Guatemala City (Agenzia Fides) - "The Bishops of Guatemala want to communicate with all the people of Guatemala who, together with millions of human beings in the world, are going through the situation caused by the current pandemic". The message of the Episcopal Conference of Guatemala, sent to Agenzia Fides begins with these words begins, entitled "We await ... new skies and a new land in which justice dwells" (2P 3.12).
"Epidemics or pandemics that have affected humanity throughout its history have always elicited two responses: the solidarity response to help the victims and the search for theological and spiritual meaning", recall the Bishops, underlining that this situation calls Guatemalans "to be responsible", observing prevention measures and isolation.
The pandemic has shown the ability to be in solidarity with others and "has brought out the best in everyone's heart", as evidenced by the dedication and service of many health professionals and other sectors. They therefore note that in this period we have reflected on God in a new way, planning a different future, and urge: "It is a time of hope, the near post-pandemic future asks us to create, build, dream together of a new society, a renewed and new relationship with Mother Earth and with others".
The Bishops note that the pandemic has also dramatically highlighted "the injustice of society: the enormous social inequality in this country with a poverty rate that could increase to over 60%, the inefficiency of the health system, the ineffectiveness of corrupt politicians. It has also raised fear, hoarding, social stigma and other evils, such as outbreaks of violence due to problems of the earth which we hope will be solved through the paths of dialogue".
According to the vision of faith, the pandemic can be defined as a sign of the times, and in their message the Guatemalan Bishops remember that in the Sacred Scripture, "catastrophes are occasions when God calls us to return to Him. It is a perennial temptation to try to build a society separate from God without counting on Him; and the pandemic makes us understand that human life is fragile and inconsistent".
"We must return to put God at the center of our social and political project, making it a point of reference for meaning and value", urge the Guatemalan Bishops, stressing that "this pandemic is an opportunity to recognize in God the foundation of our existence and the guarantor of the moral order inscribed in the natural order of things".
In the conclusion of the message, dated 4 June, the Episcopate urgently calls on the authorities "to do everything possible to speed up the execution of programs aimed at alleviating disease and famine, and above all to work long-term to overcome the roots of injustice in Guatemala. "We know that Mary accompanies us, as Mother of the Church, who was with the disciples in the great challenge of evangelizing and overcoming fear and isolation", ends the message of the Episcopal Conference. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 6/6/2020)