© Helio Teixeira
Bogotá (Agenzia Fides) - "It will be a symbolic but strong action: we want to bring tenderness in the public sphere and influence public policies for children in the countries where we will pass". This is how Angel Morillo, a lay Catholic and father of two children, director of the "Centrality of Infancy" program of Celam (Latin American Episcopal Council), illustrates to Agenzia Fides the "Continental Walk for Children" entitled "Traces of Tenderness", which will travel Latin America and promote ecumenical and inter-religious initiatives for a whole year. "We need everyone: Zero violence, 100% tenderness", this is the slogan of the initiative. Promoting tenderness as a way of life and putting children's care at the center of national public policies is the aim of the social mobilization actions, which will start on June 3 from the US-Mexico border and will culminate in the Argentinian Tierra del Fuego on June 16th, 2019.
The initiative wants to denounce the various forms of violence suffered by children in every country and to raise awareness among families, schools, ecclesial communities and organizations on the full respect of children.
"Pope Francis has emphasized many times that tenderness is not only part of family life, which is not an act of weakness but must be seen as an aspect of social action, and is global", says Morillo, quoting the Pope when he states that tenderness has the capacity to "revolutionize what it touches".
A Mass or an ecumenical celebration will open the national stages of the Walk, which also includes the signature of a "Pact of Tenderness" and the "School of Tenderness", according to a methodology of the evangelical Christian World Vision organization, which will allow participants "first of all to cure their wounds, and then bring others the balm of tenderness and hope", explains Morillo.
In each country, "Education workshops with tenderness" will train 25 facilitators who will multiply this tool in their cities. "This is a methodology that integrates the scientific aspect with the spiritual one", adds the director.
The Walk is inspired by the document of the Latin American episcopate of Aparecida 2007 (Brazil), where the "Centrality of the Infancy" program was born. The Pontifical Missionary Childhood Society of Colombia and the Latin American Jesuit educational network "Fe y Alegria" are also among the organizers. (SM) (Agenzia Fides, 11/4/2018)