AMERICA/BOLIVIA - Diocesan clergy: "May the synodal journey be a source of profound renewal for the Church and for all of society"

Friday, 8 July 2022 priests   synodality   local churches   social situation   pope francis   evangelization  

Cochabamba (Agenzia Fides) - "May this time of synodal renewal be a source of profound renewal, not only for our Church, but for our whole society and of a personal conversion for all". Thus we will be able to discern the signs of the times, grow in fidelity to the Gospel and to the Magisterium of the Church, encouraging ourselves and our people "not to fail in the face of so many anxieties and pains, and to strengthen ourselves in joys and hopes in the different situations we live in". This is the exhortation of the diocesan clergy of Bolivia to the People of God.
The diocesan clergy met July from 4 to 7 at the San José National Major Seminary of the Archdiocese of Cochabamba, for the Ordinary Assembly which had the theme "The Diocesan Clergy in the Synodal Church". The 186 priests of the 18 ecclesiastical jurisdictions of the country, together with their Bishops, at the end of the works sent a "Message to the People of God in Bolivia" entitled "What we have seen and heard we proclaim now to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; for our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ" (I Jn 1,3).
This Assembly was an opportunity to find oneself in friendship and joy, after the Covid-19 pandemic, they write in the text. The meeting highlighted the situations that hurt but also those that give hope. "We see with concern, the pain and suffering of our people, due to the uncertainty of work, lack of justice, violence, drug trafficking, human trafficking and lack of respect for life", the priests write in the message sent to Fides.
The consequences of this situation are "orphaned children, families immersed in pain, in a desperate search for justice, which never comes. No human suffering is left without our concern, our constant prayer to God the Merciful Father and our pastoral action". Hope comes from noting "the daily effort and struggle of many to establish in their environment that kingdom of peace and love that only Christ can bring us". The priests cite families, "who, united, are true witnesses of God's love", young people, "who, in their healthy rebellion, seek to establish the civilization of love", and all those who, "with their daily work, increase the hope of a better future". Citing the words of Pope Francis, the priests of Bolivia reiterate the urgency to "focus our gaze on Christ and discover in our ministerial life so many simple and humble people who live their friendship with the Lord with great faith". On this synodal journey, therefore, we must make their voices heard. The Holy Spirit "never abandons the Church", and the Bolivian clergy expresses the certainty that with his guide "we will overcome the difficulties of the present moment", and in the synodal journey to which the Church invites us, "discovering the face of the brother, we will be able to establish that the Kingdom of God, so desired by all, remembering that the fundamental commandment is that of love".
Finally, the Bolivian diocesan clergy reaffirms their commitment "to walk together in the presbyteral community, with our Bishops and our people to bear witness to God's mercy", accompanying the construction of a society where love, unity, freedom, justice and peace reigns.
Grateful to God for the gift of a vocation, they thank all those who collaborate "in this arduous task of evangelization, putting all possible effort into building the Kingdom of God". To the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, invoked with the title of Urkupiña, Bolivian priests entrust their life and the life of their peoples, so that they are always protected from all the present dangers and "to walk with joy, showing everyone the way of Salvation. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 8/7/2022)