Santiago (Agenzia Fides) - The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Conference of Chile, in view of the plebiscite on October 25, invites "citizens to inform themselves adequately about this important decision for the democratic life of Chile, to discern in conscience by seeking the good for society as a whole and to participate with confidence through the vote".
The Message published yesterday, October 9, recalls that, through the consultation of October 25, the Chileans will have to decide whether they approve or reject the proposal to draft a new Constitution, which is a fundamental law that determines the principles on which the political regime and social life of the nation is based, which therefore is "of enormous importance for society and for the lives of the inhabitants of the country".
"Participating in electoral decisions is a responsibility that each person must assume in a free and informed manner", underline the Bishops, citing in this regard passages from the new Encyclical of Pope Francis, ‘Fratelli Tutti’, and reaffirming that "political participation is a question of great importance for those who follow the social teaching of the Church, according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ".
"Respect for the life and dignity of every person, the promotion of justice and solidarity in order to overcome socio-economic and cultural differences, the protection of the most vulnerable groups are, among others, essential values in the life of a people . This is why we cannot remain indifferent to the exercise of civic responsibility to which we are called", affirms the Standing Committee.
The Bishops wish for wisdom and civil responsibility in these days "for the benefit of social peace and for the most vulnerable in our society", inviting the right to peaceful expressions to be safeguarded, always in compliance with health standards. "Let us not leave room for violence, which only brings more pain" they add.
The authorities and leaders of the country are invited to act, united and committed to this democratic process so that no one feels threatened or excluded. "As social peace is the fruit of justice, meeting social needs also requires responsible leadership with a broad vision, in a civil, fraternal coexistence and dialogue. In Chile, there is a great diversity of options and opinions, but its vocation is unity and its path is peace".
Finally, the Message asks the communities to live an intense time of prayer to the Lord "so that this process may take place in a climate of trust and security for all" and that the needs of those who suffer most are at the basis "of the decisions that we will take". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 10/10/2020)