AMERICA/CHILE - After the referendum a great social pact is needed, listening to each other and leaving polarization behind

Wednesday, 7 September 2022 politics   human rights   social situation   bishops  


Santiago (Agenzia Fides) - In the referendum of September 4, the Chileans expressed their negative opinion on the draft of the new Constitution by a large majority (over 60%) (see Fides, 30/8/2022; 2/9/2022). President Gabriel Boric carried out a government reshuffle on September 6 that involved five ministries, including the Interior ministry.
"It is positive that all Chileans want a new Constitution and that the way in which it will be implemented is taking shape. This democratic exercise has been positive for the country and is a good start to leave behind the polarization that is taking place, so that the various branches of the State can continue to work in order to restore peace". This was stated by the Archbishop of Concecpción, Fernando Chomali, vice president of the Bishops' Conference of Chile (CECh), in an interview with the newspaper "El Mercurio", relaunched by CECh.
The Archbishop highlighted the participation of Chileans in the vote, the professionalism of the Electoral Service that did "an exceptional job" and that the results were accepted without acts of violence. "It is time for great agreements and a great social pact - says Msgr. Chomali - in which the most disadvantaged members of society are recognized as priorities. There is also an urgent need to reflect on why we have reached this level of polarization. One cannot look to the future without analyzing the past and the present", "a society in which everyone seeks their own interest is a society that breaks into pieces and ends up failing".
Even the Bishop of San Bernardo, Msgr. Juan Ignacio González, member of the Standing Committee of CECh, highlighted that through the referendum, the Chileans have raised a cry to be heard, especially addressed to politicians. The Church reaffirms its commitment to always be a factor of unity and peace, which is the vocation of Chile. The invitation is addressed to all to "listen, open your ears and mind, and let go of the idea of imposing ideological visions, extraneous to reality". The Bishop notes that "in the rejected proposal there are elements to be preserved, such as a new agreement with the first peoples, decentralization, the defense and promotion of the environment, the expansion of social rights and others. But they must be dealt with in a different manner, with maximum openness. This is the current challenge". Looking at the steps to be taken now, Msgr. Juan Ignacio González believes that we must begin by "renewing trust and listening to each other", for this we need time, and trusting the institutions. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 7/9/2022)