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Americas

Church-goers mourn the 112,000 quake victims

Video by Shirli SITBON

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-01-24

Around 300 people attended a Catholic mass near the crumbled cathedral of Port-au-Prince on Sunday. Among the 112,000 quake victims who are being mourned is the city's archbishop, Joseph Serge Miot.

AFP - Hundreds of Haitians attended mass in the skeletal shadow of Port-au-Prince's shattered Roman Catholic cathedral on Sunday, seeking to understand God's hand in the apocalyptic earthquake.
  
Father Glanda Toussaint held the service at an altar improvised on a wooden table and told parishoners: "The earth can shake but the word of God continues."
  

Before the January 12 quake, which killed over 112,000 people and devasted much of the impoverished Haitian capital, around 2,500 people would fill the pews for mass in the Notre Dame de l'Assomption Cathedral.
  
When Toussaint asked today's congregation of around 300 if they understood why the disaster happened, the crowd murmured their incomprehension.
  
"All is not the will of God but all is providential," he said. "What we are going through is not finished, we must reconstruct the country and reconstruct our faith. As a Haitian, it hurts."
  
Between prayers and songs and wearing his chasuble the priest called on all of Haiti's deeply religious population -- Catholics, Protestants and Voodoo practioners -- to come together to rebuild.
  
"Thanks be to God we are here, but this is not because we are better than anyone else," said Toussaint.
  

Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot of Port-au-Prince died when his office adjoining the cathedral collapsed in the 7.0-magnitude quake.
  
His funeral took place on Saturday outside the ruined cathedral and he is to be reburied in the capital once the building is rebuilt.

Date created : 2010-01-24

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