We are slowly emerging from the pandemic. Covid19 has disrupted many projects and has left many deaths and suffering, especially in residences of elder people and the sanitary personnel who have death serving in hospitals. The diocesan Commission for Justice and Peace, inspired by Jesus’ gospel, states that life is the most sacred gift that exists. For that reason, Justice and Peace defends and promotes human rights and the care and defence of the Earth, along with the promotion of the integral human development and the divulgation of the Social Doctrine of the Church.
The crisis of the coronavirus is leading humanity into a deep economic crisis, but those who will suffer the most are the poor both in Europe and in the countries of Latin America and Africa. This crisis, as Pope Francis says, challenges us to "shake our sleeping consciences and allows for a humanistic and ecological conversion that will end the idolatry of money and that will put dignity and life at the centre. Our civilization, so competitive and individualistic, with its frenetic rhythms of production and consumption, its excessive luxuries and excessive profits for the few, needs to make a change, to rethink and regenerate itself".
The neoliberal capitalist system shapes people into slaves of consumerism. It has turned capital into a god and human beings into pieces of the system. While some seek peace, dream and fight for another alternative world, the economic powers and their governments control the destiny of humanity, promoting wars and military interventions that generate destruction and death. Wars hurt. Hunger in Africa hurts. The deaths of migrants and refugees in the Mediterranean hurt. The death and repression on the Mexican-American border hurt. This world hurts. It is not a convincing world.
We don’t want to go back to as we were before, to the “normality”, where powerful ones exploit the common people, usurping natural resources, accelerating hunger of millions of people and destroying the planet, thereby increasing inequalities and environmental degradation.
The most dangerous aspect of the coronavirus pandemic is the paralyzing fear, the evasive isolation, the depression, the search for guilt, without going to the causes that generate new diseases. Biodiversity is destroyed. The Earth is mistreated and that mistreated Earth is the one that produces these viruses. Consequently, the challenge is to transform this world, changing its destiny, fighting against the system of death that has been imposed on us. We have to look for another fair, equitable and profoundly humane socio-economic model. Common good should be above private interests and the Earth, our common home, should be taken care of responsibly and tenderly. We should always be open in solidarity to share with people in need, being a light of hope for all. Saint Oscar Romero said that "every system of death must be changed at its root so that life may flourish".
We seek to build a new society based on social justice and solidarity, confronting the selfish neo-liberal individualism. A society opens to the reception of immigrants and refugees, respectful of cultural and religious diversity and with an ethical reconversion of politics. Politics must be a service to the people, paying special attention to the most disadvantaged. That society should not be a platform for domination, financial speculation and corruption, as we have seen in these later years in Spain.
The crisis is a unique opportunity to change direction, both personally and structurally. The diocesan Commission of Justice and Peace wants to contribute to this change, with the hope in the utopia that leads us to a new horizon, making the Kingdom of God proclaimed by Jesus present on earth.
Murcia, may 2020