Latin America: “Taking On The Missionary Discipleship Of The Gospel Implies Guarding Creation”

A new pastoral letter from the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM), entitled “Missionary Disciples, custodians of the common home”..

“Discerning the signs of the times” is a characteristic of the Church’s pastoral theological work in fulfilling this mission. The Bishops of CELAM want to scrutinise the signs of the times and interpret them in the light of the Gospel, so that the Church can respond to the questions of humanity. This is the meaning of the Pastoral Letter of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM), entitled “Missionary Disciples, custodians of the common home”.

The Latin American Bishops, in communion with Pope Francis and his encyclical Laudato Sì, affirm: “it is our duty to ensure that authentic development is accomplished in all its fullness, passing from less humane conditions of life to more humane conditions”, but an authentic development will not be achieved, “if one attacks the common home, this planet Earth which is God’s creation”. So, from a Latin American perspective and trying to “enter into dialogue with everyone on how we are building the future of the planet”, the Bishops want “to seek together paths of liberation” that lead to “true wisdom” and to the approach of “integral responses”, as we read in the Letter.

Fr. Dario Bossi, Comboni missionary, director of the “Red Iglesias y Minería“, said “this is a very important document on which we will have to reflect. In this document how Laudato Sì could be applied in Latin America in particularly the challenge that mining places to all the Churches”. He adds that some proposals for the Church on the subject of mining could emerge from the document.

“The Church can be a significant protagonist in requiring local governments and international policies to regulate mining, which goes from the looting of resources to mining only what is necessary and essential”. As highlighted in the Letter “Taking on the missionary discipleship of the Gospel seriously involves assuming the responsibility of preserving creation, considering that human beings are an integral part of it”.

“This pastoral Letter can be a tool to encourage our commitment to be a missionary Church which goes forth, poor for the poor, missionary disciples, and custodians of the common home”, said Mgr. Juan Espinoza, Auxiliary Bishop of Morelia and Secretary General of CELAM.

The Pastoral Letter will be given to all the Presidents and to the General Secretaries of the Episcopal Conferences of Latin America and the Caribbean. Furthermore, the presidency of CELAM will also deliver it to Pope Francis during the audience scheduled for next May.

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