In a televised message Saturday, Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, archbishop of Tegucigalpa and president of the conference, denounced both the military ousting of the deposed president, Manuel Zelaya, and Zelaya’s plans to reform the Constitution so as to extend his rule.
The episcopal statement, the cardinal explained, was prepared after consultation with governmental and civic bodies. And this consultation resulted in the prelates’ affirmation that “all Honduran democratic institutions are operating and in place, and the execution of their mandate has occurred in strict adherence to law. All three branches of the state: executive, legislative and judicial are within democratic legal boundaries, according to the Constitution of the Republic of Honduras.”
The cardinal contended that Zelaya, “at the moment of his capture, was no longer performing the duties of the Republic’s presidency,” because of his proposal to reform the article of the Constitution that denies presidents the right to extend their terms. That article also dictates the “immediate” cessation of executive functions for whoever attempts such a reform.