AMERICA/MEXICO - Oaxaca conflict: Catholic Bishops of the Southern Pacific Region call on conflicting parties to listen with humility, dialogue intelligently, discern according to the Gospel and reject violent methods”

Monday, 4 December 2006

Oaxaca (Agenzia Fides) - The Catholic Bishops of Oaxaca and Chiapas, gathered with priests, religious and laity of the southern pacific region of Mexico to discus the life of the Church and the work of the inculturation of the Gospel, issued a message on the situation in Oaxaca: “we cannot be silent faced with the suffering of so many people for so long in such uncertainty and anxiety”. The Bishops say that, as similar events in the past in other parts of Mexico, this situation “is a symptom of structural injustice” and is a call to every conscience to see "how far the Gospel has penetrated the daily life of our people, because what is happening is contrary to the will of God."
"The present conflict in which many intentions and interests are involved is difficult to analyse", the Bishops write and they affirm "unless, with collaboration in all sectors legal, urgent reforms are made in the economic, political, educational, electoral and social sphere there will always be a danger of new outbreaks of violence disturbing social peace".
Stressing the need to use the criteria of the Gospel "to enlighten those involved to build the life and dignity of individuals and peoples", the Bishops underline the importance of individual conversion and recognition of mistakes if problems are to be solved.
They urge the parties "no one can be indifferent to this situation", the sides must "listen with humility, dialogue intelligently, discern according to the Gospel and reject violent methods", promote the common good rather than personal or private interests. They urge political leaders, teachers, businessmen, to examine their own behaviour and attitudes to discern if it is "inspired by a genuine desire to serve the country". The prelates urge the media to be honest and objective; they recommend the priests, religious and pastoral operators “to be close to the people and willing to share their difficulties”. The Bishops conclude with a prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe at the beginning of the Season of Advent "may she intercede that the people of this land may work together to build a common home where all our brothers and sisters ". (RG) (Agenzia Fides 4/12/2006; righe 36, parole 528)