Following the meeting of the superiors of Comboni circumscriptions of America and Asia, the missionaries wrote a letter to the young people from both continents.
In the letter, the missionaries said: “We write to you because we know that you have a thirst for authenticity. Your quest questions us, it challenges us to share with you the reasons of our hope. We believe in your strength and vitality in order to watch over the world together, following the loving project of God. We write to you from the peripheries of the continents of America and Asia. The frontiers are our home. As missionaries, we try to answer the challenge of Pope Francis – to be a “church that reaches out”, a Church that walks with the poor and with those who do not yet know the joy of the Gospel. We want to be witnesses and prophets of fraternal relationships, based on forgiveness and mercy”.
The missionaries said that they are very worried about the situation in America and Asia. “The results of the elections in the USA will promote a wave of racism and intolerance. It represents the defeat of politics and democracy caused by fear and the demagogic intentions of economic power. This type of economy plunders the common good, corrupts and kills. In places where we work, both in the rural areas and in urban peripheries, violence is on the increase. In Central America and Mexico, gangs and trafficking cut short the lives of our youth. The defenders of human rights, of the indigenous people are killed in an effort to silence social organisations and the Church, when she raises a prophetic voice. In Colombia, notwithstanding the great effort to promote a culture of reconciliation, we were surprised by the results of the referendum, which once more threatens the peace treaty. In Asia, we feel very small when faced with the challenges of this immense continent, we feel questioned by the complex dialogue between cultures and religions. But we believe that this may be the path that will help us discover God living in humanity”.
The missionaries pointed out, “Christians involve themselves in the heart of history as a community, they walk along, bear fruit and celebrate! Without fear, they stand in the frontlines. We have learnt a lot by standing with the youth, working together in a spirit of solidarity with the victims of the earthquake in Ecuador, and facing violence in our parishes in the outskirts of Lima, Peru. We pray with you and recognise the face of God in our houses of formation. We admire your determination in Brazil, where you occupied more than a thousand schools in non-violent protest against government measures that will hurt our people”.
“ We beg your forgiveness”, the letter concluded, “if we do not rise to the level of your bravery. We want to open our houses so we can meet, because you are the way to the renovation of our passion for mission. Let us walk together! Let us help one another to dream of how to promote justice and peace, the care for our mother earth just as our Father takes care of us down here”.