Guatemala de l’Asunción (Fides Service) – At the end of the annual plenary assembly the Bishops of Guatemala issued a statement “Urgent need for solidarity and justice ”, dated 30 January 2004. The document has 4 chapterS: “Urgent commitment of people and new authorities to build a new Guatemala ”, “The path of solidarity and justice”, “At the service of the Gospel of life”, “called to serve following the example of Christ”. The Bishops say that solidarity and justice are the paths along which both people and government must walk for the future of the nation: both realities must walk the same path of reconciliation and peace.
In the message the Bishops mention critical situations which are contrary to God’s plan for the world: widespread poverty, insecurity and fear in social co-existence, lack of respect for life and the dignity of the human person, administrative corruption and impunity... to face these problems the Bishops call on the authorities to take courageous steps to overcome situations of violence, conflict and obvious social inequality.
They recall those who gave their lives to bear witness to the faith. And they call for new commitment to serve the Gospel of life and unswerving dedication to the Church’s evangelising mission: “We call on all those who share the faith in the Son of God to recognise in their heart the danger of empty religion because authentic worship of God is to see him present in those in need: ‘I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me to drink.” The statement ends manifesting the Bishops’ desire to serve the People of God and all the people of Guatemala promoting, starting with evangelisation, “an encounter with the Lord which is always a source of joy and solidarity because it is an encounter with neighbour ”. (R.Z.) (Fides Service 3/2/2004; lines 23 - words 337)