AMERICA/GUATEMALA - Bishops: serious discernment is necessary in view of the general elections

Friday, 3 May 2019 elections   episcopal conferences   corruption   poverty   human life   family  


Guatemala de la Asuncion (Agenzia Fides) - "As Bishops in Guatemala we support the application of ethical principles according to the Gospel, we do not support parties or candidates in particular, and every citizen has the full right to decide and vote": reiterates the Presidency of the Bishops’ Conference of Guatemala (CEG) in a message published in view of the general elections of June 16, when the president and parliament will be elected.
The text sent to Agenzia Fides, which has the title of the biblical verse "Test everything, retain what is good" (1 Thes, 5-21), bears the date of 30 April 2019 and the signature of the President and the Secretary-General of the CEG, invites all Guatemalan people "to serious discernment" in this important moment in the life of society.
The Bishops recall that the Church gave "plenty of guidelines" in the past in this regard, and reiterate: "It is essential to be attentive to the moral appropriateness and political capacity of the candidates, in order to avoid that people with old political vices or moved by personal interests are elected, especially those suspected of being involved in corruption or drug trafficking. It is necessary that candidates manifest credibility, coherence of life and commitment for their people with their actions".
They therefore recommend "not invoking the name of God to justify any political option" and recall that, as reiterated by the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the vocation of the laity is to seek the Kingdom of God by dealing with temporal realities. "According to our perception - they continue - in the next four years of government the elected authorities will have to give continuity to the Peace Agreements and the reforms started in 2015", focusing their attention on the care and respect of life and the family, which is one of the main tasks of the state. This implies the rejection of ideologies that attack family, marriage and life and the death penalty, for this reason they invite everyone "to serious discernment".
The message then reports the first three articles of the Constitution of Guatemala, on the protection of the person, on the duties of the State and on the right to life, therefore it indicates some problematic aspects: “The attention to the care and to the rational exploitation of natural resources must be a priority; the vices in politics put social peace at risk; the serious problems of poverty and social inequality demand solutions. The current crisis of State institutions does nothing but aggravate the precariousness of the life of the population and the trend towards emigration".
After inviting all the Guatemalans "to continue the fight against corruption and impunity", the Bishops cite the new rules that regulate the electoral process, stressing the need to guarantee the transparency of the electoral process.
Finally, they draw the general attention on the election of deputies for the Parliament of the Republic, "which for its important representative and legislative function has a particular influence in political life and requires radical reorganization". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 3/5/2019)


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