The bishops of Bolivia have rejected the “irreverent statements” made by representatives of the Evo Morales government against Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Julio Terrazas Sandoval and other Bolivian bishops.
In recent days, members of the Morales administration slammed the Church, especially the Pope and Cardinal Terrazas, who recently spoke out against the dangerous growth of drug trafficking in the country.
In addition, the prefect of Cochabamba, Rafael Puente, said the Pope “doesn’t have much authority to speak about Bolivia” because “he is so out of touch with reality.”
In response, the bishops issued a press release saying the statements “border on the insulting, and they are ignorant of the acceptance and appreciation that (the Pope) enjoys in world public opinion, because of his humanity and his teaching, which make him one of the great minds of this century.”
“The Pope has been following the journey of our nation with fatherly care, as the different messages he has delivered during difficult moments of our country show,” the statement from the bishops said.
After reaffirming their communion with the Holy Father, the bishops expressed their “solidarity with and loyalty to Cardinal Julio Terrazas” “for his spotless, selfless and prophetic service to the people of God,” especially “to the poor and those most in need.”
They also stressed that when the Church speaks about current issues, “she does not do so out of a desire for power or for political purposes.” The Church speaks “in order to serve and to guide believers on the basis of the Gospel, fulfilling the duty the Lord has entrusted to them to guide and enlighten the people of God.”