On the night of October 18, unknown persons ransacked and set fire to the premises of the Bishopric of the Diocese of Talca, Chile, which housed the Vicariate of Youth Ministry, the Vicariate of Social Pastoral, the Department of 1%, the Pastoral Care of Human Mobility and the University Student House Foundation, reported Fides News Agency.
In the statement released by the diocese, located in the central area of the country, they thanked all those who expressed their solidarity and support in the face of this act of violence, those who rushed to the scene to bring the fire under control and avoid greater damage, neighbors, volunteer firefighters, the Carabineros de Chile and the staff of the Bishopric.
“Being victims of this irrational violence – continues the statement – helps us understand and empathize with the pain that so many people have experienced in similar circumstances in recent times. We think especially of those who have been affected in their sources of employment”.
The Diocese of Talca reiterates that “peace and dialogue are the way to justice and development. This violence does not represent the aspirations of the vast majority of the country because it does nothing to solve the problems of Chile, especially those of the most vulnerable”. Finally, despite the difficulties, “we will continue with renewed conviction the service of those who are most deprived of everything and the task of joyfully proclaiming the name of Jesus, Lord, and Savior”.
Since October 2019, Chile has been going through a period of crisis in all fields – political, economic, social, and religious – which has triggered violence, looting, and fires that have not spared the churches and the premises used for pastoral activities. Even the current process of drafting a new Constitution, following the outcome of the plebiscite of October 25, 2020 does not seem to have calmed down the tension, and the Covid-19 pandemic has further aggravated the situation.