In an effort to clean up his corruption-riddled national police force, the president of Honduras is seeking help from a higher power by enlisting the help of a Roman Catholic bishop to evangelize police officers.
President Porfirio Lobo Sosa has given Bishop Romulo Emiliani, the auxiliary bishop of San Pedro Sula, the task of instilling Christian values in an institution that has been rocked with scandal. Last November, 176 police officers were arrested on a variety of charges including murder, kidnapping and drug dealing. The arrests follow public outrage over the release of four officers accused of murdering two students, the BBC reported.
In early December, members of the Evangelical Church protested outside the headquarters of the national police, calling for a day of prayer to change the attitude and actions of police who are not fulfilling their duty, according to La Tribuna newspaper in Honduras.
La Tribuna also said that along with the evangelism effort, the government is working on legislation and other measures to root out corruption within the ranks of police.
“I am confident that with the intervention of Romulo Emiliani, there will be a change in the police institution,” Lobo Sosa said on Dec. 20. “We have great hope in this work, monsignor,” he said.
Emiliani, originally from Panama, is known for his passion for evangelism. Specifics on how Emiliani will accomplish his task have not been announced, according to La Tribuna.
The evangelism initiative was announced by Lobo Sosa during a ceremony awarding Emiliani with the Order of Jose Cecilio del Valle, with the rank of Great Silver Cross.