Vatican City (Fides Service) – From 8-10 June in Santiago, Chile, the Organisation of American States, OAS, held its 33rd general assembly. For the occasion Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Pope’s Secretary of State, addressed a Letter to the President of the Assembly, Mrs Maria Soledad Alvear Valenzuela, in which he expresses the Pope’s greetings and satisfaction for the Organisation’s multiform and ever more significant activity, directed mainly to actuating the Inter-American Democratic Charter.
“The members of OAS are well aware that the promotion and consolidation of democracy passes by way of the elimination of poverty – the message reads – together with all its causes and consequences: illiteracy, insecurity, crime, terrorism, corruption, racism, intolerance, lack of respect for human rights…the work of the OAS is therefore a precious contribution to the elimination of those causes which prevent democracy, even where it is formally installed, from functioning effectively”.
Democracy – essential for the social, political and economic development of America – can be built only through dialogue which is the basis for a better society. “The Pope’s thoughts – the message continues – go to the primary nucleus of society: the family in which precisely dialogue is a sign of health and life. We could say that “the healthier the family, the healthier society”. Cardinal Sodano recalls that the Charter of the Rights of the Family, published by the Holy See twenty years ago underlining its importance still today: “OAS has always defended the family as the primary cell of society and continues to believe in the family, despite the difficulties encountered…It is the duty of every state to be concerned with the stability of the family institution also with legislation which supports rather than penalises the family.” SL (Fides Service 11/6/2003 EM lines 23 Words: 320)