Santo Domingo (Agenzia Fides) - In the usual message published on the occasion of Independence Day, the Dominican Episcopal Conference (CED) addresses the main issues of national interest, presenting to all Dominicans the guidelines of the Pastors in the light of faith. This year's message, the 178th anniversary of Independence, is entitled "May the truth shine in everything, for the good of the nation" and is dated February 27, 2022.
This wide-ranging document is divided into an introduction, a chapter describing the current situation and another dedicated to the need to "promote an authentic dialogue to solve the main national problems", then a final exhortation. This anniversary, they recall at the beginning, comes in a period of great uncertainty, both national and global, due to the pandemic, uncertainty about the future, personal and family fragility. We must continue to protect ourselves with the indicated health measures", they urge, "and strive to restore hope, inner serenity and the ability to live in harmony.
In the current circumstances, the Bishops call on political leaders and legislators to always work in transparency, so that "the truth shines in everything, for the good of the nation" and once again they ask for "the approval of a penal code in which the offender is condemned and the innocent protected, like the creature in its mother's womb". They also believe that austerity and solidarity should be promoted: "We cannot support the squandering of the commons on things that are not necessary or urgent for the country. Nor can we support ostentation , when the majority have great and urgent needs. These times require wisdom in the management of goods and great sensitivity in distributing them equitably". They stressed the need to work tenaciously for the human and economic growth of the country, so that people, especially young people, are not forced to emigrate, thus putting their lives in danger. The pandemic has made the situation even more difficult for people living in poverty, "the state must make it a priority to care for and help the most vulnerable citizens". The Bishops asked that special attention be given to the Dominican family, which has been the object of numerous attacks, both national and international, "for undermining the sacred foundations of the family union and disfiguring the essence of the 'institution of marriage'. The anniversary of independence should give rise to a real intergenerational dialogue: "we need the experience of the elderly and the energy of the young", in order to seek together solutions to the main national problems. The Bishops mention first of all immigration, inviting the authorities to continue "to work to achieve a clear policy on this issue, and that firm and transparent decisions are taken on this subject, with strict respect for human rights and the dignity of persons". Then they cite corruption, the eradication of which "is still a pending task"; tax evasion, noting that "it is the responsibility of every citizen to fulfill this payment and the duty of the state, through its officials, to manage these resources for the good of the nation". Following the recent violent events that took place in the National Penitentiary of La Victoria and in other detention facilities, the Episcopate stresses the need for urgent intervention in the penitentiary system and recalls that the Church, with its penitentiary ministry, "will continue to collaborate in this task". Finally, in order to reduce deaths due to road accidents, which place the Dominican Republic among the first countries in the world in terms of road deaths, the message urges "the authorities to promote civic education and road safety through the various means at their disposal", starting from an early age.
In the final exhortation of the message, the Bishops once again express their gratitude to the health personnel for the sacrifices made in this complex pandemic situation, and invite them, on the occasion of the anniversary of the independence, "to reflect on the ideals that guided Juan Pablo Duarte and the men and women who sacrificed themselves for our nation". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 26/2/2022)