AMERICA / PARAGUAY- The bishops: “With Christ we must be medicine in this time, of the pandemic and post-pandemic”
Asunción (Agenzia Fides) – The bishops of Paraguay, “aware that the evangelical journey of listening, synodality, dialogue and agreement constitutes the appropriate medicine for social health”, entrust themselves to the intercession of María Santísima de Caacupé and the prayer of all Christians, “to serve the Lord and his Church with the heart of the Good Shepherd who heals and protects the weakest and most helpless.” This is the exhortation of the message published by the Bishops of Paraguay at the end of their Ordinary General Assembly, held on July 8 and 9 in person, while the first part of the meeting, on July 5 and 6, was held virtually. In the message, received by Agenzia Fides, the bishops report that they have shared “moments of prayer and reflection on different aspects of ecclesial and national reality, with an attitude of listening to the signs of the times to seek the will of God. ”.
Listening is also a fundamental attitude that constitutes the first step of preparation for the Ecclesial Assembly of Latin America and the Caribbean, which will take place in Mexico in November of this year. This event, “is an experience that nourishes the communion of the Latin American Church and opens it to universal communion”, the bishops emphasize, encouraging “all the faithful on a personal and community level” to be actively and committed in this process. Then they announce the intention of carrying out “initiatives and concrete actions of dialogue between the different sectors and protagonists of national life, in order to mature proposals and consensual efforts, which provide solutions to the great challenges and the many needs of our brothers, especially of those most affected by inequity and poverty ”.
The Year of the Eucharist, which the Church of Paraguay is living this year with the motto “They recognized him by breaking the bread,” is an invitation to return “to meet Christ in the mystery of the Blessed Sacrament.” The bishops reiterate that “the mission of the disciples is born and reborn from the fire of the heart that listens to the living Christ, who continues to break bread for many, nourishing the hope that with Him we can overcome discouragement in the face of difficulties, the distances that we they separate, the obstacles that stop us ”. And they exhort: “With Christ we must be medicine in this time, of the pandemic and the post-pandemic, which reveals the diseases that we must eradicate, and are expressions of various forms of moral, social and institutional corruption, and that affect the peaceful coexistence and prevent a dignified life for all of us who are brothers ”. The Year of the Laity and coherence of life, prepared for the pastoral year 2022, challenges us to experience the Word heard, which makes the hearts of the disciples burn (Year of the Word, 2020) and the expression of the mystery celebrated in the Eucharist (Year of the Eucharist, 2021): “United to Christ, all the baptized are involved in the commitment to be“ salt of the earth and light of the world ”with the announcement and the testimony”, the bishops exhort.
In the final section, the message addresses the Covid 19 pandemic and the consequences for educational processes, noting that “new technologies and communication platforms are a great help in current circumstances, because they provide a very useful tool, but they do not replace the contact and personal accompaniment required in the educational process ”, however it is pointed out that“ the digital divide in the unequal conditions of access to telematic means, the lack of resources… ”. For this reason they ask that we continue working together: “Our commitment to the necessary prevention measures must continue with patience, with zeal for life and responsibility towards everyone. Vaccines save lives … The joint efforts of science, medicine, social communicators and religious communities help to allay fears, clarify doubts and promote due attention to all sectors in solidarity and guarantee equity in access to vaccines and medical resources. It is necessary for the public administration to continue providing the resources required in this emergency, and to consolidate the commitment to the health of our people ”.
Expressing their gratitude to the doctors and health personnel, and remembering all the deceased and their families, the bishops conclude the message by deploring “so much insecurity, violence, kidnapping and abuses of indigenous people” they reiterate the invitation to “eradicate another endemic evil that is endangering our social coexistence ”and urging those responsible for security and justice“ to strengthen the means to guarantee respect for the property and life of the entire population ”.
(SL) (Agenzia Fides 07/12/2021)