© Fides

‘Witnesses of Hope in a New Era for Chile’

Message from the Nation’s Bishops

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“We invite you to make a great effort to renew the hope of every person in his family and in his educational, work, and community environments”. This is the exhortation that the Bishops of Chile address in the Message published at the beginning of Advent and at the conclusion of their Plenary Assembly, which took place via videoconference in two moments: from 9 to 12 and from 24 to 25 November, reported Fides News Agency.

“Our country – write the Bishops – is experiencing intense moments that affect and involve individuals and their families, within a complex health, economic, social and political situation, and within the framework of an important constituent process marked by great desire for a fairer and more equitable society”.

The unexpected arrival of Covid-19 has forced us to change lifestyles and make sacrifices, especially to help the weakest. The message notes that “situations of prolonged violence” persist, which particularly affect women and children, in sectors with limited resources due to drug trafficking, in addition to the permanent wound which bleeds in the Araucanía region. The reciprocal denigration within the political debate and a weak leading group “have done nothing other than to increase the crisis of social life”, underline the Bishops. “We humbly invite those responsible for public work to take up the challenges we face as a country, with particular regard to the poorest and most vulnerable.”

“We cannot allow aggression and intimidation to be imposed as a legitimate way of living together”, reaffirm the Bishops, recalling that the vast majority of people struggle every day for a more dignified future, with respect for others. They went to the polls peacefully to express their opinion, which must be heard. “What belongs to all of us – they urge – is to collaborate so that the path traced can be carried out in peace and in a clear way. As we have emphasized, those who are called to the service of politics, in their various expressions, receive a mandate that is above all at the service of the common good of society, which requires the openness of all to sincere and frank dialogue. Also within the Church, we Pastors express our willingness to listen to what the People of God want to show us”.

Finally, the Bishops recall that “Christians are called to participate in the important affairs of the community”. Like solidarity in times of famine and pandemic, support for migrants and concern for the climate crisis have mobilized us. “Today the constituent process belongs to all of us”. Over the centuries, different peoples, including the Chilean, have been enlightened by the values of the Gospel, by the inalienable dignity of every human being, by justice, by peace, by the common good, and by many other much-loved values. “We hope – they conclude – that the leaders democratically elected by the citizens will be able to translate these values into a Charter, into fundamental laws and decisions that respect human values for the good of all”.

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