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Ouster of Honduran President Supported: TLC 7.17.09 July 18, 2009

Posted by geoconger in 76th General Convention, Honduras, Living Church.

In a late session of General Convention on Friday, the House of Bishops beat back a push to gut a resolution calling for The Episcopal Church to back the people of Honduras in the face of sanctions leveled by the Organization of American States (OAS) in the wake of the ouster of President Mel Zelaya.

Resolution B031 — Hope for Reconciliation in Honduras — was adopted after passionate pleas of support from the current and former Bishops of Honduras, the Rt. Rev. Lloyd Allen and the Rt. Rev. Leo Frade. Bishop Frade denounced assertions the removal of President Zelaya last month was a coup. He said the former leader had been lawfully removed from office after being arrested on a charge of treason. He also denounced as racist and colonialist the mindset that Americans could better determine the course of Honduran democracy than the people of that Central American country.

Adopted with amendment by the House of Deputies on July 16 following a floor fight between deputies from Honduras who prepared the resolution and deputy Sarah Lawton of California who sought to remove language critical of the OAS, the resolution was presented to the bishops.

Bishop Allen described the grinding poverty of the country. He said members of the Episcopal Church of Honduras were found primarily in the country’s scattered villages and amongst the urban poor. The witness of The Episcopal Church had always been to serve the “poor and needy,” he added.

Bishop Allen said he was a member of no political party, but was concerned “solely for my 156 congregations.” Endorsing the resolution would place The Episcopal Church squarely on the side of the people and of justice, he argued, urging support for the resolution.

“We cannot apply U.S. laws to Honduras,” Bishop Frade said.

The resolution was adopted by the house unanimously.

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