Asuncion (Agenzia Fides) - The Bishops of the Bishops' Conference of Paraguay (CEP) will be in the Vatican from 5 to 12 November for their Ad limina apostolorum, "bringing with them the report of the episcopal ministry of each and of the same Bishops' Conference together with the concerns, the needs, the requests and desires of our faithful and our reality, to entrust them with faith to the Apostolic See, to share them with the universal Church, and to renew ecclesial communion in hope and charity".
This is how the document of the Episcopal Conference of Paraguay at the end of the 216th Plenary Assembly celebrated in October begins, which explains how the Ad Limina visit is "an important moment of the pastoral exercise, in which the Holy Father receives the Pastors of our Church of Paraguay to discuss issues related to our ecclesial mission".
There are many important themes taken into account in the vast document sent to Fides: family, life, public education, the need for respect and coexistence in democracy.
Even the prospect of the country's general elections, set for April 22, 2018, is also part of the reflection proposed by CEP.
"Our fraternal coexistence in Paraguay has undergone difficult trials - emphasizes the text - although we have left behind some critical moments, we must remember that there are still challenges and social situations that require attention. The beginning of the electoral period is for all citizens the opportunity to make choices about the present and the future, discerning the moral and religious implications of the proposals and political programs of the candidates".
"The authorities we choose - the Bishops continue - must do their best to build trust, strengthen unity, ensure dialogue and work together in harmony, including everyone. Voting is the beginning of an important sequence of democratic life in the country ... As Pastors we want to invite every citizen to exercise his vote in a responsible manner".
The Episcopal Conference therefore exhorts: "Our Church is invited to embrace with hope the challenges of pastoral conversion and to remain the protagonist of a more humane world, of a more fraternal society. As Pastors, we want to see the lay faithful grow by experiencing their social and political commitment, indispensable to the renewal of our country". The document concludes with the call for coexistence based on respect and fear, always looking "beyond the undeniable differences, which is good for everyone".
Paraguay has lived a very troubled period in the political sphere. Despite deaths and injuries after the violent clashes in front of the congressional seat in the capital at the end of March (see Fides 1/04/2017) for an anti-constitutional re-election proposal of the President without popular consultation, the country has been able to resume the path of dialogue, even with the help of the Church (see Fides 4/04/2017). (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 03/11/2017)