Santiago (Agenzia Fides) - The 125th Plenary Assembly of Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Chile ended on Friday, April 29 in the city of Santiago, during which the Bishops reflected on various issues of the country's social, political and religious life, noting hopes and worries in a crucial moment for the life of Chile.
"Our first word is of joy and hope, because Christ lives risen among us and the strength of his new life does not abandon us", they write in the concluding message, sent to Fides. "We are also satisfied with the growing recovery of the face-to-face presence in our activities, which has allowed us, among other things, to celebrate our faith with joy in the recent Holy Week".
The reasons for joy do not prevent the Chilean Bishops from seeing great concerns for the social and political events of the nation: the migratory crisis, the climate of violence that is expressed in crime, in drug trafficking, in destructive social protest, in the situation of Araucanía and, in general, in a tense political environment. "Unfortunately, violence becomes a common resource for expressing requests and petitions, losing the sense of limits and shattering democratic coexistence. The subjectivity of one's gaze prevails, regardless of the common good",the Bishops denounce. Another concern is given by the fragility of the economic scenario, "which portends a difficult time, especially for the poorest people". All this generates a climate of pessimism and mistrust, which requires everyone's commitment to create a climate of dialogue and agreement, necessary to address the country's most urgent issues. "Our democratic coexistence is seriously damaged and we must all contribute to improving it, especially those who exercise social and political leadership in the most diverse fields", the Bishops write.
With regard to the constituent process, which "is experiencing crucial moments", the message recalls the country's great hopes for it to overcome a crisis situation. "However, many today have serious doubts as to whether it is a meeting point and agreement around a shared horizon on the country we want to build. There are signs that seem to show the will to impose a social, political and even cultural re-foundation that has not been sufficiently dialogued and matured by society". Since the citizens will approve the proposed text, the Bishops ask everyone to get information and discuss, to choose "what really contributes to shaping a more just and more united country". They therefore indicate the foundations for building society: among others, respect for human dignity, the right to life from conception to natural death, the search for the common good, solidarity and concern for the poorest and most vulnerable. Among their concerns, the Bishops also cite the war situation in Ukraine, inviting believers to continue praying for peace and appreciating the contribution made through the collection on Sunday, April 24. "As a Catholic Church in Chile, we are currently living in a time of dialogue and encounter, hand in hand with the synodal process to which Pope Francis has invited the universal Church" conclude their message, inviting us to deepen the needs of pastoral conversion, in order to "live up to the mission that the Lord has entrusted to us". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 30/4/2022)