Santiago (Agenzia Fides) - "Next Sunday we will have a new President of the Republic and we already pray for him and his government. We ask him to govern for all Chileans, seeking ways of dialogue, agreement, justice and brotherhood. We ask both candidates to honor democratic values, to accept the opinion of citizens and to collaborate in order to build a political community whose soul is social charity". This was stated by the Standing Committee of the Chilean Bishops' Conference, in view of the ballot on Sunday December 19, between the two presidential candidates: José Antonio Kast, from the extreme right, and Gabriel Boric, from the left (see Fides, 14/12/2021).
The statement released yesterday, December 16, entitled "A new opportunity for the country", underlines that the elections are taking place "in a context of polarization, which has been reflected in an aggressive and disqualifying campaign climate, which encourages the dis-affection of politics and has prevented many times from addressing in depth the underlying issues that matter to Chileans".
However, a positive aspect of recent weeks has been highlighted: "a certain tone of moderation in the proposals and the acknowledgment of errors by the candidates". Civic participation is one of the pillars of democratic society, for which the Bishops urge Catholics and citizens to exercise the right to vote, "voting in conscience, considering the fundamental Christian principles for social and political order", hoping that in our choice we seek "the greatest common good".
Finally, they quote Pope Francis, recalling that "Chile is not built only with the action of its politicians", "we should not expect everything from those who govern us, it would be childish", and they conclude by inviting "to pray for the unity of our country, contemplating God with us who assumes our human condition so that we live as brothers". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 17/12/2021)