Bolivia Needs Dialogue to Ensure Peace, Says Pope

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 9, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II says that Bolivia needs "concord" and "constructive dialogue" in regard to democracy if it is to have a peaceful future.



The Pope expressed this conviction in a telegram sent on his behalf by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano to Cardinal Julio Terrazas, president of the Bolivian episcopal conference.

In the telegram, dated Saturday, the Holy Father expressed his support for the message that the Bolivian bishops published April 23 calling for national reconciliation.

The message, published at the end of the bishops' ordinary assembly, emphasized that poverty continues to be the most delicate problem in that South American nation of 8.5 million.

"This situation of poverty and economic crisis has been further aggravated, among other things, by the violence and social conflicts, which have been used by different sectors as an instrument to achieve their own purposes, putting aside the search for the common good," the bishops said in their message.

In turn, the Holy Father reminded Bolivians in his message that "the only path to the peaceful future of the country is that of concord, undertaking the way of constructive dialogue and avoiding everything that harms the democratic system of the life of the nation."