Cardinal Rodríguez launches Kildare and Leighlin Trócaire Lenten Appeal – Reach Out This Lent

11 Mar 2006


11 MARCH 2006




Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga from Honduras, one of the most distinguished
members of the Catholic Church in Latin America, officially launched this year’s
Kildare and Leighlin Trócaire Lenten Appeal – Reach Out This Lent at a special event
in the Standhouse Hotel, The Curragh, Co Kildare, today, Saturday 11th March 2006.

Cardinal Rodríguez is in Ireland at the invitation of Trócaire to help promote their
Lenten Appeal and to thank people for their involvement and contribution. This year’s
appeal focuses on Nicaragua and the issue of child labour.

As well as launching Reach Out This Lent, Cardinal Rodríguez gave an address on
Globalised Solidarity during which he said people had to live more simply so others
could simply live. “We are the gardeners of the world, not its plunderers,” he said.
“We continue to live in a world of flagrant inequalities, and despite the production
and the wealth, the latter is increasingly concentrated in fewer hands. Actually, a
world is being created where the greediness of a few is leaving the majority on the
margins of history.”

The moral problems of economic development and the relations between countries must
be guided by the criterion of solidarity, the Cardinal said. “The consequences of
transforming the world into one enormous market have to be faced, and for this a new
world has to be built, a world in which there is room for all the worlds” he said.

Speaking at the launch, the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, Dr Jim Moriarty said: “I
am delighted to welcome Cardinal Rodríguez to our diocese to launch this year’s Kildare
and Leighlin Trócaire Lenten appeal.

“The Trócaire campaign this lent brings us face to face with the reality of the more
than 180 million children worldwide who are working in hazardous conditions, many of
them having little choice as they work to support their families. Trócaire’s campaign
this year focuses on working children in Nicaragua, many of whom pick the coffee we
drink. Your support for Trócaire this lent will help these children who are being
denied their rights and will give them hope for the future” he said.

Bishop Moriarty concluded: “In his Lenten message this year Pope Benedict XVI challenges
us to consider how we respond to our world of growing interdependence. He reminds us
that it is not only what we give but also how we give that matters; when we fully
give of ourselves to another in love, we are truly charitable.”

11th March 2006

Further information:
Mícheál Murphy Tel: 086 8244629
Brenda Drumm Tel: 087 233 7797

Notes to Editors:
* The Kildare and Leighlin Reach Out campaign was launched on 29th November 2004 as
a response to the issues raised by people in the diocese following publication in 2003
of Together in Christ, the draft guide to the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin. The
publication of Together in Christ marked the start of a conversation in the diocese
about what should be the key priorities for the diocese in the coming years.
* This is the second year that the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin has linked up
with Trócaire for Lent as part of its Reach Out campaign.
* Trócaire is the official overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in
* Further information is available on the Reach Out campaign at
* Further information on the Trócaire Lenten campaign for 2006 is available at
* Photographs from the launch are available from John McElroy at 01 8310503
* A biography of Cardinal Rodriguez follows:

Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, S.D.B., is the current Archbishop of
Tegucigalpa, Honduras. He was President of the Latin American Episcopal Conference
(CELAM) from 1995 to 1999.

Cardinal Rodríguez was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras on 29 December 1942.. As a boy,
he dreamed of playing the saxophone in a dance band or becoming a pilot. Instead,
he entered the religious life. He joined the Pious Society of St. Francis de Sales
(Salesians of Don Bosco) on May 3, 1961.

He holds degrees in philosophy and theology and is trained in classical piano.
Multilingual, he speaks English, French, Italian, German, and Portuguese in addition
to his native Spanish. He received a doctorate in theology at the Pontifical Lateran
University in Rome, and also holds a diploma in clinical psychology and psychotherapy
from Leopold Franz University in Innsbruck, Austria.

He graduated as a teacher in El Salvador in 1962. He then taught chemistry, physics,
and music at Salesian colleges in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala as a Salesian
over the next 15 years. During this time he also became a professor of moral theology
and ecclesiology at Salesian Theological Institute in Guatemala.

He was ordained as a priest on 28 July 1970 in Guatemala City, and was named bishop’s
assistant in Tegucigalpa in the same year. He was rector for three years at Guatemala’s
Francisco Marroquín University from 1975. On October 28, 1978 he was made a bishop,
and on January 8, 1993 he became Archbishop of Tegucigalpa.

On January 21, 2001 he was incardinated in a consistory titled “Our Lady of Hope” by
Pope John Paul II. He is the first cardinal from Honduras.

Widely viewed as a moderate, he is considered a rising star in the Latin American
church. His campaign for human rights and the poor have won widespread praise. Cardinal
Rodríguez is further admired as a dynamic pastor who brokered peace accords with rebels
and led rebuilding efforts after a natural disaster. He is an outspoken proponent for
the cancellation of Third World debt.

In addition to his Episcopal duties, he is currently the President of the Episcopal
Conference of Honduras. Cardinal Rodríguez was one of the cardinal electors who
participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI.