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Bolivian bishops issue message to nation’s Catholics

May 12, 2011

The bishops of Bolivia have released an Easter message to the nation’s Catholics following their 91st general assembly, which took place from May 5 to May 10.

The commemoration of Holy Week “encourages and commits us to intensify our work of evangelization,” the bishops said as they urged Catholics to “continue working for a Church [that is] dynamic and missionary and a country [that is] more egalitarian, prosperous, and just.” Rejoicing in the beatification of Pope John Paul II, who left “indelible memories of missionary zeal,“ the bishops called upon all the baptized to be in a constant “state of mission” and “not limit their evangelizing to some specific activities.” The bishops also called upon youth to prepare for the August celebration of World Youth Day with prayer so that they can become “missionary disciples.”

The prelates then

  • praised the work of journalists, whose freedom is restricted under the regime of Evo Morales
  • noted with concern that the migration of Bolivians to cities in search of higher-paying employment is leading to “family disintegration and loss of cultural and social identity”
  • called upon Catholics to vote for “truly independent” Supreme Court candidates
  • noted that it is “typical of non-democratic society” to usurp parental rights in education
  • lamented the “consequences of environmental pollution caused, among other factors, by deforestation, the irresponsible use of natural resources in the mining industry, smog from vehicles, [and] the accumulation of garbage in cities”
  • decried inroads made by “the culture of death,” including the rising number of homicides and the spread of sex education for youth, “permitting the indiscriminate use of all contraceptive means and, more seriously, opening the door to abortion”
  • urged those living in concubinage to seek the Sacrament of Marriage, since sacramental marriage is “the only licit and valid marriage for the baptized”
83% of the nation’s 10.0 million people are Catholic, according to Vatican statistics.


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