AMERICA/PARAGUAY - The Bishops ask to actively participate in the referendum on October 9

Asunción (Agenzia Fides) - The Bishops of Paraguay invite all Catholics and citizens in general, to participate with their vote in the referendum scheduled for Sunday, October 9. The Superior Court of the Electoral Justice has in fact decided to hold the referendum so that the citizens can express their opinion on changing the national constitution, which would allow approximately one million Paraguayans living and working abroad to exercise their right to vote.
"It is important for citizens to participate actively, going to the polls to express their will on the proposed amendment – this is what is read in the Bishops’ note sent to Fides, which is dated September 27 -. Voting is a right but also an obligation. In this sense, the Church teaches that participation is a duty that everyone must carry out consciously, responsibly and for the common good ... the citizen is called to exercise freely and responsibly their civic role for himself and for others. Participation is one of the pillars of democracy '. (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 189-190)".
The statement of the Bishops of Paraguay proposes one of the key points expressed in their pastoral Letter for the National Bicentennial Independence: "We cannot build the Republic, the Nation and the Fatherland, without honest citizens. We must interpret in the light of the Gospel the meaning of political authority, citizenship and democracy. These concepts form the body of a nation and the growth of people. So this is how one develops what we call a New Paraguay "(point 5, first paragraph). Finally, the text recalls that "an honest citizen is one who has committed to participate in building a democratic society, claiming his/her rights and fulfilling his/her duties".
In the Paraguayan national community, especially among politicians, there is a particular interest in being able to get the votes of over a million countrymen/women living abroad, especially in view of the general elections in 2013. The money they earn and send to Paraguay from their places of residence, from different countries in the world, is in fact a constant contribution to the financial system and thus the growth of the national economy. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 29/09/2011)

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