On his Christian Broadcasting Network show last week, the Evangelical Pastor, Pat Robertson said that the nation of Haiti has been devastated by a large earthquake because its people "made a pact with the devil."
Robertson went on to say: "Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French ... and they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, 'We will serve you if you'll get us free from the French.'"
In light of the massive death, destruction and suffering in Haiti, Robertson’s outrageous comments are not only shocking but they are truly shameful. In suggesting that God is punishing the poor people of Haiti is disgraceful enough but that Mr. Robertson claims to be a minister of the Gospel is downright despicable and diabolic itself. We hope that Robertson will rethink his dreadful commentary and attempt to apologize to the Haitian people for the hurt and harm his shameful words have caused. But perhaps it might just be best for Robertson to remain silent in his shame and beg God’s mercy and forgiveness for the diabolic scandal his shameful words have ignited in the Christian Community.
New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, the Chairman of Catholic Relief Services recently said: “The help of the Catholic people of the United States is urgently needed.” The devastation and death in Haiti calls Catholics to respond with charity and generosity. Many Catholic parishes are holding special collections for Catholic Relief Services, the official humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic Church, and all Rhode Islanders can donate by sending a check made out to Catholic Relief Services and mail it to: Diocese of Providence, Haiti Relief, One Cathedral Square, Providence, R.I. 02903, noting ‘Haiti Earthquake Relief’ in the memo area of all checks.
Catholics and others of good will would do well to ignore Mr. Robertson’s appalling remarks and would be much better off listening to the words of Archbishop Dolan, who suggests that: “Haiti is the broken, bloody body of Jesus Christ.”
Catholics and others of good will should consider that as Mary held the lifeless body of her son in her arms that we are asked to hold Haiti in our hands and truly love what is bloody, bruised and broken. Please give generously today to Catholic Relief Services so our bloody, bruised and broken brothers and sisters in Haiti can begin to be healed, restored and renewed.