Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Haiti and the Devil

Haiti and the Devil
by The Rt Revd Pierre W. Whalon, D.D.
Bishop in Charge of the Convocation of American Churches in Europe

On a recent visit to the Église Épiscopale d’Haïti, the Episcopal Church’s largest diocese, I heard a great deal about how many people are claiming — or at least thinking — that the people of Haiti have brought the greatest natural disaster in recorded history upon themselves. In a sermon preached under a tarp next to the rubble left from the collapsed Cathédrale Sainte-Trinité, on March 7, I explicitly repudiated this theology. During the sermon, I had the idea to repeat
the text (in English) at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, where I preached the following Sunday.

After the Eucharist at St. Paul’s, the large crowd passed through the west door of that great church, where I stood with the celebrant, the Reverend Canon Giles Fraser. While most gratified me with enthusiastic comments — rather than the polite and perfunctory thanks usually proffered to the preacher — several remonstrated with me, saying that Haiti had only got what it deserved for worshipping the Devil. It occurred to me that perhaps many more think this, but are too intimidated to speak it aloud.

Read it all here.

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