AMERICA/HONDURAS - Central American Bishops reflect on youth, migrants and environment; and express solidarity with Nicaragua

Monday, 3 December 2018

Tegucigalpa (Agenzia Fides) – Young people in keeping with the recent Synod of Bishops and the imminent World Youth Day to be celebrated in Panama in the coming January, were the focus of the annual assembly of the Bishops of Central America SEDAC held this year at Valle de Ángeles, in Honduras, 26 to 30 November. The final message, sent to Fides, mentions other issues debated during the assembly: solidarity for the Bishops of Nicaragua, emigration, environment. This annual event held for the past 75 years in a different country, is an opportunity for the Bishops of the countries of Central America, to share pastoral experience in the framework of the local situations.
The final Message addressed “to the people of God and all people of good will” has for title a Bible verse: “Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do” (1Tes.5-11). Referring to young people it underlines that "they are the majority of our people and face challenges such as : impact of technological change on communications, forced migration, lack of opportunities for personal development, imposition of gender ideology, discouragement and the consequences of widespread corruption in society”. The Bishops conclude that for young people “the uncertain future generates fragility, anxiety, insecurity and solitude".
In present day society in which “the transcendent is diluted”, the Bishops intend to take up the instructions of the recent Synod of Bishops: “listen to them, walk with them and form them” the young people as they themselves requested and like the Risen Christ did with the disciples of Emmaus. Hence a call on the thousands of young people who have received the sacrament of Confirmation which strengthened them in life as missionary disciples, and those who experienced the encounter with the Risen Jesus, so they may announce to other young people, especially those more distant and those who have yet to hear of Him.
The situation in central America is marked with difficulties and uncertainties, the institutions are weak and democracy must be strengthened , therefore the Bishops stress the “urgent need to promote political formation of Christians so they may live in keeping with the values of the Gospel and help change the situation”.
Regarding the serious crisis in Nicaragua, the Bishops of Central America say: “we manifest our solidarity with our brother Bishops in Nicaragua and all the faithful. We are united with the longing in this country for peace, justice, freedom and sincere dialogue as a path to democratisation. We reject any violence against bishops, and against every person”.
Recently the region of central America has experienced a new form of migration, “massive and organised”, continues the message, which highlighted the reasons for the forced migration and danger for the dignity of individuals. The Bishops express gratitude for solidarity expressed by many communities to the migrants.
In the latter part of the message the Bishops reflect of the need to respect and protect the environment, underlining the right to water of every person, condemning the exploitation of natural resources by transnational companies with the consent of the local authorities and the Bishops support the ecclesial network to create a central American network, ecclesial migration network of Latin America and the Caribbean, for migration, displacement and people trafficking CLAMOR. The recent canonisation of Archbishop Romero and the beatification of the three martyrs of Guatemala “point to the path of a faith of disciples committed to defending the life and dignity of the human person ” conclude the Bishops. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 3/12/2018)