Santo Domingo (Agenzia Fides) – The 48th Assembly of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Dominican Republic, held in Santo Domingo 4 - 9 July, in a closing message, a copy of which was sent to Fides, expresses the joy of the Bishops who note a maturing people, in other words “greater awareness, greater commitment to solidarity, deeper faith in Christ and more efforts to improve”. “Nevertheless - the Bishops write in the message -, we are deeply concerned and saddened to see an escalation of violence in our country. How can we be indifferent to the shedding of blood, to so many violent attacks on the men and women for whom Christ shed his own blood?”.
The Bishops mention a message they issued in February this year “Close to Our People”, in which they wrote: “life has lost its greatness. Frightening is the number of murders for dispute settling, drug trafficking and even suicide”.
“Things must change” the Bishops say now: “We must each examine our behaviour, personal and institutional, to see if we are truly people of peace or instead perpetrators of violence”. The message closes with words of encouragement to the pastoral workers in every diocese who are, the Bishops say, a motive of joy for the local Church. The message is signed by the President of the Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez, and the Bishop members of the Standing Council of the Bishops' Conference. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 13/07/2010)