.- During a cordial meeting on Wednesday with President Michele Bachelet, the executive committee of the Chilean Bishop’s Conference proposed a “Jubilee Indult” for prisoners in order to mark Chile’s bicentennial celebration of independence in 2010.
During the meeting which was described as “amicable and productive,” the bishops discussed a wide range of issues affecting the country with President Bachelet. “Among other issues discussed, we presented to Madam President some of our expectations for the upcoming Bicentennial Independence Celebration and told her of the Church’s interest that it be an occasion for the whole of Chilean society to reflect on the great values that characterize our peaceful life together,” the bishops said.
They also presented Bachelet with their idea of granting a “Jubilee Indult” to those who have been “condemned by the courts of justice” and said they would soon lay out a “concrete proposal” that could be put before the Chilean people for consideration.
The bishops expressed gratitude for the good will Chileans have shown toward their proposal, which stems from “our gospel mandate in keeping with one of the oldest traditions of the Bible and of our country’s history.”
The Jubilee Indult could involve the release of prisoners who took part on both sides of dictator Augusto Pinochet's “dirty war,” which involved a brutal crack down on dissidents and citizens in the 1970s and 80s.