Haiti: archbishop among earthquake victims

Yesterday's devastating earthquake in Haiti, has claimed thousands of lives, according to news reports coming from the island.  Among the many lives lost in the catastrophe are those of Catholic clergy and missionaries.

The Italian daily La Repubblica report the death of Archbishop Serge Miot, Archbishop of the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.  According to the brief report, missionaries found his body in the rubble of the archbishop's office. They also reported that the Vicar General, Msgr. Benoit, was still missing.

According to the Fides news agency, Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti, Archbishop Bernardito Auza was reported as saying:

"Port-au-Prince is totally devastated.  The cathedral, the Archbishop's Office, all of the big churches, all of the seminaries have been reduced to rubble.  The same luck for the Ministry buildings, the Presidential Palace, the schools.  The Parish Priest of the Cathedral, who was spared, told me that the archbishop of Port-au-Prince would have died under the rubble, together with hundreds of seminarians and priests that are under the ruins."

Archbishop Miot was born in Jérémie, Grand'Anse Department on 23 November, 1946. He was ordained to the priesthood on 4 July, 1975 and served as priest in his hometown of Jérémie.

In July 1997, he was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Port-au-Prince by Pope John Paul II. Miot received his episcopal consecration on the following October 12 from Archbishop Christophe Pierre, with Archbishops François Gayot, SMM, and François-Wolff Ligondé serving as co-consecrators.

During his tenure, he denounced the incarceration of Fr. Gérard Jean-Juste by the government of Prime Minister Gérard Latortue.

Miot succeeded Ligondé as the ninth Archbishop of Port-au-Prince upon the latter's resignation on 1 March, 2008.

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