AMERICA/CHILE - Chile prays for the new President and the new government

Friday, 11 March 2022 prayer   politics   bishops   ecumenicalism   dialogue   social situation  

Santiago (Agenzia Fides) - Today, March 11, at noon (local time), the official investiture for the presidency of young Gabriel Boric will take place in Valparaiso. The student leader of the October 2019 protests, who won the December 19, 2021 ballot at the age of 36, proposes to radically reform, in a progressive direction, the socio-political structure of Chile. In recent days, the President of the Chilean Episcopal Conference, Cardinal Celestino Aós, Archbishop of Santiago, took part in a meeting convened by President Boric, with representatives of the different religious denominations present in Chile. Cardinal Aós assured the new president: "We recognize you as the highest authority of the nation, chosen by all Chileans, and you can count on our collaboration to build a more just Chile, where truth and honesty reign and where dialogue prevails over violence" (see Fides, 5/3/2022).
As tradition dictates, tomorrow, March 12, at 11 a.m., an ecumenical and interreligious prayer will take place in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago, presided over by Cardinal Archbishop Celestino Aós. According to Father Osvaldo Fernández de Castro, responsible for the liturgy, the tone will be festive and God will be asked to enlighten the new authorities that will govern Chile. The prayer will be broadcast on the platforms of the Church of Santiago, as places in the church are limited due to the anti-Covid measures. Representatives of different Christian denominations, such as Evangelicals, Lutherans, Adventists and Catholics, will be present. Jewish and Muslim leaders will also participate. All will pray for the country and its government, as well as for the state authorities. Among the guests are relatives of the President, senators and deputies, military authorities, the president of the Constituent Convention, ministers of state and undersecretaries. As the Chilean Episcopal Conference has indicated, it will be a meeting very similar to the Te Deum, which is ecumenical. Father Osvaldo Fernández de Castro points out that on this special occasion, a candle with the face of Christ painted on it, saying: "I am the light of the world", will be presented to the President as a gesture of brotherhood. A choir of 25 singers, accompanied by musical instruments and an organ, will perform the Prayer to Saint Francis of Assisi for peace. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 11/3/2022)