Editors: Adds new information starting after new 12th paragraph; incorporates previous update.
SECOND UPDATED version of HAITI-FUNERALS of Jan. 23, 2010
By Catholic News Service
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (CNS) — Amid the rubble of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, Haitians celebrated the lives of the archbishop and vicar general of Port-au-Prince, both of whom were killed in the country’s earthquake.
Church officials — including some from the United States — joined Haitians Jan. 23 for the funerals of Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot, who died when the impact of the Jan. 12 quake hurled him from a balcony, and Msgr. Charles Benoit, the vicar general whose body was pulled from the cathedral debris.
They were among more than 150,000 Haitians killed in the magnitude 7 quake; U.N. officials have said the final death toll might never be known.
Archbishop Louis Kebreau of Cap-Haitien, president of the Haitian bishops’ conference, celebrated the funeral Mass, and Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Lafontant of Port-au-Prince delivered the homily.
Haiti President Rene Preval was among those in attendance.
New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, who represented the U.S. bishops at the Mass, read a message on behalf of Chicago Cardinal Francis E. George, U.S. bishops’ conference president. Cardinal George’s message to the Haitians was contained in a letter was addressed to Archbishop Kebreau.
“The church in the United States stands with you,” he said.
“In our prayer, we recall that Jesus, too, wept before the tomb of one whom he loved,” said the cardinal’s message. “With you, we recall in trust that he is the resurrection and the life, offering himself to us and calling us to himself, even in our darkest hour.” (more…)