Mexico: Bishops Reiterate Commitment to Peacebuilding

Appeal for Those Suffering from Different Forms of Violence

Commitment to Peacebuilding
Mexicans asking for peace © CELAM

In a press release on January 26, 2022, the Bishops of the Mexican Episcopal  Conference (CEM) made an appeal to encourage commitment to peacebuilding in Mexico. In the note, they sent a message of consolation, closeness, and accompaniment “to those suffering from different forms of violence, which it seems cannot be halted.”

Commitment to the Building of Peace

 The Mexican Bishops also expressed  words of encouragement “to those who live committed to peacebuilding and to those that are responsible for the institutional framework, which enables peace to be possible for all.” An appeal “to the conscience of all those that cause suffering and death, to invite them to repentance and conversion of life, and an exhortation to all men and women of goodwill so that, in the different stages and circumstances of life, they do not forget that the least gesture in favor of a dignified and lasting peace is valuable and irreplaceable,” they pointed out.

For the Mexican Episcopate, what is necessary is to “add ourselves to the efforts of all men and women peacebuilders and we commit ourselves to walk with them.” They also reminded that it’s not the first time that they express their concern for the country’s peace. “We have done so on repeated occasions in the two decades of this century, particularly in the year 2010, in the Pastoral Exhortation “May Mexico Have a Dignified Life in Christ Our Peace.”

“We are aware that peacebuilding is a task that calls for permanent attention and that we must engage in in the short, medium, and long-term; therefore, in our 2031-2033 Global Pastoral Care Project, among the six pastoral options that we regard as priorities, we point out in the first place the ‘option for a Church committed to peace and social causes,’” they stressed.

Peace, A Task for All

 They also assured that they “do not want to give up their efforts, motivated also by the Holy Father Francis’ Message for the celebration of the 55th World Day of Peace, with the theme ‘Education, Work, Dialogue Between Generations: Tools to Build a Lasting Peace,’ in which he reminds us that peace is a task of all and for all. We want to encourage the Catholic faithful again and men and women of goodwill, to renew their efforts in the building of peace in our homeland.”

In regard to the tools mentioned by the Holy Father in his Message of Peace, the Mexican Episcopate pointed out “the crucial importance that education for peace is not lacking in schools so that all children and young people know that a Mexico in peace is possible.” Hence, they continued, “the opportunity for all men and women of working age to find a decent and well-remunerated job is essential to maintain peace in our homeland. The dialogue between young people and grandparents is the best school for peace, so we exhort parents to foment this dialogue, which, moreover, strengthens families.”

To Become Everyday ‘Artisans of Peace’

 In its words, the CEM called all the People of God to do the same: “let us help one another, accompany one another and undertake the path of conversion to be artisans of peace. We invite all the commissions and national and diocesan dimensions of pastoral care to include the subject of peace in a transversal way in what they do. And we ask it particularly of the commissions and dimensions of Social Pastoral Care.”

By way of conclusion, the Mexican Prelates invited all to “read and reflect completely on this message,” and to reread the Pastoral Exhortation ‘May Mexico Have a Dignified Life in Christ Our Peace.’” They ended their message by referring to the following words of the Bishop of Rome: “may those be ever more numerous who, without making noise, with humility and perseverance, are converted every day into artisans of peace. And may God’s blessing of peace precede and accompany them always.”

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester