AMERICA/DOMINICAN REP. - Independence Day: Bishops want more honesty and justice in today's society

Monday, 27 February 2023 local churches   history   politics  

Santo Domingo (Agenzia Fides) - "Let us be honest and do justice" is the title of the message that the Dominican Bishops' Conference traditionally publishes on February 27th on the occasion of the 179th anniversary of independence. The bishops intend to "think about and work together for a better country, based on justice and honesty".
The bishops recall that one of the great dreams of the fathers of the country was to build a country based on freedom, peace and justice. In order to achieve this goal, they fought for a free and independent country with honesty and personal sacrifice. With the founding of the Republic in 1884, the judicial system also began to take shape, because "justice is one of the pillars of the rule of law".
The Catholic Church in the Dominican Republic therefore proposes in its third pastoral plan for 2023 "to live the values of the kingdom of God, especially honesty and justice". "These two values are indispensable in our society today", emphasize the bishops. As pastors, the bishops continue, "we are concerned about the situation our country is experiencing and we invite all the Dominican people to reflect on justice in the Dominican Republic, which will be a better country if we all commit ourselves to comply with the law with honesty and respect".
Referring to their joint message of 2015, in which they highlighted some unresolved issues related to justice, the Bishops stress that in many countries there are situations of violence, insecurity, intolerance and lack of respect
for the dignity of the person. "Avarice has increased", they lament, "the desire to get rich easily and quickly, the indifference towards the value of justice as the basis of peace, social stability and the development of peoples".
However, in their Message for Independence Day, the bishops also recognize the efforts already made to reform the Dominican judicial system, emphasizing "since the 1994 constitutional reform in our country important results have been achieved in the application of the law", but there are still " major challenges to achieve a justice system that meets the needs of all citizens; the Dominican judicial system must continue to work to ensure the protection of witnesses and victims, equality between the parties, the reduction of legal costs, the elimination of interference in the administration of justice and decentralization". "It is also necessary," the message continues, "to guarantee sufficient and competent staff in order to speed up the procedures and strengthen the independence of the public prosecutor's office. Among the goals to be achieved are the independence of judges, the depoliticization of the judiciary and the establishment of honesty and transparency as a standard".
But the bishops also call for more social commitment to strengthening the judicial system in the Dominican Republic, and make proposals, emphasizing that the family, the educational system, the political parties, the executive, the legislature, the judiciary, the police, the media, especially social networks, and religious realities play an important role in this engagement.
"As Pastors of this people of God – they conclude the message - we appeal to all Dominicans to strengthen the value of honesty in our country, so that we can overcome the evils that cloud our reality and build together a more honest society with transparent, consistent and righteous men and women". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 27/2/2023)