A cholera epidemic and poor infrastructure and organization in Haiti have created an “alarming” situation in the small Caribbean nation, said a group of bishops meeting at the Vatican. A special council of bishops working on the follow-up to the 1997 Synod of Bishops for America and Pope John Paul II’s 1999 post-synodal document, “The Church in America,” met at the Vatican on Nov. 16–17. They noted “with concern” the “alarming social situation in Haiti in the wake of the earthquake” on Jan. 12. The current outbreak of cholera has aggravated an already difficult situation for Haitians, they said. The generous outpouring of aid from foreign governments and church organizations would reach those in need more effectively “if local agencies were better able to organize” the use and distribution of the aid, they said. The council members also expressed concern that in parts of the Americas, governments were promoting legislation that is “contrary to ethical norms,” such as the legalization of abortion, euthanasia and same-sex marriage.