.- In a pastoral letter the Bishopsâ Conference of El Salvador has called on authorities and society at large to assume the responsibilities and measures âcourageously and generouslyâ that will allow the country to overcome the state of violence in which it has fallen.
âAs men of faith, we are convinced that this dramatic reality (of violence) can be transformed if each and every one of us assumes our responsibilities with clarity and courage,â the bishops stated.
In their statement, the bishops offered an analysis of the violence that has swept the country. âThe country which carries the name of Christ, our savior, is navigating through a sea of violence,â they maintained.
Although it may seem impossible to escape this scourge, they continued, the Church, through her social doctrine born of the Gospel, proposes an integral humanism that âopens the horizons of hope and points out some of the paths we must take.â
âHuman dignity, respect for live, solidarity, subsidiarity and the search for the common goodâ are but a few of the notions that are necessary for overcoming evil with good, the bishops noted. Overcoming evil with good for Salvadorans means realizing that violence âhas become a true epidemic.â
It means analyzing the problem of juvenile gangs with the hopes of changing laws on the use of arms, the spread of which âis a decisive factor in the high murder rate we are experiencing.â
The bishops stated that all citizens should be involved in the effort to combat the problem of violence, rather than continuing to cast all the blame on the government.â
They also noted the indispensable role played by the family, which should be completely supported by the State and âis the most important school of human, civic and spiritual values.â
Only with âweapons of loveâ will it be possible to overcome evil with good, the bishops pointed out, because âwhen love overcomes evil, love reigns and where love reigns, peace reigns.â