Bishop Ricardo Valenzuela spoke at Univerano 2023. During his presentation, he affirmed that there is a “strong break in leadership and incapacity of political parties.”
Below is his lecture in its entirety;
Our country is experiencing a period of deep concerns, worries and tensions that affect our society in the political, economic, social and human order; factors that advise and demand a sincere debate, among all people of good will.
As Christians we are called to act in unity. Indeed, “may they all be one!; tells us the Lord Jesus Christ.
That unity wanted by God does not consist in equalizing all things, but in the ability to be supportive among brothers and in living in communion of faith and hope; in strengthening, as a people, our principles and ideals to renew together our commitments with the Church and with our nation. And in this sense, we all have the obligation to read history, events and circumstances. We cannot limit ourselves to standing on the balcony and watching the facts go by, as Pope Francis had said to the young people in the
Asuncion waterfront. Our Christian commitment is a moral imperative to examine the different situations, understand them, interpret them correctly from Christian values in order to actively participate in the promotion of the common good and in the integral care of all Creation.
An emergency: moral reconstruction
We find ourselves in a true national emergency that can only be overcome with short, medium and long-term measures. Urgent solutions fall mainly on the political order. In this sense, political parties have a great responsibility to offer adequate responses to the various needs.
Above all, it is necessary to repair, as soon as possible, the breakdown of leadership and the persistent
instability, together with the inability of political parties to transform themselves, internally, in a radical and profound way, and their inability to serve the country with dignity.
Overcome the atomization of the parties to open up to a generous collaboration for the good of the country. The use and abuse of politics and power create socio-political chaos, with its inevitable repercussions in corruption, which the country can no longer bear. They promise freedom, when they themselves are slaves to corruption, since each one is a slave to that which dominates him (2Pe 2,19). This phenomenon is at the base and is the biggest aggravating factor in the economic and social problems that await an urgent solution.
On the other hand, we see that the State allocates more and more resources to the parties, without a counterpart commitment to accountability, while they organize real barriers to prevent the structuring of new ways of ending the presentation of referents lacking in ethics and honest trajectories. . Added to all these issues is the dangerous profession of playing with fire, cheerfully authorizing the Nation’s budget to spend more than it collects, which can lead to great political and institutional instability in the short term.
The biggest loser – as always – will be the people. Therefore, the comprehensive training of honest, suitable political leaders in the performance of their duties, and effective in the management of the common good is an urgent need so that they are truly the first responsible for generating the mentality of an authentic policy capable of transform society. The leadership of Jesus, who cares for and protects his own, who came to serve, who heals and feeds people, who gives his life for others and offers definitive salvation, is a model for our leaders to imitate; and it is a guide for the formation and education of our brave young people who are projected in the conformation of leaderships that put in motion a power of service and not a power of domination.
The Church, with its lights and its shadows, in the midst of the persecutions of the world and the consolations of God, is also called to collaborate with the recomposition of society, with its moral reconstruction through evangelization, the proclamation of the Word of God, the formation of conscience and of communities that celebrate the sacraments, promoting the integral development of men and women; and overcoming its contradictions and anti-testimonies.
At this very important hour for the future of our country, with a view to the upcoming elections on April 30, we urge all Christians to firmly and confidently assume the commitment to announce with their words and bear witness with their lives, the presence among men, of Christ, the Lord of history. In this proclamation and this testimony, the lay faithful have an original and irreplaceable position, because through them the Church of Christ is present in the most varied sectors of the world, as a sign and source of hope and love (Christifidelis Laici, 7).
We also encourage all the leaders of our country to take as a guide and model the children of this land, Saint Roque González de Santa Cruz, who gave his life for Christ and for the Church and knew how to live for and for his brothers. especially the poorest and most needy, seeking a dignified life for them, living respect and justice, work and solidarity.
May Our Lady of Miracles of Caacupé, from her Basilica Sanctuary, a meeting place for Paraguayans, accompany us and give us the necessary discernment and strength to assume our own and non-transferable responsibility, in this common commitment to build now, the Paraguay that we can and that we want, that is, a new Paraguay in truth, justice, love and peace.