Aparecida 79-80 – Situations of Injustice

In paragraphs 79 and 80, we find a very brief analysis of the political situation in terms of unjust laws and violations of human rights.

In paragraph 79, the bishops show that are keenly aware of the difference between justice and legality.

Some parliaments or legislative congresses pass unjust laws spurning human rights and the popular will, precisely because they are not close to their constituents and do not know how to listen and dialogue with citizens, but also out of ignorance, for failure to accompany them, and because many citizens abdicate their duty of participating in public life.

What I find missing in this section is the role played by large corporations (national and international) as well as by local elites. These forces often pressure the legislature and the executive to pass laws that reinforce their wealth and status in the society and prolong unjust social structures.

The bishops also note in paragraph 80, the problem of rising repression and violation of human rights.

In some states, there has been a rise in repression and the violation of human rights, even of the right of religious freedom, freedom of expression, and freedom of teaching, as well as disrespect for conscientious objection.

The bishops mention “conscientious objection” without defining what they are discussing.

Conscientious objection in relation to military service is only recognized in Colombia, though a number of nations in Latin America have abolished military conscription. Costa Rica abolished its army in 1949. But I think that the reference is more in terms of conscientious objection to abortion and contraception, which is a particular point of contention in Peru, Mexico, and Chile.

Here is an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.

About John Donaghy

lay missioner with the Catholic diocese of Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras, since June 2007, living and working in the parish of Dulce Nombre de María.
This entry was posted in 2007 Aparecida document, bishops, evangelization, Guest Writers, John Donaghy and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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