the interest of Haiti!”

The Events

 According to a press release of the interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph, Jovenel Moïse was assassinated in an attack early Wednesday morning on his private residence, in which the First Lady also suffered a bullet wound. According to Europa Press Agency, hours later it was known that the Haitian President suffered 12 shots in different parts of his body, which was taken to a mortuary, accompanied by his daughter, Jomarly Moïse, who escaped the shooting.

Moïse’s wife was taken to a hospital in Florida, the United States. Haiti’s Prime Minister said the First Lady is out of danger and that her condition “is stable.”

Later, the mentioned Agency said that Haiti’s Secretary of Communication indicated that Haiti’s Police seized the President’s “alleged killers” and police sources asserted that four of the alleged assassins were killed and two others were arrested.

Here is a translation of the telegram of sympathy for the assassination yesterday of H.E. Mr. Jovenel Moïse, President of Haiti, sent in Pope Francis’ name by the Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, to the Apostolic Nunciature in Haiti.

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 The Telegram

 On hearing the news of the atrocious assassination of which H.E. Mr. Jovenel Moïse, President of Haiti, has been victim, His Holiness Pope Francis expresses his condolences to the Haitian people and to his wife, also gravely wounded, whose life he commends to God. While he prays to the Father of Mercy for the repose of the soul of the deceased, the Holy Father expresses his sadness and condemns all forms of violence as means to resolve crises and conflicts. He wishes the dear Haitian people a future of fraternal concord, solidarity, and prosperity. As a sign of consolation, he invokes an abundance of divine blessings upon Haiti and all its inhabitants.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin

Secretary of State of His Holiness

[Original text: French]

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester