AMERICA/EL SALVADOR - Bishops say situation ever more serious, violence must be eradicated, nation wide novena of prayer for peace 13 to 21 November

Monday, 23 October 2006

San Salvador (Agenzia Fides) - “All together to eradicate violence” is the title of a statement issued by the Catholic Bishops of El Salvador. The document presents the human person as the centre of the activity of state and church. The bishops mention similar earlier statements in which they have called for peace: Pastoral Letter 21 November 2005 “Do not be overcome by evil”(see Fides 23/11/2005) statement 14 July 2006 “Overcome evil with good" (see Fides 20/7/2006). "In the meantime the situation has become even more serious" the Bishops say.
The Bishops say violence is a complex question, a human and personal problem due to general insecurity in society. It is a social problem because “tensions which create a high level of violence are a hard trial for the national institutions". Violence is also a moral problem, a “reflection of the moral crisis from which we suffer. There is no respect for human life". Violence is a problem of policies, state must guarantee security. Violence is a spiritual problem, a result of “slavery of sin”.
The Bishops suggest ways to overcome violence, first of all prayer because “peace is a gift of God for which we must pray and for which we must work with personal and community commitment". The Bishops announce a novena of prayer for peace 13 November to 21 November the feast of the Patron Saint of El Salvador.
The Bishops call on the government and other state bodies to continue to work together to find paths to peace with the dignity of the human person as supreme criteria, to restore public confidence in the institutions to ensure calm, justice and respect for the dignity of every human person; "to tackle the serious problem of proliferation of weapons and trading of arms and the profound moral and social implications which need regulating".
“We have lived through many crises in recent years - the bishops conclude - We can do it again even in these tragic circumstances, with the help of the Lord". (RG) (Agenzia Fides 23/10/2006; righe 31, parole 432)