Quito (Agenzia Fides) - It is the responsibility of every citizen "to know and get information regarding referendum questions"; "the vote will lead society on the road to freedom, democracy and the independence of powers, a basis for harmonious coexistence". This is what is stated in an open Letter to citizenship, released by the Episcopal Conference of Ecuador and sent to Agenzia Fides. In a climate of great political fragmentation, the Bishops remind the baptized that "as men and women of the Church, our free and conscious vote will be enlightened by the Word of God and the social doctrine of the Church". And they underline: "We need to consolidate democracy and everything that brings public peace, respect for all and a better future".
With regards to the historical moment that the country is living, the Apostolic Nuncio in Ecuador, Archbishop Andrés Carrascosa, consulted by Agenzia Fides, believes that "defining the country unstable is exaggerated". "All countries go through more or less problematic political phases. In Ecuador I find it positive that punishable facts that come to light are addressed through justice, without making distinctions according to their gravity". The Nuncio adds that, to strengthen pluri-culturalism and the multi-ethnicity of Ecuador, care must be taken that the "modern pseudo-culture, which leads to uniformity, does not annul the characteristics of each ethnic group and culture". "A country - observes Archbishop Carrascosa - is strengthened when it does not forget the relationship with God, and from there it enhances its ability to serve others". Precisely in this sense, the country is called to welcome "what Pope Francis proposes, that is, a return to the Gospel".
The five questions in the referendum of 4 February concern amendments that intend to prohibit elective political participation and to place the embargo on the property of those guilty of corruption; cancel the possibility of unlimited re-election for political authorities (including the President of the Republic); reform the body responsible for the Power of Transparency and Control (introduced by the previous Constitution promoted by Rafael Correa, together with the Electoral one); eliminate the requirement for crimes of pedophilia and prohibit mining in protected areas and urban centers. (SM) (Agenzia Fides, 24/01/2018)