The Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Mozambique (CEM), gathered in Plenary Assembly, issued a Pastoral Statement this Friday, 11 November, addressed to the Catholic faithful and all men and women of goodwill.
Fr Bernardo Suate – Vatican City.
The Bishops’ document is written around the words of Jesus, “I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10). They speak first of all of the dream that the country has relentlessly sought of being a sovereign nation that is a protagonist of its future. Yet, 50 years after independence and 30 years after the General Peace Accord the dream continues to be elusive.
Obstacles to our aspirations
“We are a nation that has in its traditions the basis for building our future, in the cultivation of the land and use of natural resources for our sustenance; in the creativity of our artists the expression of beauty; in the confidence of our educators and health personnel; in the entrepreneurs and academics that are the impulse for integral development,” the prelates state.
However, in the Pastoral Statement, the Bishops observe that the country’s aspirations and dreams have often encountered and still encounter obstacles and threats that test the hopes of achieving these noble objectives. According to their analysis, the challenges and obstacles range from the violent conflict in Cabo Delgado, which has already lasted for more than five years, to the cost of living that is increasingly unbearable for the population, to young people without jobs, opportunities or prospects for the future, and therefore easy prey for terrorism.
A call for social inclusion
Corruption, social injustices and inequalities, exclusion and all other threats and difficulties cannot and will not bring about the country’s dream of freedom, self-determination and well-being, assert the Bishops. They add, “no peace can ever survive in the face of exclusion and social injustices.”
The prelates reiterate and recommit themselves to guiding the nation on a spiritual path and advocate for sincere national dialogue and the equitable delivery of social services across the country if Mozambique is to be consolidated into one family.