Catholic Church ordeal under current Bolivian Government

This Sunday (day of our Lord), seemed appropriate to show this interesting and enlightening article, written by Tuffi Are for El Deber:

The Cardinal, to the TIPNIS

Among the contradictions of the Government, they stand out those made by some of its figures regarding the role of the Catholic Church. Since it assumed power, the MAS has sought to diminish the influence of this institution. They did approve the concept of the secular State and consolidate freedom of religion in the Constitution.

Sometimes some of the governmental representatives acted clumsily to damage the image of the Catholic hierarchy and above all that of the Cardinal, probably the Bolivian leader more dear and credible. Insistently, the Vice President says that religious must perform only pastoral [service], away from politics. In the last Holy week the Governor of La Paz avoided making an order of governance because supposedly the measure is contrary to freedom of religion and, therefore, to the Constitution. Nor were the MAS leaders present in the Central events of the Catholic feast, but they were in a meeting on Sunday of Easter with representatives of other churches.

One of the bishops who most contributed to the development of educational projects, Archbishop Tito Solari, suffered long ago a frenzied attack, [because of his] warning of the impact of drug trafficking on children and young people in Chapare. Bishop Nicolás Castellanos had to divert a Christmas donation to another country by customs barriers. This week it became known that a priest of the Salesian order, father Arcangel Calovi, must declare before the justice, when the only thing that he made so far was to defend a property assaulted [by violent trespassers who want to claim property of that land].

In fact, this Government’s relationship with the Catholic Church, especially with its hierarchy, is more conflictual than amicable. The Cardinal’s homilies not only the messages are rejected with hardness, they try to discredit the Messenger without success. Julio Terrazas makes uncomfortable those abusers now in power, despite the fact that he does what he always did: to proclaim the Christian values.

In this context, the Minister of Communications announced that the Cardinal will be invited to fly over the TIPNIS, along with other sectors, to get to know their reality. It sounds like a joke, but it is nothing more than another contradiction. The most fought man is summoned to validate with his presence the stubbornness of the Government to split in two the Isiboro Sécure. It is not understood that he was asked before to retreat to his temple and not talking about politics and now seek him to participate in a politicized issue. It is true that it doesn’t hurt, for any Bolivian to know his country. However, knowing how consistent the Cardinal is, it is sure that such an idea will only be an anecdote, although it wouldn’t hurt in these difficult hours that the Church recover  their mediating role in conflicts that are compounded every day.


Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

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