SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, Sept. 30, 2009 — In a letter to the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, several Dominican legislators, led by Senator Charlie Mariotti and Senator Prim Pujals Nolasco, have asked the Catholic Church's authorities in the country to speak out on the smear campaign being directed towards the Dominican Republic by Father Christopher Hartley.
The senators said that the ideologists of this steadfast campaign are tainting the country's image abroad and have sought to cast doubts on the honesty, business ethics and staff of the main entities and public and private persons involved in the economic, political and social development activities of the Dominican Republic.
They also said that unrestrained and unruly statements by members of the Church, as is the case of Father Hartley's, could bring about catastrophic results for the Dominican economy and its international relations. "This could in turn precipitate massive unemployment of Dominicans and immigrants alike, since they would have nowhere else to go and no other choice but to cross the border and work in the Dominican Republic's fields," they added.
In referring to the need for Catholic authorities to control the smear campaign, the senators said that the Church has tremendous influence over billions of people in the world, so it should show solidarity with the Dominican people, informing Father Hartley's immediate superiors of the serious damages on the Dominican Republic being caused by the negative international campaign he is promoting. They should find out which interests it responds to, who is financing his campaign and who benefits from his actions. (http://pressreleaseheadlines.com/2009-UNAZUCAR-2.pdf)
In the same vein, the President of the Dominican Federation of Sugar Growers (FEDOCA), Bernardo Diaz, also publicly appealed to the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, to reprimand Hartley and inform the Vatican "about the damage his behavior is causing on Dominicans." He noted that the priest's allegations are intended to bring sanctions that will affect the industry's opportunities in that market, where 30,000 tons of sugar are currently placed. (http://pressreleaseheadlines.com/2009-UNAZUCAR-3.pdf)
Union Nacional de Azucareros (UNAZUCAR)
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