AMERICA/PARAGUAY – The Bishops: “We must give priority to evangelization and also necessary to evangelize the field of politics and politicians”

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Asunción – “We must give priority to evangelization … Furthermore, it is necessary to evangelize the field of politics and politicians, according to the proposal of the Church’s Social Doctrine, so that they love the country and not just their interests”. This was stated by the Bishops of Paraguay in the concluding message of the General Assembly of the Paraguayan Episcopal Conference, sharing their reflections on various topics of the national situation from a Christian perspective. Looking at the situation in the country, the bishops call, among other things, for agrarian reform and real dialogue with a concrete and in-depth approach to solving the problems related to land tenure and ownership. They also note a “deepening of inequalities” in various sectors and areas, citing in particular education, land rights, health, labor, indigenous peoples and farmers. “We are in a very difficult context, there is no clear proposal or adequate support for the development of peasant and indigenous family agriculture, an agriculture that provides food to people; rather, large-scale agriculture is preferred for export”, said the Bishops. This goes hand in hand with unjust taxes, denounces the Bishops’ Conference: “We see a lack of opportunities for the poor. Many of the laws passed by state institutions are to the detriment of the poorest. We are concerned about the lack of dialogue and listening”. In this context of social inequality, the Bishops emphasize the importance of the family as a stable basis of society, and call on the state to promote and accompany them, considering the creation of a family ministry appropriate. The bishops also consider the growing insecurity of drug trafficking, which has “permeated public institutions and increasing violence,” and the worrying increase in homicides, feminicide, robbery and assaults. “The government and the responsible institutions must redouble their efforts to restore peace to our people”, demanded the bishops. The conclusion of the message states: “The Paraguayan Bishops’ Conference proposes to dedicate the year 2022 to the laity. This pastoral initiative is an opportunity to address the great issues of national and ecclesiastical reality and to take actions that allow for personal conversion and social change by strengthening what is already being done in the dioceses of the country”.