AMERICA/PARAGUAY - After the latest attack, the Bishops call for three days of prayer, fasting and common gestures for peace and respect for life

Thursday, 19 May 2022 violence   fasting   prayer   peace   episcopal conferences  


Asunción (Agenzia Fides) - A week after the assassination of prosecutor Marcelo Daniel Pecci Albertini (see Fides, 12/5/2022), another attack took place in the town of Pedro Juan Caballero, where Mayor José Carlos Acevedo was seriously injured by seven shots, and is now struggling between life and death, with little chance of survival. The Paraguayan Episcopal Conference expressed its solidarity with the mayor, his family and the people accompanying him, in a press release entitled: "I leave you peace, I give you my peace" (Jn 14,27).
"We condemn and repudiate this and all attacks on human life", the Bishops write, insisting that "our God is a God who loves life and his command is clear and precise: do not kill". They therefore ask "the security forces and the prosecution to identify and bring to justice those responsible for these horrible crimes". They then invite everyone, authorities and citizens, "to courageously and steadfastly promote respect for the institutions, laws and Constitution of our country, so that we can live in an environment of peace and security". The Bishops ask for the intercession of the patroness of the country, Our Lady of Miracles of Caacupé, "so that the violence ceases and that we can live in peace and harmony". The Episcopal Conference therefore proposes, from May 20 to 22, three days of prayer, fasting and common gesture for peace and respect for life: "all people are invited to offer these actions as an expression of sadness, penance, of supplication and commitment for true peace between brothers and sisters. During these days, at every Mass, we will pray for peace and respect for life". On Friday, May 20, the bishops invite people to fast, "an expression of our faith and our communion with the whole Church to demonstrate the primacy of the spiritual over the material", and a sign of "solidarity with those who lack daily bread". On Saturday, May 21, everyone is invited to light a candle, at home, in their neighborhood, in their parish, "to show that only the Risen Christ can draw us out of the darkness of violence and death". On Sunday, May 22, everyone can bring a flag or a white scarf as a sign of peace. "Peace is a gift of the risen Christ and, at the same time, it is everyone's commitment", finally underline the Bishops, who invite us not to remain indifferent or in complicit silence, "let us commit ourselves to being peacemakers". In a long message published on the occasion of the 211th anniversary of national independence, the president of the Episcopal Conference of Paraguay, Monsignor Adalberto Martínez Flores, quoted the brutal murder of the prosecutor Pecci Albertini: "This abominable crime must not be considered an isolated case, it is a deadly wound in the hearts of all Paraguayans... The Church maintains that priority should not be given only to increased legislative measures or the application of the law, but also to adequate attention to the population and to the conditions of life, health, education and work" (see Fides, 17/5/2022). (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 19/5/2022)