Letters to the Editor

12/20/2017

Life with dignity is criterion for any development, popes say

The Editor: Michael Swan’s story outlining the concern of the Jesuits for the life of Padre Melo and the increasing Honduran chaos since the November 2017 election fraud (PM, Jan. 17) does not do the reality justice. For decades the people of Honduras have struggled to rid their country of colonialism.   
A “colony” is an area where the land and people are “developed” to accommodate the interests and profit of a foreign elite in an “imperial” power.    
The latest form is neo-colonialism where the land and people are “developed” to accommodate the interests and profit for global corporations — agricultural, extractive and financial.  
This has been condemned in our official church teachings since the Second Vatican Council when life with dignity for the full continuum was put at the centre of our faith.  
Each pope since affirmed the church’s position life with dignity for all, human and land, is to be the heart of any development mode.   
In both his 1987 “On Social Concerns” and his 1991 “Centesimus Annus,” St. John Paul II states the criteria for evaluating any development mode are to be the actual lived realities generated by it . . . not ideology.  
He made it clear it didn’t matter if it was governments, corporations, “free markets” or “cultures” generating the desecration of God’s creation.   
If “life with dignity” did not flow, particularly for all God’s human children, it was “structural/social sin” and needed to be rectified.  
This is what the Honduran people have repeatedly struggled to do through democratic means. Whenever such governments tried to move in the direction of respecting life with dignity for its people and land, they have been overthrown by military coups facilitated by the U.S.  
This happened again in 2009 and was followed by a period of “extrajudicial” killings of all who try to peacefully organize and demonstrate to protect life with dignity.  
These make Honduras, on a per capita basis, the most dangerous place on earth to be a human rights advocate or defender of water/land.  
It is this already bad situation that is deteriorating.  
A friend, part of accompaniment teams for over six years, is there now.  
In the spirit of Blessed Oscar Romero, these murdered people are martyrs for their faith. — Yvonne Zarowny, Qualicum Beach, B.C.  
A friend, part of accompaniment teams for over 6 years, is there now.  
In the spirit of Blessed Oscar Romero — these murdered people are martyrs for their faith. 


— Yvonne Zarowny, Qualicum Beach, B.C.