Peruvian Bishops offered to "build bridges of encounter" amid social and political turmoil, in a statement published at the end of their 124th plenary assembly on January 20.
"As bishops, we offer once again our service to mediate and to build bridges of encounter. The Church must be truly in solidarity with all humanity and with its history," the statement read.
The bishops painfully highlighted the deep wound in the heart of the people, the suffering of all the wounded civilians and police, due to the political and social unrest in Peru with over 50 deaths.
"This requires us to change course decisively: we want peace!" the Peruvian bishops spoke out.
The prelates emphasized, "Violence begets more violence."
"These crimes, which have left the nation in mourning, cannot go unpunished. It must be investigated quickly in order to identify and punish those involved," the bishops asserted.
The prelates encouraged them to end clashes, build the homeland, stop promoting polarizations, and stop hurting each other.
They insisted on the need for "dialogue, listening and decisiveness."
The Peruvian bishops urged the authorities and all political persons to commit responsibly to finding a consensual way out of this serious crisis.
"It is time to raise our gaze and move towards encounter and reconciliation with justice. The country must not continue in anxiety, fear and uncertainty," the statement read.
The prelates invited all to rebuild Peru and encouraged the civil society to assume its responsibility.
They prayed that God and Our Lady of Peace might protect and bless Peru.
Pope Francis, in his Sunday angelus speech, had encouraged Peruvians to pray for the end of violence.
"Violence quenches the hope for a just solution to the problems," the Pope noted.
He encouraged all the parties involved to undertake the path of dialogue as brothers of the same nation, in full respect for human rights and the rule of law.
Uniting with the Peruvian Bishops, Pope Francis said, "No to violence wherever it comes from! No more deaths!"
The former president Pedro Castillo sought to close congress and govern by decree on December 7, and the then-vice president, Dina Boluarte, replaced Castillo.
After Castillo's removal, protesters demanded current President Boluarte's resignation, congress's closure, and new elections in Peru.
Due to demonstrations, she declared an emergency in Lima and three other areas.
In Peru, demonstrations intensified in the capital of Lima as more protesters arrived from the Andean region.
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