Santo Domingo (Agenzia Fides) - Corruption, which is very evident in Dominican society, has a lot to do "with the lack of education in children, youth and adults that gives priority to the value of honesty", therefore it is necessary "to create a culture of transparency, making honesty our standard in school and in political life at the service of the common good". This is the fundamental message of the 40th National Pastoral Meeting, promoted by the Dominican Episcopal Conference through its National Pastoral Institute (INP).
The meeting, held on October 7 and 8, was attended by the bishops of the Dominican Republic and 250 pastoral agents from the 12 dioceses of the country - priests, deacons, consecrated persons and laity - who evaluated the pastoral actions of the current year and work planned for 2023, with the promotion of the value of honesty as the central axis. Then, the National Evangelization Itinerary was then established, according to the National Pastoral Plan. In the message presented to the Assembly by Monsignor Santiago Rodríguez, Bishop of San Pedro de Macorís and President of the INP, and by Monsignor José Grullón, Bishop Emeritus of San Juan de la Maguana, the Dominican people were urged to bear witness to honesty in the personal, family, social and political life.
On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the National Pastoral Meeting, the Bishops recalled the efforts that the Church has made in this period of time, both for the transformation of Dominican society "which has shown solidarity in the face of misfortunes, supporting life from its conception until death" as well as at the service "especially of the most vulnerable". In addition, it is committed to promoting a better quality of life, a good education, promoting unity as a people, democratic processes, institutionality, and promoting the search for the common good.
Monsignor Freddy Bretón, Archbishop of Santiago de los Caballeros and president of the Episcopal Conference, stressed the importance of planning pastoral actions responding to the historical reality of the country: "we could not only serve as a Church but also impact society by highlighting those realities of honesty that is within her". Monsignor Santiago Rodríguez urged to adopt "a lifestyle that embodies honesty, courage and responsibility, that is capable of creating an economy at the service and defense of the person, building peace, protecting the environment and achieving the common good".
The meeting concluded with the sending of pastoral workers by the Bishops to accompany the Dominican people in their spiritual and socio-pastoral needs in 2023: "We want to commit ourselves as a synodal Church, to announce and live the value of honesty in three environments: the family, education and the different levels of our society".
On several occasions in recent times, the bishops have denounced the scourge of corruption, the lack of transparency and honesty that afflicts the Dominican people and that has reached the highest levels of politics and the army. In the message published on the occasion of Independence Day (see Fides, 26/2/2022), the Dominican Episcopal Conference, addressing the main issues of national interest, asked political leaders and legislators to always work on transparency, so that "in everything the truth shines, for the good of the nation" and once again called for "the approval of a penal code in which the criminal is condemned and the innocent are protected, such as the child in the womb". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 10/10/2022)