Friday, October 2, 2009

Padre Tamayo: "The people need shepherds"

Clarín (translation by Rebel Girl)

Bad news and good news for Zelaya. Yesterday they dislodged a base of the Resistance that continued to denounce the "dictatorial repression". But in the Brazilian embassy, where he is hiding, he celebrated his wife's birthday with news of a grandchild. One of the most influential men accompanying him is the Salvadoran [sic] priest Andrés Tamayo, who spoke with Clarin about Zelaya ("a man of deep faith")'s hope that the dialogue will go forward. He came in 1983 (the de facto government is seeking to expel him and take away his citizenship) and, he says, "I have always chosen to get involved in the life of the people as most of the church is dedicated to sacramentism and religious service." Although he believes that several priests have repudiated the coup like he has, "they say little for fear of the hierarchy, of problems or penalties, since there are positions in the Church as in any organization."

Tamayo presides at Mass in the embassy, where Zelaya and his family pray, take communion and sing. "He asks me to read the psalm of hope or others about forgiveness; he wants to forgive," he says.

"Honduran life is very hard," he says. "It's a country impoverished by power and the destruction of natural resources, but in the Church many are seeking to accommodate themselves, live well, be with the elite, play at diplomacy."

"I," he continues, "made a very firm decision: I left my parish in Salama Olancho to come to the people's struggle. According to canon law, I lost it by abandoning it, and it was my procedural error, perhaps -- they say -- because of partisan bias, but not an error of conscience. The people need shepherds, not a Church that has adapted itself, accommodated itself to the system.

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