Cochabamba (Agenzia Fides) - "The Lord Jesus Christ, in his apparition to the disciples, as the evangelist John tells us, encourages them to cast their nets again, despite the uselessness of their work. The Risen One invites us today to continue to throw the nets despite the fatigue": this is how the message to the people of God of the Bishops of Bolivia at the end of their Plenary Assembly opens, entitled "Christ is alive and wants you to be alive!".
In the message, sent to Fides, the Bishops first of all cite "the sufferings and frustrations" due to various reasons: corruption in all its manifestations, "drug trafficking and drug addiction that are increasingly penetrating in society, its institutions and, in particular, in youth"; violence, child abuse, killing of women, frustration and powerlessness that stems from injustice, economic crisis, poverty, marginalization.
Recalling the opening speech of the Assembly by the President of the Bishops' Conference (see Fides 3/5/2019), the final message underlines that "the care of the 'common home' is one of the challenges for man today, therefore it cannot be put aside in our pastoral commitment". Pope Francis, who has convened the Synod for the Amazon, "calls us to ecological conversion and environmental justice", the Bishops exhort. "Small gestures of the care towards nature will help to create a greater awareness that our life is closely linked to the environment that surrounds us, the 'common home' that God has given us, and will enable us to promote policies that promote care and environmental protection for the good of all and future generations".
Highlighting that "sexual abuse against minors is an open wound", unfortunately also in the Church, the Bishops reaffirm their commitment "in the defense of life in all its phases and in the protection of the most fragile" and in particular "for the protection of minors". In view of the elections, it is necessary that "citizens know the political projects proposed by the candidates", and reaffirming the democratic vocation, the Bishops ask for an electoral campaign that must respect truth and candidates, must be peaceful and with equal opportunities. "The control or manipulation of votes as an instrument of power cannot be accepted - the text continues -. Only genuine freedom, without pressure, can guarantee the effective exercise of human rights. And a true democracy gives legitimacy to the government that is born from a transparent electoral process and from the inviolable respect of the decision of the sovereign people".
The last issue debated in the message is that of young people. Here, too, the opening remarks of the Assembly by the president of the Bishops' Conference were resumed: "Fight for the common good, be servants of the poor, protagonists of the revolution of charity and service, capable of resisting the illnesses of consumerism and superficial individualism", without letting yourself be colonized by dangerous ideologies and by the culture of waste.
The message concludes with the hope that "the resurrection of the Lord, which projects a new light on these realities, enables us to accept life and grace, open us to hope and give us the strength to face situations of suffering and death". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 9/5/2019)