AMERICA/CHILE - "A Problem that affects everyone": meeting of the Justice and Peace Commission for the Mapuche conflict

Friday, 18 January 2013

Santiago (Agenzia Fides) - As part of a series of initiatives of the Catholic Church before the new crisis that the region of Araucanía is experiencing, the Commission "Justice and Peace" of the Episcopal Conference of Chile held a meeting where Fr. Carlos Bresciani, sj, Head of the Mapuche Mission of the Society of Jesus in Tirúa was invited.
At the meeting, held on 16 January, the Commission members listened to Fr. Carlos’ testimony, and reflected on the existing situation in that area of the country and the role of the Church in these matters. According to the note sent to Fides Agency by the Episcopal Conference, the lay Sergio Torres, President of the Commission, said: "we need to understand both the Church and society as a whole, the importance of creating restrictions and interacting with people, as Father Bresciani did, who directly accompanies the indigenous communities, is a problem that affects everyone. " Fr. Carlos, stressed the invitation to listen to the Mapuche people and contribute to dialogue, because the first step is recognition and listening to others.
Last week the Bishops members of the Committee had issued a statement entitled "Blessed are the peacemakers" (see Fides 10/01/2013) which showed the need for a recognition of the cultures of the Mapuche people, and expressed their confidence "so that authorities, representatives of society and the communities, are able to gather these wishes, welcoming everyone’s contribution, with preference always for respect and dialogue as a means of conflict resolution." (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 18/01/2013 )