The Archbishopric of Santiago launched an initiative on its social networks “#LaVozDeLaIglesia,” which enables people of the Church and also those that are estranged from her, to express themselves on the situation the nation is experiencing.
With this campaign, which began on October 25, the Church of Santiago makes available “its social networks to listen to reflections and proposals to build a more just and solidary Chile,” stated the Archdiocese.
Although the government lifted the state of emergency, protests against social inequality continue in Chile. On October 18, the rise in the cost of a subway ticket exhausted the patience of Chilean citizens in the country’s capital, who took to the streets. The protests spread rapidly to other cities of the nation.
According to the Archbishopric, at least 25 videos have been shared on its social networks “to give room to expressions given the moment the country is living of massive citizen manifestations.”
So young people, adults, elderly persons, professionals, pastoral agents, men and women religious and priests have used video-selfies on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to express “their thoughts, reflections, hopes and proposals to respond, as Church, to the present reality.”
The one-minute videos succeed one another on the said networks, with other hashtags, such as #JusticiaYPaz #ChileDesperto [#Justice and Peace #Chile Woke Up
“Work for a More Solidary Country”
In statements to “Vatican News,” Natalia Castro, in charge of External Communications of the Archbishopric of Santiago de Chile, said that, effectively, “#La voz de la Iglesia” arises “as an answer of the Church in face of the situation that is being lived here in Chile, with dialogue and in the spirit of Christ,” given that, as Church, we cannot remain indifferent.”
Castro also explained that it is a proposal that responds to Pope Francis’ call to “work for a more solidary country.”
Finally, Natalia Castro said that “they are open to continue receiving videos,” offering “our channels of communication to the people of the Church” and also to those that are “more distanced” from her.
Communal Dialogue in Concepcion
The Episcopal Conference of Chile pointed out that, in this line, the Church of Concepcion began to promote community dialogues. The objective is to open areas of reflection to give direction to the anxiety of the different sectors that have manifested themselves in the massive protests throughout the country, which have taken place in the last few weeks.
In this connection, Monsignor Fernando Chomali, Archbishop of Concepcion, sent a note encouraging parish priests and vicars to promote these areas in each of their territories.
Young People’s Reflection
So, more than 100 young people took part last weekend in a meeting of reflection, dialogue and prayer on the situation in Chile.
The Youth Pastoral Vicariate of the Archdiocese of Concepcion organized the initiative, which was held in the University Parish of Concepcion, and was accompanied by Father Cristobal Fones and the Vicar, Father Victor Alvarez.
The young people were from different Archdiocesan realities and took part “very actively in this area, necessary to commit themselves in a Christina way, in this time that we are living as society,” said Father Alvarez.
The meeting ended with the Eucharist to pray for the country.
Translation by Virginia M. Forrester