ACI Prensa Staff, Mar 23, 2023 / 10:35 am (CNA).
Auxiliary Bishop Pedro Fuentes of La Paz, Bolivia, charged that ideologies are being imposed on Bolivian society, especially in education.
In his homily on the healing of the man born blind for Sunday Mass at St. Francis Minor Basilica in La Paz on March 19, the prelate reflected on how to pass from darkness to light, from lies to truth, and heal “spiritual blindness.”
Fuentes also called for “light so that the education of the new generations not be manipulated.”
The bishop focused on a problem that afflicts Bolivian society: the educational curriculum imposed by the Ministry of Education.
Fuentes asked that the authorities be sensible and see “the damage that can be done if an educational curriculum goes forward that doesn’t have consensus and input from all those concerned.”
The bishop said that the design of the curriculum represents an “ideological slant that wants to get into the heads of children and young people.”
Addressing the faithful, he stated: “No one can tell us how we should think, no one can force us to think or believe in something, no one, no ideology, because the characteristic of the human being is freedom, and when we are free, we have the option to choose.”
“No one can give themselves the right to say ‘this is the best for the education of children and young people.’ No. You have to have consensus and get input from those concerned. We cannot impose, because when we do impose, the reactions are negative,” he added.
“Ideologies pass, and ideologies that want to get inserted into education significantly damage our society,” he said.
When the new curriculum was presented, the bishops of Bolivia charged that it was “unilaterally” determined by the government, without taking into account the contributions of the organizations that participated in the previous meetings, and called it “not education — it’s indoctrination.”
The bishop also prayed for “more trust” in the Lord, especially “in the most complicated circumstances of life such as the political situation that Bolivians are experiencing.”
“We ask for light for those who govern us” and also for “justice, which should be blind and thus be able to be impartial and not instrumentalized by those in political power.”
He also asked for “light so that there are no prisoners without a conviction, that there are no political prisoners, victims of revenge.”
In recent months, the bishops of Bolivia have denounced persecution by the government, which announced that it would call them to testify for the alleged 2019 “coup d’état,” the same reason why the governor of the district of Santa Cruz, Fernando Camacho, was arrested in December 2022.
In 2019, violent protests broke out following Evo Morales’ election to a fourth consecutive term as president amid accusations of election fraud.
When Morales fled the country, Jeanine Áñez, vice president of the Senate, became interim president, following the constitutional order of succession to the presidency.
However, when Morales’ political party won the presidential election to replace Áñez, the new government arrested her in 2021 on charges of terrorism, sedition, and conspiracy in an alleged coup d’état to oust Morales.
The bishops pointed out that they participated in the meetings to bring peace to the country then embroiled in the 2019 crisis because the government itself asked them to help find a solution “in those difficult and critical moments that our country had to go through.”
This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.
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