AMERICA/CHILE - Plebiscite of September 4: the concrete contribution of religious life to the construction of fraternity in a polarized society

Friday, 2 September 2022 religious institutes   politics   civil society   human rights   dialogue  

Santiago (Agenzia Fides) - In view of the referendum to be held next Sunday, September 4th, when Chileans will be asked to give their opinion on the draft of the new Constitution (see Fides, 30/8/2022), the Administrative Council has also also published a letter to the Conference of Religious of Chile (Conferre) to invite "discernment, hope and commitment".
Issues such as the environment and integral and sustainable human development, embodied in the new constitution, "are at the heart of the prophetic indictments that have been made for years by the Church and Latin American religious life", the letter said, which calls on religious to offer "a concrete contribution in a polarized reality": "Let us not forget that our deepest mission is to build the kingdom of God and fraternity, despite all the difficulties. We should strive to be bridges and facilitators of dialogue in truth and justice".
The religious are concerned about the hardening of positions because "we build Chile only with the contribution of each and every one", which is why the religious expressly reject any form of violence, including some expressions of positions expressed in media and social networks that do not contribute to a serene discernment aimed at the common good.
"We dream of a more just country", the letter continues, "where people are at the center and not just a selfish economic perspective that threatens the dignity and deep respect of every human being. We dream of working together, in which we all, whatever our circumstances and ideas, work together to build a more fraternal and inclusive society, in which no one abuses the other, especially the weakest and most vulnerable. We dream of a country that builds lasting peace, in which we can resolve our differences through dialogue and encounter between brothers and sisters. We dream of a state that promotes the common good and the rights and duties of all citizens, like the rights and duties that we have before our common home".
And finally: "We dream of a different Chile, in which freedom and absolute respect for the dignity of every human being in the image of God must prevail, before economic and technological development, with the aim of promoting the spiritual development of every human being, as recognized in the text of the new Constitution proposed to us".
The letter concludes by urging everyone to make their own decisions responsibly, believing that "democracy is built on our legitimate diversity" and that to this end "everyone is needed, including consecrated men and women of the service of God and his kingdom". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 2/9/2022)