Anglican Watch

Fugitive chair of Haiti standing committee holds Zoom, calls for election of new bishop

Fugitive the Rev. Jean Madoché Vil, standing committee president of the Diocese of Haiti, speaks May 9 via zoom during a diocesan synod.

You can’t make this stuff up.

The Rev. Jean Madoché Vil, wanted by the Haitian government for his alleged role in arms smuggling into Haiti, recently surfaced after several months in hiding. He serves as president of the standing committee of the Diocese of Haiti, which is the largest diocese in the church by membership.

In a Zoom meeting held May 9, Vil addressed a diocesan synod and called for the election of a new bishop. However, he did not identify a process or a timeline for an election.

The diocese descended into chaos following the retirement of Bishop Jean Zaché Duracin in 2019. 

Subsequently, top officials in the diocese were implicated in a scandal involving smuggling arms and counterfeit U.S. currency into the country. As a result, plans to rebuild the Episcopal cathedral, destroyed in the devastating 2010 earthquake, have been placed on hold.

Meanwhile, Vundla Sikhumbuzo, the business manager hired by the denomination to clean up corruption within the diocese, was fired after allegedly attacking his wife with acid, resulting in her hospitalization and disfigurement. He remains wanted by Haitian police.

Anglican Watch has called on Todd Ousley, who heads the office of pastoral development, to refuse to deal with diocesan officials who are fugitives. 

Ousley previously sent a letter of support to Vil.

While Ousley has declined comment on Vil’s re-emergence, Anglican Watch reiterates our opposition to doing business with the latter.

As for Ousley’s claim that Vil remains the duly elected head of the standing committee to the best of his knowledge, and thus the church must deal with him, we call BS. 

Ousley routinely ignores church canons when it suits him, including those requiring a pastoral response in every case in which a Title IV complaint has been filed.

So, as far as we’re concerned, Ousley can set aside whatever his canonical objections may be and tell the Haitian diocese that the church does not do business with fugitives.

Feel free to quote us.

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