Bogotà (Agenzia Fides) - In view of the national strike called for on November 21, the Colombian Bishops recall in a statement that "mobilizations are a democratic right when they are the expression of freedom and responsibility of citizens", they therefore urge "to prevent that the mobilization of citizens degenerates into aggression, looting, acts of vandalism and death" and invite people to pray for their homeland this Sunday, November 17th, in all the parishes of the Country.
In the statement sent to Fides, the Bishops recall first of all the exhortation of Pope Francis, during his visit to the Country two years ago, to "not diminish the efforts to build the unity of the nation" and to "favor the culture of meeting ", and underline:" The tiredness and the discontent that these city demonstrations express, reveal the serious problems that have not been overcome and whose origin is corruption, social inequality, unemployment and the impossibility for large sectors of the population to access basic food, health and education services".
The mobilizations are a democratic right, as long as they have the common good as their objective" and do not lend themselves to personal interests or to groups, or to support ideologies or goals foreign to the life of our communities". The Bishops call for demonstrations to be prevented from degenerating into acts of violence "which more often than not hit the poorest" and "fuel the circle of violence that we have sorely experienced for so many years and that delegitimize any protest and brings only new and more serious evils".
The Catholic Church "reaffirms that the path to overcoming social problems and the integral development of our country, passes through listening and dialogue, with the participation of all the protagonists of society. The solution depends on everyone, it is necessary to build, without delay, a common project for the country". The Bishops therefore urge government and civil society leaders "to implement initiatives that make our country a home and a home for all". "Colombia needs everyone's participation to open up to the future with hope - they underline -. The Catholic Church wants to be the first to accompany processes along the lines of integral development and peaceful coexistence".
Finally, the Bishops invite "all Catholics and people of good will to pray for our homeland" this Sunday, November 17, when World Day for the Poor is celebrated. The statement is signed by the President, the Vice President and the Secretary General of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia with the date of November 14, 2019. (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides, 15/11/2019)