21 November 2017
A Church Permanently on Mission
The Ad Limina Visit of the Bishops of a Latin American country that is facing a serious process of accelerated secularization
The challenges that the Uruguayan Church is called to face are not so different from those of most Western countries, but their influence on the society and its culture is so strong that Uruguay has become Latin America’s most secularized country. However, the situation offers a wide field for evangelization, and the Bishops are investing in the education of the young and of lay people in general, and especially of families. This is what the prelates spoke about in their visit to the Dicastery of the Laity, Family and Life, on the morning of Monday, 20 November.
Divorce was legalized in this country in 1907. Today, the number of marriages is falling sharply as everywhere else, while the birthrate is on the brink. In this context, the Church is working to prepare the young for marriage, developing the pastoral care of families and accompaniment, and integrating into the Christian community people who have lived through the marriage failure or abortion.
The country’s laws do not help to enter into a culture that protects the family and life, but the Church is reacting and making her voice heard, for example with the campaign to defend the medical staff’s right of conscientious objection against abortion.
However, the Bishop’s questions focused on young people gave the Dicastery’s superiors the occasion to illustrate the good of youth pastoral care and of the World Youth Days. For young people, the Uruguayan Church is, in a certain way, the forerunner to the universal Church. In fact, the national youth day has a long tradition there, and the fortieth edition of the event will be celebrated next year.