The Archbishop of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Cardinal Julio Terrazas Sandoval, said this that week nice words are not enough to bring peace and that Bolivians need to dedicate “time to reaching an agreement, to laying the foundation for a lasting peace.”
“It’s not enough to talk, it’s not enough to say nice things, we need to work, we need to be converted, we need to change. How can we say we defend life if the dead keep multiplying, how can we talk about the truth of our people when the lies keep multiplying, how can we say we want to be brothers and sisters when we can’t even stand each other?” the cardinal asked during Sunday Mass.
“What we believers have to ask ourselves today,” the cardinal continued, is whether or not Bolivia is doing the will of God. What’s important now is that “the fruits of truth and justice” are sought out.
The cardinal called on Bolivians not to do anything “out of rivalry or pride,” and that his message was meant for “those responsible for our nation, those responsible for different social groups and also for those responsible for each family.” Christ “was filled with life and he became life for us, he became justice for us, he became freedom for all, he became love that bestows love, he became forgiveness, to reconcile us with the Father, he became the reconciler, to give us also the capacity to forgive each other.”
The cardinal made his comments as Bolivia endures conflict on both the social and political levels. The country’s president Evo Morales is seeking to re-write the constitution along socialist lines, while impoverished Bolivians are at times violently protesting against the rich who live in the resource rich eastern lowlands.