AMERICA/BOLIVIA - Mgr. Gualberti: "The defense of democratic values loses moral force if it is not pursued with peaceful means"

Santa Cruz - "Even if the reasons for the protests and the defense of democratic values, institutions and the expressed will of the people are right, they lose their moral strength when they are not pursued with peaceful means", said Mgr. Sergio Alfredo Gualberti Calandrina, Archbishop of Santa Cruz de la Sierra , in yesterday's Mass, on the first Sunday of Advent.
"We must live this time of Advent in communion and peace, this call comes at the right time for our country and our city, which in these days has been the scene of much violence and fighting for various reasons". The Archbishop made a clear reference to the report presented a few days ago by the Attorney General of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Ramiro José Guerrero Peñaranda, where Santa Cruz is indicated as the first city for the number of cases of violence: 7,872 registered cases.
Mgr. Gualberti Calandrina therefore indicated the political environment as a place where citizens can express themselves: "This request is also valid for election day for the renewal of judicial offices. Although it is a very controversial initiative, however, it is the duty of citizens to go to the polls peacefully, avoiding excesses and comparisons, and vote according to conscience, without slogans and pressures, ensuring the utmost attention to possible attempts to manipulate the results", said the Archbishop. Yesterday, 3 December, the judicial elections were scheduled in Bolivia to elect new members of the Constitutional Court and for the renewal of other high offices of the national judiciary.
Recalling the true meaning of Advent, Mgr. Gualberti Calandrina emphasized that intense prayer makes us irreproachable before the Lord and an impeccable behavior requires living according to ethical and moral principles and values. The proximity of Christmas, the birth of Jesus and his definitive return, are a critical force for decisively influencing all areas of life. This is why we must be vigilant and responsible for the small and big events of every day, to discover God’s Lordship throughout the history of humanity.
Bolivia, and in particular, this area of the country, lives situations of uncontrollable violence at different levels. From the lynching of thieves and criminals in village squares to the violent clashes of groups that defend or follow certain political leaders. The press is full of these cases and the Church insists on the commitment of all to create a peaceful coexistence based on the power of the Gospel and popular piety, which in these times is awakened with force in order to celebrate Christmas.