AMERICA/DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - “Christmas is often no longer called by its name”

Thursday, 15 December 2022 christmas   social situation   politics   episcopal conferences  

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Santiago de los Caballeros (Agenzia Fides) - In his Christmas message, the President of the Bishops' Conference of the Dominican Republic, Archbishop Freddy Breton of Santiago de los Caballeros, laments that “Christmas is no longer called by name because it smells like Christ. Now they say 'Happy Holidays', which can be anything. However, the archbishop is convinced that the spirit of Christmas is not dead, "but the commercial aspects are making more noise and getting better press".
"There are still many people - continues Archbishop Breton - who, like the humble shepherds of Bethlehem, rejoice at the newborn child in the poverty of a manger. And motivated by this gift, they give thanks to God, celebrate with their families and go out to help others. This is the real Christmas, which is also expressed in the longing of those who are far from their native land and who seek to meet their loved ones, moved by the desire to share them". The Archbishop therefore calls for preserving the authentic values of the Dominican people, which also includes the true spirit of Christmas.
Archbishop Breton then expresses some concrete wishes for the new year. First, he hopes that education will be strengthened at all levels and stresses that the funds allocated to it must be managed judiciously. In addition, the preservation of values, in particular respect for the dignity of the human person, should be a priority and honesty should "be a prominent quality in public officials and in private life, especially among young people".
May "the competent authorities finally succeed in eradicating the malignant tumor of corruption" which is affecting some of these
bodies as well as other levels of society", continued the President of the Bishops' Conference. The last wish for the beginning year, which will be a pre-election year, affects both the parties and the citizens. The archbishop trusts that "they will show sufficient maturity in the processes and actions of democratic life, always and above all seeking the good of the fatherland, that is, of all the men and women who make up the Dominican Republic". "God grant us a blessed one Christmas and a new year full of wisdom", is his final wish.
In recent years, the Dominican Republic has enjoyed a certain political stability that has allowed the country to conclude international agreements and benefit from economic growth thanks to booms in agriculture, construction, trade and tourism.
However, the gap between the poor and the rich remains wide and the situation of Haitian immigrants who work on the sugar cane plantations, mostly living in inhumane conditions, is worrying. Among the most important national problems to be solved, which are often mentioned by the bishops in their addresses, are corruption, lack of transparency and honesty, which also reach the highest levels of politics and the army. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 15/12/2022)