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Cardinal Terrazas calls on Bolivians to work for peace

.- The Archbishop of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, Cardinal Julio Terrazas Sandoval, exhorted Bolivians this week to tear down “the walls of separation” that prevent them from building an authentic peace, but he added that justice, which is one of its requirements, is not achieved by only “repeating nice words.” During Sunday Mass, the cardinal recalled the difficult moments facing Bolivia and noted that unless “we put God at the center of our lives,” the country cannot move forward and rebuild.

He warned that with the ascension to power of a new president, the work of peace in the country is still yet to be completed, as the problems facing Bolivia “require more profound work that will lead to true reconciliation.”

Only by building “bridges of unity,” the cardinal continued, will Bolivians be able to truly live as “the people of God” and not as “islands separated by towering walls that prevent us from seeing each other and knowing each other as brothers and sisters.”  He also thanked those who have been praying for Bolivia, especially the Bishops of Chile, and he invited the faithful to pray for their neighboring country.

Violence does not lead to justice

On the other hand, during the Mass for peace, Cardinal Terrazas emphasized that peace requires the presence of justice and cannot be achieved through violence or the use of arms.

“The peace that truly comes from God…comes through that which God desires for all: respect for the dignity of His children,” the cardinal said.

He called on authorities to improve the country’s security, without forgetting that it “cannot be imposed out of hatred” because “repression is not the way to impose peace.”

Justice, he noted, is a cause bestowed on us by the Lord for the benefit of all, but that to bring it about requires more than just the repetition of “nice words.”  Words must translate into action, he warned.


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August 20, 2014

Saint Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church

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