Santiago (Agenzia Fides) - "We believe that the paths of peace must be built by all of us, with determination and unity, with a global approach. We reject any form of violence to achieve political, social or economic objectives. We sow hope, restoring trust in institutions and strengthening the social fabric of our Christian communities". This is the appeal launched by the Bishops of Chile in the message published at the end of their Plenary Assembly, which was held from April 17 to 21 in La Florida, Santiago.
Reflecting on the social situation, the bishops first of all underline
"the serious security crisis we are experiencing in Chile". They therefore join in the pain and anguish of so many inhabitants of the country, who "live in the uncertainty of a criminality which does not seem to spare any manifestation of violence". In lamenting the deaths of civilians, police and public employees at the hands of criminals, the Bishops note that "the levels of violence we have experienced in recent weeks are unprecedented in our society, not only because of their terrible aggressiveness, but also because organized crime, often associated with drug trafficking, thrives, invades and appropriates public space in various parts of our territory, harming above all children, young people and families who remain prisoners of this reality" . Drug trafficking generates a drug culture which, in turn, constitutes a serious seed of corruption in our society".
Faced with this situation, the Chilean Bishops recall that a fundamental role in achieving the much desired peace and peaceful coexistence is played by the authorities of the nation and those who have the most influence on public opinion, like the media.
Another of the main topics addressed by the Assembly of Bishops is the elaboration of the new Pastoral Guidelines for the Local Churches of Chile, from 2023 to 2026. After a long journey of listening and discernment that began in 2018, following the serious ecclesial crisis, the Guidelines will reap the fruits of this process. On the basis of the path travelled, the bishops defined the following fundamental points: renewing the paths of evangelization starting from the centrality of Jesus Christ; promote evangelical relationships in the spirit of synodality in our way of being Church; renew the commitment to evangelize culture and to reach out to the poor and the young; promote a culture of caring, rooting out abuse in communities. The bishops announce that guidelines and lines of action for each of these pastoral areas will soon be published.
In the conclusion of the message, the bishops recall that on Sunday, May 7, the Chileans will have the opportunity to take a new step forward in the constitutional process that the country is going through, choosing the councilors who, together with a group of experts, will have to present a new proposal for the Political Constitution of the Nation (see Fides 7/9/2022). "In addition to the compulsory nature of the vote, we believe that it is a great responsibility to vote with awareness, to participate in a process so important for our country", they underline
"In this time of Easter that we are living, may the risen Christ illuminates our path in history; to his Mother, the Virgen del Carmen, Queen and Mother of Chile, we entrust our country so that the gift of peace may come from her Son". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 24/4/2023)