AMERICA/COLOMBIA - A call to social friendship from the Archbishop of Bogotà: "We cannot remain indifferent"

Tuesday, 15 September 2020 social situation   politics   bishops  

Bogota (Agenzia Fides) - "Friendship is a strong motivation to work, true friendship helps us to overcome frustrations, friendship gives us wisdom. Today in Bogota and Colombia, in the neighborhoods and on the streets, we still have the possibility of creating social relationships based on friendship". The appeal, released yesterday, September 14, comes from the Archbishop of Bogota, Mgr. Luis José Rueda Aparicio, who outlines seven aspects of social friendship.
1. Social friendship and truth: "truth is the basis of friendship, we can think differently, but we are friends if we are sincere… truth is distributed in everyone's conscience, in small portions that need and complement each other. Truth frees us from slavery such as defamation, lies, hypocrisy".
2. Social friendship and dialogue: "dialogue gives rise to social friendship. When alleged enemies dare to dialogue, they find points of confluence they were not aware of. Social media and networks should help us build social friendship. Dialogue frees us from authoritarianism and from the search for solutions to conflicts with armed means".
3. Social friendship and forgiveness: friendship grows when we accept that we are imperfect and learn to ask for forgiveness… Forgiveness avoids the destruction of those who make mistakes, on the contrary, it welcomes them, corrects them, raises them and renews them. Forgiveness frees us from revenge, anger and resentment".
4. Social friendship and humility: "whoever becomes the servant of other people gives the best he has, seeking the common good. We need humble leaders, those who want to be true leaders, willingly put themselves at the service of all. The attitude of service makes us humble and humility frees us from arrogance, pride and vanity".
5. Social friendship and trust: "Recovering trust between people allows us to move forward to recover trust in society and institutions. This requires humanizing the institutions, so that they put themselves decisively at the service of people. Trust frees us from feeling persecuted by each other, from feeling unprotected or subjugated by institutions".
6. Social friendship and austerity: "austerity nourishes an attitude of gratitude in us, it also teaches us to see the world as a common home, it motivates us to be in solidarity in the use of what we have and in the correct use of the goods we have which are at the service of all".
7. Social friendship and spirituality: "Spirituality encourages an encounter with oneself, with others and with love, that is, with God. Without spirituality, social friendship does not have a solid foundation, because spirituality gives social friendship the quality and transcendent character of human dignity".
The Archbishop of Bogota concludes by recalling that all Colombians are called to fight to overcome social enmity: "we cannot be indifferent, let us seek together the deep structural causes of our social conflicts, and let us contribute to finding solutions without violence, without murder, without hate. Life, reconciliation and peace today require our contribution, with real working attitudes for social friendship". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 15/9/2020)