Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, 12 April 2005/Alessandro Bianchi Honduras’ powerful Roman Catholic Church has backed the ouster of President Manuel Zelaya, surrendering a chance to be an impartial mediator in order to counter the influence of Venezuela’s leftist president, Hugo Chavez.

Leaders of the Catholic Church, the most respected institution in the country, have backed the ouster and thrown their weight behind the interim government installed by the Honduran Congress.

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, often mentioned as a possible future pope, has justified Zelaya’s ouster while opposing his expulsion from the country. “He doesn’t have any authority, moral or legal,” Rodriguez told the Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

“The legal authority he lost because he broke laws and the moral authority he lost with a discourse full of lies. The most patriotic thing he could do is stay away. Anything else is just trying to impose Hugo Chavez’s project at all costs.”

Read the full article here. (Photo: Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, 12 April 2005/Alessandro Bianchi)

Follow FaithWorld on Twitter at RTRFaithWorld