AMERICA/CHILE - Violence and polarization on the rise in view of the elections: the Bishops call for dialogue and responsibility

Monday, 25 October 2021 elections   social situation   coronavirus   violence   economy   episcopal conferences  

Santiago (Agenzia Fides) - "Concerned Concerned about the belligerent climate and polarization in political life, especially in the presidential campaign, which should be an opportunity to debate ideas, projects and programs about the present and future of the nation, in an exercise that instills hope, sense of belonging and commitment to the common good", the Chilean Bishops published a message, sent to Fides, one month before the presidential, parliamentary and regional elections on November 21.
The Standing Committee of the Chilean Episcopate, in the note entitled "To live the electoral process in peace and city harmony", regrets that: "violent demonstrations are increasing. Polarization and aggressiveness are expressed on many levels of our coexistence, also in our daily relationships with others. Murders and other criminal acts have increased lately. Drug trafficking and crime occupy large sectors and spaces in our cities. Legitimate political protest, due to the action of some groups, often becomes destructive of public and private property and spaces".
Faced with this situation, the Bishops urge Chileans to "seriously review our way of living together", to "stop the violence", to "learn to dialogue as brothers, all inhabitants of the same country and common home". Another cause for concern comes from the economic scenario, whose negative consequences especially affect poor and vulnerable families, in addition to the pandemic that has generated problems that will last a long time. "It is contradictory - they continue - that, while we seek and yearn for higher levels of well-being and justice, we do not build more stable scenarios with political action that allow us to face the social and economic challenges that we have. We have to bet for the good of the country, beyond the electoral calculations".
For this reason, the bishops invite everyone "to act responsibly", stressing that "for those who come to govern the country in the next period, the task will be difficult and complex due to the economic and political context we are experiencing, without forgetting the presence of the health crisis".
Therefore, we must pay attention to the words that are used and the initiatives that are undertaken, "so as not to generate that polarization that obscures our present." Finally, they exhort believers to "pray for our country, for its rulers and leaders, for its institutions and for the political and social processes underway, as well as for each one of its inhabitants". Finally, they entrust to the Virgin of Mount Carmel "this time of challenges for our country". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 25/10/2021)