Public fears that a "gigantic temple" would block the view of one of Honduras' most famous Catholic basilicas has led officials with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to look for a new location for the Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple.
The temple was announced June 9, 2006, and ground was broken a year later at a site that is about 2,000 feet away from the Our Lady of Suyapa Basilica. The LDS Church purchased the land about 15 years ago according to a local church leader, Luis Duarte, who was quoted in an article in the Honduran daily newspaper La Tribuna. The site is across the street from the National Autonomous University of Honduras, the largest university in Honduras.
"People saw (the temple being built so close to the basilica) as a provocation," said Bishop Darwin Rudy Andino Ram?ez, auxiliary bishop of the Tegucigalpa Catholic Archdiocese, in La Tribuna, "but we have not seen it that way and are in dialogue with them because a representative from the (LDS) church headquarters in the United States of America came to Honduras to talk. But I do not know what decisions they have reached."
When final permits were not forthcoming, the LDS Church began the process of looking for a new site for the temple.
"No decision has been made yet (where the new temple site will be located); the church will make an announcement when a place is found," said Duarte in the La Tribuna article.
The proposed temple will serve members of the LDS Church in Honduras and Nicaragua.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is respectful of the laws of the country, and it has not begun construction of any of its meeting facilities without the proper building permit, Nery Rodr?uez, a public affairs official for the LDS Church in Honduras, stated in a news release in response to several news reports about the original temple site.
Rodr?uez also stated that the church is respectful of others' beliefs and have joined with other denominations to provide humanitarian relief. Also, the meeting center that operates on the property of the church where the temple was planned is used as an education center for youth and will continue to operate as such, Rodr?uez stated.
Rodr?uez also stated that since last year's project to build the temple at the site was shut down, LDS Church officials still do not know where and when to build.
Similar temples were built in Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panama with no opposition. As of December 2006, Honduras and Nicaragua had more than 175,000 members of the LDS Church and 308 congregations
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