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Veracruz bishops, vindicated in court, call on faithful to work for more just society

December 22, 2016

The bishops of the Mexican state of Veracruz have issued a statement reviewing events of the past year and calling upon the faithful to work for a more just society.

In April, the bishops, making clear they respected “the freedom of the lay faithful in their political choices,” decried threats against voters as well as the buying and selling of votes.

Two months after the heated June gubernatorial elections, a political party lodged a complaint against the bishops, three priests, and an evangelical pastor, alleging that they had engaged in illegal partisan activities—a crime whose potential consequences include fines and the closing of churches. In October, Mexico’s Electoral Court ruled unanimously in favor of the bishops and the other defendants.

In their new statement, dated December 14, Veracruz’s bishops thanked those who defended their freedom. They also stated that the social doctrine of the Church offers “principles, criteria, and guidelines,” but does not substitute for the freedom of the lay faithful.

“The Church will not tire of insisting that the same faith can give rise to diverse political commitments, with which she as an institution ought never to associate,” added the bishops, who said that “for our part, we will continue with our evangelizing mission.”

 
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