AMERICA - CELAM: "Walking together for the peace of our peoples"

Thursday, 21 November 2019 social situation   violence   poverty   politics   episcopal conferences  

Bogotà (Agenzia Fides) - Proximity to the Latin American peoples who are experiencing serious instability, solidarity with the Churches of individual nations that bear witness to their faith, rejection of all forms of violence and social divisions, the need for evangelical discernment regarding events and dialogue among brothers: these are the sentiments expressed in a message from the Presidency of CELAM (Latin American Episcopal Council) addressed "to the People of God and the Bishops' Conferences of Latin America and the Caribbean", entitled "Walking together for the peace of our peoples".
The Presidency of CELAM, which gathered in Bogotà from November 19th to 21st to discuss the renewal and restructuring of CELAM, in the message sent to Fides says "united to all the countries that in these moments are crossed by situations of serious social and political instability".
"In the last months and weeks - the text continues -, in countries like Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela, great mobilizations of citizens are taking place, protesting against the inequalities and injustices that are the fruit of sin that has become institutionalized, turning its back on the poorest and the marginalized. These mobilizations on many occasions have been severely repressed".
"The evangelical discernment of these realities, which are authentic signs of the times, is urgent and necessary" underlines the message, reiterating that "Jesus Christ is the only one who can really redeem people and societies" and therefore "all initiatives of dialogue for peace to rebuild the damaged social fabric are supported". "Only with civil friendship and commitment, especially with the poor and the excluded - they reiterate - we can face this crisis, to progress towards a shared future that is richer in hope. We must not desist in promoting dialogue for coexistence, social peace and the common good".
Quoting Saint Paul, the Presidency of CELAM urges "to overcome evil with good" and, as a Church and as a people of God, to work for reconciliation and peace. It therefore invites the authorities "to assume their responsibilities, guaranteeing the proper functioning of their respective countries and their institutions; in the same way all citizens must participate responsibly in the common good of the nation, and thus defeat insecurity, corruption, impunity, violence and all the seeds of death. Violence cannot be fought with violence. Destroying our countries is not a real solution. It is time to act as brothers and not as enemies".
In the conclusion the Presidency of CELAM emphasizes that "all peoples are responsible for each other", for this reason it asks "the great nations of the world to respect the path of each country, however small it may be, leaving aside its own interests and opting for for solidarity aid". The message ends by invoking the intercession of Santa Maria di Guadalupe for Latin America, in these moments of tension, so that it allows us to make every corner of this region, "a place where we can love God, live with dignity and can enjoy the gift of freedom that makes true justice and peace possible". (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides, 21/11/2019)