I know the plans I have for you, plans for your well-being and not for your evil, in order to give you a hopeful future. I, the Lord, affirm it (Jeremiah 29, 11).
A year ago, following the impulse of the Spirit, we began a self-convened and self-managed lay synodal time that, in its First Assembly, concluded, among other aspects, that the existence of structures in which the evil exercise of power is enclosed, by its asymmetry in the exercise of it, generates abuses that imply suffering to all the people of God. During 2019, we found that the abuse of power transcended the walls of the Church. It is a normalized practice that transcends the entire Chilean society, coming from political and economic structures that express an abusive system that contrasts with the dignity that everyone has for the fact, first, of being a person, and then for their condition of sons and daughters of God. The social outbreak of October 2019 made it evident.
We arrive then, in these uncertain times, to this Second Assembly with mixed feelings; on the one hand, with insecurity, skepticism, indignation and discouragement; but on the other hand, with the hope, optimism, enthusiasm, willingness and joy that the encounter with the synodal community and the Ruach's action would allow us to regain strength, lose our fear, discern how God acts in personal and national history, to commit ourselves with greater strength and clarity in the construction, not only of a new Church, but also of a new Chile. If on that occasion we said that another Church is possible, today we say that another Chile is possible. We have recognized Jesus in the suffering faces that demand dignity and justice: retirees, women, children, immigrants, youth, LGBT people, precarious underemployed people, native peoples who demand an efficient health system, quality education, fair wages, an economy solidarity, equal rights, a participatory democratic system, in short, a system in which the benefits reach everyone. We have seen early deaths and mutilated people in their eyes due to an uncontrolled repression, exerted by the military and police, forced by a system that sees social protest as a criminal act that must be repressed. We have seen, with it, the expression of an institutionalized violence to which millions of voices demand an end (Is. 9, 5-7). We recognize in people, in their diverse expressions, true prophets present and acting among us: those who march with joy and hope showing the solidarity of the Chilean people, and artists whose cultural actions show a humanizing art, women who since poetry and dance, question and denounce oppressive machismo, young people who rebel against the system and, from the front line, defend the right to demonstrate, to those who raise first aid posts and brothers and sisters in the faith involved in the struggle for a more dignified and more just society.
In the style of Jesus, we denounce that the fundamental cause of the signs of death in the country is the maintenance of a neoliberal system that generates the commercialization of political, social and economic rights, and that has been exercised with values that exacerbate individualism. , the utilitarian and pragmatism. From the above, a culture has been generated that presents features of distrust in social relations, disconnection between instances of leadership and the people, exclusion in decision-making, technifying education systems, biodiversity predation, in short, the presence of an oppressive system, whose leaderships use power for personal gain or small groups at the cost of plundering of the majorities (Mt. 23, 4). In the same spirit, we announce that a society of brothers is only possible if their structures and practices are based on an ethic focused on solidarity, mercy, justice and everyone's consideration for the construction of the Common Good (Is 54,14) In this sense, assuming the ethics of Jesus (Mt 5, 3-11), as a Lay Synod we commit ourselves to:
Contribute to the social and political world in: a) Promote the development of spaces for citizen participation based on the emergence of a new Constitution that promotes a dignified life for everyone.
b) Demand the effective protection of the common house, with special attention on water, seeds and forests, as human rights.
c) Participate constructively in the different social and political organizations.
d) Report actions that threaten the justice and dignity of people.
e) Demand justice and reparation for those who suffered violence, lost their lives and their vision, due to the violence of state agents.
Contribute to the ecclesial world in:
a) Enhancing an autonomous lay network with visible and effective action that affects society and the church from the poor and excluded.
b) Create grassroots communities, strengthening territorial networks and the national network with a testimonial approach.
c) Demand justice and reparation for victims of all types of ecclesiastical abuse.
d) Demand transparency in the administration of the economic aspects of the Church.
e) Develop lay spaces to share knowledge, according to the needs of each territory.
f) Demand the assumption of greater responsibilities of women in all ecclesial instances.
g) Promote the democratization of the election of Bishops. Consequently, we strongly reject the appointment of Don Fernando Ramos Pérez as Archbishop of Puerto Montt, for having openly mocked the laity of Osorno, who requested the departure of Bishop Barros, demonstrating very little capacity for listening and empathy with the laity and with the survivors of sexual abuse Therefore, we support and join the actions that the lay communities of that territory will undertake, in the demand of a new designation and that this be consulted before the People of God.
Finally, the National Network of Laity and Laity reiterates its decision to be an instance that contributes with its word and its action in the construction of a new Church and a new country, in which everyone is respected and can develop a dignified life in sorority and fraternity, participating in the great table of the Lord (Jn. 10,10).
National Network of Laity and Laity of Chile In Concepción, on the eve of the Epiphany of the Lord.