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Bishop–Prayers needed amid Honduras turmoil: TLC 6.30.09 June 30, 2009

Posted by geoconger in Honduras, Living Church.
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First published in The Living Church magazine.

The Bishop of Honduras has written to the House of Bishops, asking their prayers for his country after Sunday’s ouster of President Mel Zelaya.

“So far, the entire clergy, lay leadership and our families are all well,” the Rt. Rev. Lloyd Allen wrote on June 29 in an e-mail to the House of Bishops.

The Rev. Canon Kathleen Pennybacker, the Diocese of Central Florida’s canon to Honduras, told the Central Florida Episcopalian that Bishop Allen and the diocese’s mission groups in Honduras that she contacted were carrying on with their work but trying to avoid nonessential travel, and trips to the capital, Tegucigalpa.

“We knew this was coming,” Canon Pennybacker said. “Everyone was prepared, and it’s pretty quiet right now, but we don’t know how it will all develop.”

Bishop Allen reported “political tension” in Honduras centered around President Zelaya’s plans to hold a “non-binding referendum which opponents said would open the gate for him to rewrite the constitution to run for re-election despite a one-term limit.”

“I predict that you will be hearing a lot more about all that has happened,” Bishop Allen said. “A month ago the country was shaken by a 7.1 earthquake and now this. What next, and how much longer can this impoverished country survive?”

He added that the events of recent days would set the country “back in time, which will take us many years to recover and regain confidence in international eyes.”

Bishop Allen called upon The Episcopal Church “to keep this diocese and the Honduran people highly in prayers. I really don’t know what the future will bring. The Honduran delegation is ready to participate with you all at General Convention. However, if the course of actions does not improve in the next few days, I may have to reconsider.”

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