Thursday, February 05, 2009

Shrines and Temples Don't Mix

After protests from local officials in the Honduran capital, plans by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (i.e. the Mormons) to build a temple near the Tegucigalpa shrine of the nation's patroness have been scrapped:
Out of respect for the laws and to avoid any perceived stand against the Catholic Church, [LDS] Church officials made the decision to relocate the temple," according to the temple's Web site.

LDS Church officials had no comment about the matter Thursday.

The news of Mormon withdrawal came as thousands of Hondurans were making their way to Our Lady of Suyapa, to celebrate the annual feast of the patroness of Honduras, Catholic News Service reported.

Suyapa's story traces back to 1747, when Alejandro Colindres, a Honduran laborer, reportedly found the tiny statue, only 2.3 inches tall, while sleeping in a corn field northeast of Tegucigalpa. It was sticking in his side as he slept. Colindres took the statue home, so the story goes, and kept it on a family altar for the next 20 years. Devotees built the basilica in 1777 and, in 1925, Pope Pius XII declared Suyapa, the patron saint of Honduras.

Mormonism in Honduras is on the rise, but the Utah-based church's presence has "never been the object of hostility on the part of Catholics."
As previously noted, last October the LDS church announced the building of a temple in Rome.