New president of Chilean Bishops Conference says: “We will be passionate defenders of life”

Bishop Alejandro Goic, the new president of the Bishops Conference of Chile, announced this Friday that the bishops of the country “shall not back away from defending life in all of its stages.”

Reporting on the bishops’ Plenary Assembly which concluded last Friday, Bishop Goic said that in response to the present social and cultural condition of the country, “We will defend the value of life in all of its stages.”  The bishop recalled that in the past, “during a very painful period, we were criticized for defending human dignity under attack from torture.  Now we are criticized for other reasons, but we will not back away from our evangelical and human zeal for defending life in all of its stages, for the good of our country.”

“Life is sacred from the moment of conception until the final encounter with God.  We shall be passionate defenders of life in all of its stages, but obviously in an environment of dialogue in a pluralist context,” Bishop Goic stated.  Later he warned that the country should prepare itself to accept with maturity the conclusions forthcoming from a national commission on political imprisonment and torture. He called the report a step forward towards national reconciliation and explained that the bishops have expressed their well-wishes and gratitude to Bishop Sergio Valech and the other members of the commission that is preparing the report.

Responding to a question about Chile’s new law allowing divorce, Bishop Goic reiterated the position of the Bishops that, while they accept the positive aspects of the new law, indissoluble marriage is good for Chile.

“We will do everything possible to make Catholics and all people of good understand the value of unity and indissolubility in marriage, while showing respect at the same time for those who have not been successful,” he added.

Holy priests

Bishop Goic later said that the main theme discussed by the bishops at their meeting was the need for ministry to priests, and that one of the conclusions was the drafting of a letter of encouragement to priests in all of the dioceses of Chile.

“Chile needs holy priests today. Inasmuch as we priests live out the Gospels beyond our smallness, we do a good to our country.  Our hope is that priests will be very faithful to the Lord and very close to the people,” he concluded.

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