AMERICA/COSTA RICA - Bishops' appeal: "The wave of corruption and criminality that is devastating our society is unacceptable"

Wednesday, 18 May 2022 violence   social situation   episcopal conferences  

Conferenza Episcopale Costa Rica

San José (Agenzia Fides) - "As Pastors of the people of God, we launch a vehement appeal to stem the tide of violence and delinquency that affects our nation": this is what the Bishops of Costa Rica ask in the declaration published on May 17, signed by the President and the Secretary General of the Episcopal Conference, respectively Monsignor José Manuel Garita Herrera, Bishop of Ciudad Quesada, and Monsignor Daniel Francisco Blanco Méndez, Auxiliary Bishop of San José. In the statement, sent to Fides, reference is made to the violence that has taken place in recent hours in the province of Limon, denounced by the local bishop, Monsignor Javier Román Arias: "facts that we condemn and which must call us all to act".
The acts of violence involved a priest, in the parish where he officiates, and a murdered person in an educational center. Such events "fill our society with grief and mourning", the bishops wrote. We stand in solidarity with the province of Limon, with all the people of good will who inhabit this beloved territory".
The Bishops' Conference calls on the authorities to "implement the necessary actions to effectively combat crime". "For years we were happy to be a country of peace, but reality hits us day after day, with acts of violence, increased crime and incursions of drug trafficking. It is unacceptable that, in the eyes of good and honest people, the wave of corruption and crime is devastating our society". The bishops invite us to "not lose hope, to put our trust in Jesus Christ", in the face of such painful events which are occurring "in many of our communities, throughout the country". Finally, they propose that on Thursday, May 19, Masses and Eucharistic adoration in the communities be devoted to prayer for peace. "In our appeal to the authorities, we urge all political forces to seek solutions together to protect our nation." The bishops of Costa Rica have long denounced the serious problems of the nation, including endemic violence, organized crime, drug trafficking, corruption... To the new President of the Republic, Rodrigo Chaves Robles, elected on April 3, they delivered a document on the main challenges that, in their view, Costa Rican society must face, offering their collaboration (see Fides 28/9/2021: 24/1/2022; 9/2/2022; 25/2/2022; 5/4/2022). (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 18/5/2022)