Santiago (Agenzia Fides) - The Assembly of the Chilean Episcopal Conference was held in an unusual way, via video conference, where the Bishops exchanged information on the different problems, challenges and solutions faced with the Covid 19 pandemic that the country and the whole world are experiencing. The Assembly, held last week, published a conclusive text with the title "We will not save ourselves alone".
In their reflection, the Bishops encourage Catholics and all Chilean citizens to act responsibly, strictly following the indications of the health authority at all times and places, taking care of each other and especially of the most vulnerable.
At this time, they write, the Lord urges us to be close and attentive to the poorest and least protected in the face of the pandemic: "the homeless, elderly, immigrants, overcrowded household and without water. In addition to the pain of those who have lost their families or who see them suffer, we are also troubled by episodes of violence within the family, because of fear and mental health problems due to this crisis", reads the text sent to Fides.
The Bishops reflect on the social and scholastic situation, which before the pandemic had been upset by demonstrations and strikes, also referring to the uncertainty about the school year, the bankruptcy of companies or the failure of projects. With particular concern, they see that many individuals and families will lose their sources of work, which implies distress and lack of resources for family livelihood. "This drama challenges us to promote active solidarity and to work for a social pact to reduce the impact of layoffs and its consequences. This effort requires everyone's effort, without exception", they stress.
The Church will multiply its efforts to offer a network of accompaniment, listening and solidarity: "We do not want anyone to feel alone". The Bishops recall that all social pastoral care and Church institutions, at a national level and in each diocese, are working on projects that allow effective assistance to the people most affected by this situation.
In addition to appreciating the public policies that help the most needy, they invite "to live a solidarity which commits us and which strongly expresses our duty of brotherhood, which flows from the Gospel". With "infinite thanks" they acknowledge the generous commitment of political authorities, health personnel, auxiliaries, security agents and armed forces and of order, businessmen, workers and volunteers from various sectors. The message reminds us that the dignity of the human person must be at the center of all public policies, and that the country expects dialogue, a non-confrontational attitude on behalf of all the protagonists and authorities.
Before concluding, they reiterate the dispositions for religious celebrations, and remembering the meaning of Christ's resurrection and his triumph over death: "We can recover from Covid-19, but Chile will be healthy only when we overcome hatred, indifference and violence, rebuild fraternal relationships in solidarity and justice, to which Jesus Christ invites us". Finally, trusting in the intercession of the Virgen del Carmen, "health of the sick" and "consolation of the afflicted", they underline that "our hope is nourished by the certainty of God-with-us who always conquers evil". (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 27/4/2020)