Concepcion (Agenzia Fides) - Faced with the serious health, economic, political and social crisis in which Chile finds itself, Monsignor Fernando Chomali, Archbishop of Concepcion, on Sunday 24 January, for about 20 minutes blessed the inhabitants of Concepción, Lirquén, Tomé, Chiguayante and Hualqui from an airplane.
"I did it in the midst of a dramatic situation, wher the coronavirus has taken thousands of people and many others struggling between life and death", explained the Archbishop in a statement sent to Fides. "In this religious and missionary act, authorized by the Chilean Army, the General Secretariat of the Government Ministry and the Ministry of Health, I asked God to take care, bless and give strength to the inhabitants, especially those who are going through serious difficulties of all kinds".
"It was a very deep moment of prayer, thanks to the generosity of an expert pilot who - with all the necessary authorizations and in compliance with all health measures - offered me this opportunity. I also asked God to remove the spirit of evil from those who do not respect the law, who do not obey authority, who do not care about the common good, who believe that life is just fun and do not know what it means to sacrifice for the others, who organize clandestine parties - and therefore illegal - and who spread the contagion everywhere, risking their own lives and that of others".
According to the Bible, some types of evil are eliminated only with prayer and fasting, so the Archbishop explains that "the Catholic Church is adapting to the times by innovating methods and expressions: we cannot meet to pray, we do it through digital platforms; We cannot welcome those who want a blessing, we go to them through the networks and, when we can, from sky, sea and earth".
Finally, Bishop Chomali assures us: "We will continue to bless and promote the common good according to the times in which we live and with our social works that fill us with hope. We will continue to urge people to strictly respect health standards and, if they do not listen, we will continue to turn to God with prayer, so that their heart of stone will change".
To those who were perplexed or even upset by the blessing, the Archbishop recalls: "I am a man of faith, a Catholic, and I have not only the right, but also the duty to turn to God to enlighten us. I join in the words of Saint Paul: 'Woe to me if I did not evangelize'." To conclude, he invites all the inhabitants of the region to be enthusiastic in their activities, to commit themselves, to be creative, to take risks, to encourage, because "only in this way will we advance as a society". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 27/1/2021)