AMERICA/CHILE – The Bishops: participation in the synodal journey and in the electoral process promotes the common good, equality and peace

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Lo Canas – “May peace be with you” is the title of the message that the Chilean Bishops published at the end of the Plenary Assembly of the Episcopal Conference, which ended on November 12. First of all, the Bishops enthusiastically welcomed Pope Francis’ invitation to participate in the Synod of Bishops on Synodality: “we must continue to deepen our condition as the People of God who, anointed with the Spirit, is called to assume responsibility for the evangelizing mission “. They then recalled the commitment of the local Church in the third national ecclesial assembly, to which was added the ecclesial assembly of Latin America and the Caribbean, so many events which see the broad participation of the laity. They recognize these processes “as an opportunity to be an increasingly synodal, prophetic and hopeful Church, with Jesus Christ at its center”. In view of the presidential, parliamentary and regional elections on November 21 , they say: “as pastors, we hope that all those who can vote will participate actively. It is a great way to ensure to democracy and to uphold the rule of law, reaffirming that Chile is a country of brothers. It is an excellent way to promote the common good and social peace. For Christians, it is necessary to keep in mind the spirit that in the decisions which await us, are at stake essential values for a nation founded on the teachings of the Gospel, which we are always called to cherish and to promote “. The Bishops then launch a humble appeal to the People of God and to all the Chilean people, “to promote spaces of fraternity, sincere dialogue and constructive spirit”, because “it is urgent to overcome all these attitudes, words and actions which generate discord, unnecessary tension and hatred between us “. They therefore reiterate: “It is urgent to engage in a determined and clear manner against violence as a form of political action”. They then invite Catholics and all men of good will to “work for peace and to overcome all the causes of inequality”, because “the reasons for violence are often linked to social marginalization, to the lack of prospects for future, to a deep inequality in the distribution of goods intended for all and to historical demands which have not been sufficiently satisfied”. The Bishops expressed their “great concern” at the situation faced by migrants at the borders, which demands urgent responses from society which respect their dignity. The message goes on to say that “the migratory crisis challenges us deeply, as do the causes that provoke it, while we recall the welcome that Chile has always reserved for foreigners”, adding: “we have seen, with pain, signs of xenophobia and unjust discrimination”. They then called on the authorities to “work diligently to provide assistance to these people and to improve and streamline the regularization process for those in the country”. The new immigration law cannot ignore the history of our country in terms of reception. At the end of their message, the Bishops invite all members of the Church to “be ready and willing to seek the will of God in our lives, in an atmosphere of prayer, which is a source of grace for us all”, by asking the Virgin Mary to “accompany us and protect us”.