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Bolivian bishops urge overcoming of violence as elections approach
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.- In the final message at the conclusion of their 87th Plenary Assembly, the Bishops’ Conference of Bolivia called for “peace based on the truth, reconciliation, forgiveness and harmony,” amidst the climate of violence and insecurity that has enveloped the country.
 
The bishops final statement recalled the need for the lay faithful not to fear “bearing clear witness to their faith in God, who guides the destiny of each person and of all of society.”
 
The bishops reiterated their support for a secular state in which “the right to vote and the exercise of religion, and consequently the contribution to social life and the reciprocal autonomy between the Church and the State are respected.”  They also said the would continue “serving the most poor and vulnerable” through the different works of the Church in the country.
 
After denouncing the current climate of “growing uncertainty and insecurity due to violence,” the bishops recalled the recent attack on the residence of Cardinal Terrazas and expressed thanks for the solidarity that has been extended to them, especially from Pope Benedict XVI.
 
They went on to stress the urgency of “installing a climate of serenity and transparency, in a democratic spirit and with constructive dialogue, keeping in mind particularly that we are entering a process that will culminate in the elections at the end of the year.”
 
“The people hope that this event that is so important for the life of the country will not be disrupted by deceit and lies, violent confrontation and insults, and personal interests in opposition to the common good,” the bishops said.

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