Brasilia (Agenzia Fides) - "We are in a time of many questions and it is up to us to listen to what the Spirit has to say to the Church in this context", say the Brazilian Bishops, inviting us to reflect on the presence and mission of the Church in the reality of country, with a message of hope and closeness in the context of the Coronavirus.
"This year the Covid-19 pandemic broke out unexpectedly - they write – changing our routine, revealing other diseases of our time and causing a great impact on an already fragile health system, social security, production systems, education, the family, social and religious life in general". They therefore underline in their message that "the trial has favoured important opportunities for life and the proclamation of the Gospel" and recognize "the commitment of many Christian communities who have been creative in maintaining their evangelizing action, especially through social media". "The domestic Church has been strengthened as the House of the Word, Bread, Charity and Mission", as well as "the leading role of the laity and, above all, of women in promoting the Church in their homes".
"We are driven by the Gospel to persevere in charity" they continue, noting that in parishes, missionary ecclesial communities and religious institutions throughout the country, "the networks of solidarity in defense of life have multiplied", the action was carried out of solidarity for people in situations of social vulnerability in the context of the pandemic, and together with other realities of civil society, we are trying to implement the Pact for life and for Brazil, "inviting the whole of society not to leave anyone behind in this pandemic period".
Inspired by the Pope’s Encyclical "Fratelli Tutti", the Brazilian Bishops exhort: "we must listen to the cry of families, work for an economy 'more attentive to ethical principles', offer a better policy, without deviations in guaranteeing the common good"; "There is an urgent need to combat hidden racism, which never ceases to reappear"; it is necessary to "guarantee life from conception to natural death, preserve environment and work in defense of vulnerable populations, in particular indigenous and quilombolas". The Bishops are concerned about the increase in various forms of violence, including femicide, and invite: "As missionary disciples, we want to grow in this difficult moment, committed to removing inequalities and claiming injustice".
In the final part of the message, they ask God to welcome those who have died in this period, to give consolation and peace to bereaved families, to bless the tireless health workers, teachers, health workers and all those who work in essential services, as well as priests, permanent deacons, consecrated men and women, lay men and women, "so that they feel encouraged". "Advent - they conclude - is the time to renew our hope. Confident, we affirm that faith in Christ has never limited itself to looking backwards or only upwards, but has always looked forward. Do not be discouraged, we are not alone: the Lord is with us!" (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 30/11/2020)