.- Auxiliary Bishop Marco Perez of Guayaquil said this that week an open-air Mass scheduled for this coming Sunday will be one of “profound prayer,” with no political overtones, because at this time Ecuador is in need of a “public testimony” of faith.
“We want this to be a festive day, a day of profound prayer,” the bishop said. “We will not allow anyone to protest for or against” the referendum on the new Constitution set for later this month. “This is a day to reflect, to pray, to say: Lord, bless our country, give us peace and strength,” he told the newspaper El Universo.
Bishop Perez said the idea for the Mass came up during a meeting with the clergy of the diocese. A day of prayer is necessary, he said, “because this is a very important political moment. There are many difficulties, divisions and confrontations that are robbing us of our peace. The country is politically divided and this hurts us and affects us all.”
During the interview, Bishop Perez said the Church “cannot be indifferent” when “the right to life is being questioned in the reform of the Constitution” and when “there is an attempt to change the nature of the family in some way.”
“I think that the unit of the faithful and their pastors, the priests and the Catholic people of Guayaquil, is going to be made manifest in this celebration. It is going to be a manifestation and a public testimony of our faith and the unity of our Church,” he said.