AMERICA/BOLIVIA – The Bishop of Beni: “Progress and justice cannot be built with imposition and force”

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Cochabamba – “We will not be able to build a Bolivia for everyone, without walking together. The project of a Bolivia in progress and justice, so desired and so necessary, will not be realized with imposition, it will never be realized by force, it will be realized only with the weapons of dialogue, mutual listening and peace” . This was reiterated by Mgr. Aurelio Pesoa, Bishop of Beni and new President of the Bolivian Episcopal Conference , during the mass celebrated yesterday, Sunday, November 14, in the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Cochabamba, on the World Day of the Poor. In his homily, Bishop Pesoa recalled that “not only those who suffer so many material needs are poor, but also those who withdraw into themselves in a selfish way”, and reiterated the need for encounter and reconciliation that exists in the country.
Mgr. Pesoa concelebrated Mass among others with Mgr. Ricardo Centellas, Vice President of the CEB, and Mgr. Giovani Arana, Secretary General of the CEB, just elected by the 109th Assembly of the Bolivian Episcopal Conference, which is taking place in presence, from November, 11 to 16, in Cochabamba .
Archbishop Angelo Accattino, Apostolic Nuncio also concelebrated.
Commenting on the biblical readings of the Mass, the Bishop of Beni stressed that “in the social conflicts we are experiencing these days in Bolivia, we hear threats, words that incite violence”, and reiterated the invitation “to dialogue with everyone, to listen to each other, because the Bolivia we want is consensual, dialogues, is built with the participation of all, in a true democratic way”. Then he continued: “Democracy is the primacy of laws, and not the imposition of power, however legitimate it may be. Laws must be accepted in a real participatory and consensus-building dialogue”. The passage from the Gospel of St. Mark announces the end of the visible world, Monsignor Pesoa then exhorted to “root one’s life, one’s existence, in Jesus Christ, the only one who resists beyond the instability of the present world” and to engage with passion in building the Kingdom, “in building a just and fraternal society, a society without exclusions and discarded by progress”. He added that “the poor are those who have suffered the most from the pandemic we are still undergoing, the sick, those who have lost their loved ones, family and friends, those who are unemployed, those who in recent days seek with hope that there is greater justice, those unjustly imprisoned. How important it would be to approach and dialogue with them, and enrich ourselves with their experience, rather than disqualify or despise them”.