AMERICA/CHILE - "Reconciliation cannot be imposed": Bishops 40 years after the Pinochet coup

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Santiago ( Agenzia Fides) - On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the military coup of General Augusto Pinochet, which falls on September 13, the Standing Committee of the Chilean Episcopal Conference, presided over by the Archbishop of Santiago, His Exc. Mgr. Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, released a Message to commemorate the tragic events of those years and to urge to persevere on the path of truth, justice and reconciliation.
"Beyond the different and legitimate reading of the facts, as Pastors of the Church we want to remember this date and reflect on the dignity of the human person - is what is written in the document sent to Fides Agency. Motivated by this fundamental value, the Catholic Church together with other Christian churches had to assume, in a time when one abandoned dialogue, a preponderant role in the defense of human rights and protection of persecuted compatriots. Nothing justifies the violation of human dignity perpetrated starting from 11 September 1973".
The text continues: "Truth, Justice and Reconciliation: is the path we have proposed to have a life of dignity and human coexistence. More than ever, today we continue to believe in this path, despite the difficulties that arise. This is the path that Jesus offers us to reach the great Homeland. Reconciliation cannot be imposed by decree, but comes from a merciful heart. Our belief is that small personal and institutional gestures can be vital to help heal wounds and contribute to true reconciliation".
The document concludes by recalling Pope Francis’ recent words: "It is not the culture of conflict that builds coexistence among peoples and nations, but this: the culture of meeting, the culture of dialogue, this is the only path to peace" (Angelus, September 1, 2013). (CE) (Agenzia Fides 10/09/2013)