AMERICA/PANAMA-"There seems to be a divorce between the interests of the political class and the concrete needs of the Panamanian people", say the Bishops in their message

Monday, 11 July 2011

Panama City (Fides Service) - At the end of the 192 Plenary Meeting of the Episcopal Conference of Panama (see Fides 07/07/2011), the Bishops issued a document, also sent to Fides, divided into two distinct parts: the ecclesial reality and the national reality.
With regard to the ecclesial reality, there is a positive acknowledgment of the efforts made in the formation in seminars, in promoting the organization of parishes and in the generosity of many missionaries involved in the dynamics of the National Mission. Although the pastoral plans have been prepared in light of the document of Aparecida, which inspired the missionary spirit, "however - the Bishops write - we are concerned about the lack of presence of lay people engaged in political, economic and social life".
There have been pastoral meetings in every diocese in preparation for the National Assembly to be held from 13 to 16 January 2012. "We hope to receive from that meeting, a great impulse of the missionary spirit in all dimensions of life, and at the same time to reflect together with our people on their membership in a community of disciples and missionaries of the Lord, so that our people can have life and have it abundantly" write the Bishops.
At the conclusion of this section, the celebration of the fifth centenary of the evangelization of Panama is recalled, which will fall in 2013, with two important events: the annual meeting of Sedac (November 2012) and the Assembly of Celam (May 2013).
With regard to the national reality, the Bishops speak clearly: "There seems to be a real divorce between the interests of the political class and the concrete needs of the Panamanian people. We noted with sadness and concern, that the attitude of some politicians is far from what confidence and respect should inspire. It is necessary and essential to humanize politics and restore its ethic sense, giving primacy to human dignity, common good and to respect the will of voters. It Is important, too, to demonstrate consistency between one’s behavior and moral principles in carrying out one’s miision" remind the Bishops.
Panama lives great poverty, and those who work at times cannot count on health care and / or Social Security. It is urgent to promote education that manages to humanize reality, to have awareness of human dignity. The document proposes the family as the basic unit of society: "Who supports the family, promotes man, who attacks the family, attacks man". The statement concludes by expressing concern over the rise of violence in different segments of society, in prisons and in the family. (EC) (Agenzia Fides 11/07/2011)