Panama (Agenzia Fides) - "The new authorities have the historical possibility of regaining the trust of people with a government management centered on the dignity of the person and on the common good; and the citizens have the responsibility to contribute to the construction of a better Panama". This is what is said in the statement published at the end of the second annual Plenary Assembly of the Bishops’ Conference of Panama, celebrated from 1 to 5 July, sent to Fides. The Bishops welcome the authorities of the new government, who will be responsible for leading the country for the next five years (2019-2024), highlighting that "it is essential to govern, legislate and administer with transparency, truth and coherence". They also highlight that "the first task of the government is to listen deeply and with respect to the needs of the people" and underline the importance of citizen participation for greater co-responsibility. Among the pending issues the Bishops mention the high costs and the lack of medicines, the quality and equity in education, the risks of mining and other attacks on ecology, the rights of indigenous peoples and of Afro-descendants, inequality in the treatment of justice.
As regards to the analysis of the ecclesial reality, the Panamanian Bishops recall that in the last meeting the Holy Father "asked us not to lose those particularities that took place during World Youth Day (WYD), Panama 2019: intergenerational dialogue, pastoral care for children, meeting with indigenous people and people of African origin", so they are "happy to follow up on these experiences that have enriched our Catholic Church in Panama". In order to continue to promote the leading role of young people in the Church and in society after WYD, the Bishops launched the Three-Year Youth Camp from 2019 to 2022, to study the post-synodal exhortation "Cristus vivit". According to the Pope's request, the Bishops are committed to protecting children and young people from abuse, and invite them to promote "a positive and complete sexual education".
Recalling the 50th anniversary of the reopening of the Major Seminary of San José, in which most of the country's priests were formed, the Bishops announce the celebration of the Jubilee Year of the Major Seminary: "a time in which the faithful can obtain plenary indulgence". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 10/7/2019)