Mexico City (Agenzia Fides) – The Mexican Bishops' Conference (CEM) published a pastoral exhortation on February 15, entitled: "So That in Christ, Our Peace, Mexico May Have a Decent Life," as a "contribution from the Mexican Church in addressing and resolving the climate of violence that has been affecting the country for several years." The document addresses the sensitive issue of violence in Mexico with a pastoral vision and proposes four commitments to reduce crime and insecurity.
The pastoral exhortation, 116 pages, was presented by the President of the CEM, Bishop Carlos Aguiar Retes of Texcoco; the President of the Social Pastoral Commission, Bishop Gustavo Rodriguez Vega of Nuevo Laredo; and Bishop Ramon Castro Castro of Campeche. The bishops appealed to all the ecclesiastical provinces and dioceses of Mexico to "strengthen the formation of the people, educating for peace and promoting peace building." For this reason, they suggested the promotion of integral human development, collaboration with local governments to overcome poverty, defense of human rights, and promotion of social reconciliation.
At the presentation ceremony, the Bishops gave a copy of the document to representatives of different groups in society and planted mustard seeds, to recall the passage of Scripture that teaches that to build the kingdom of God, we must sow the seeds of peace. The event was attended by former Mexico City prosecutor Bernardo Batiz, who applauded the "courageous and timely expression of the Church in Mexico to build new social fronts to reduce violence."
The document is divided into 3 main parts: insecurity and violence in Mexico, the light of the Gospel and social teaching, and promoting development and building peace. In the third part, the Bishops proposed the 4 areas of work: a) form new women and men in Christ, b) education for peace, c) citizenship for peace, d) the construction of peace. At the end, the document recalls that the history of Mexico has not been an easy one, but even amidst the plurality of cultures, the country has managed to unite in building national unity and peace. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 16/02/2010)