The secretary general of the Bishops’ Conference of Bolivia, Bishop Jesus Juarez of El Alto said Wednesday that the day of prayer convened this week in Sucre which brought together opposition leaders was not organized or planned by the Catholic Church, as some media reports stated. This makes the attacks on Church officials by the Socialism Movement unjustified, he added.
Bishop Juarez explained that Archbishop Jesus Perez of Sucre participated in the event, which was strongly critical of the project of a new constitution, but that he prayed for the unity of all Bolivians and did not make any statement in favor or against it.
“The day of prayer was not planned or sponsored by the Catholic Church,” the bishop said. He also denied reports that Archbishop Perez had celebrated a Mass at the event.
Archbishop Perez read a passage from the Gospel of John imploring unity for all Bolivians and prayed an Our Father, asking God’s blessing upon all the country’s leaders, beginning with President Evo Morales.
On the other hand, Evangelical pastor Charles Suarez, who also participated in the day of prayer, made political statements, saying he would vote No on the new constitution.
Archbishop Juarez did say, however, that Catholics are concerned about certain passages of the constitution, which will be the subject of a referendum on January 25.
“The Church rejects any kind of law that gives a green light to abortion and that is against life in any stage,” he explained.