Santiago del Chile (Agenzia Fides) - In a publish statement in Spanish and Mapuche Bishop Alejandro Goic, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Chile expressed the joy of Chilean Catholics for the beatification on Sunday 11 November of young Mapuche Argentinean-Chilean Ceferino Namuncurá, in Río Negro, Patagonia, Argentina.
The president of the chilean Bishops underlined that although Ceferino "esteemed and accepted his indigenous identity, he accepted what the ‘other world' offered for his human and Christian formation. He could not suppress in his heart of a young saint, his desire to belong to God and to be a disciples and missionary of Christ among his own people”.
Bishop Goic said the Chilean people "are close to the pure and noble heart of this young man, for his Chilean blood which flowed in his veins and for the Catholic faith received and nurtured in Patagonia". The Bishop said Ceferino "offers a rare combination: fidelity to his ancestral customs and fidelity to the religion in which he was baptised ".
"Ceferino is a faithful reflection and a fruit of the values of our native peoples, appreciated and promoted by the Church - the Bishop wrote -, values despised by no few people in daily co-existence, Prejudices and discrimination such as those he faced, today continue deplorably to harm indigenous peoples and communities, principally in internal migratory processes ". Today, in times of intolerance and lack of dialogue, the life Ceferino "far from resentment, we are filled with enthusiasm for the value of respect for others and an attitude of forgiveness towards those who offend us ". (RG) (Agenzia Fides 9/11/2007; righe 21, parole 285)