Oblates from Latin America share their faith experience on justice, peace and the integrity of creation
July 26th, 2016
By Fr. Miguel Pipolo, OMI
The OMI 1982 Constitutions and Rules made a point to introduce the ministry of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation as a main preoccupation of its members. It is good to remember this as we go through the third year of the Oblate Triennium. This ministry cannot be absent from our missionary activity. I hope that sharing our experience in Latin America will help other Oblates in their desire to serve the poor wherever we are.
The economic and social policies in the long Latin American colonial period in Latin America were meant to keep the poor people under the rule of the governing class. Economic and social tragedies were not lacking. These policies affected in depth the poor and the most abandoned in the region. Unspeakable torture and deaths have occurred everywhere, but especially in the countries of Central America and Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile, the so-called “southern cone” of high material wealth. And this happened in a supposedly Catholic continent.
The Oblates working in Latin America shared the lot of the poor; its pastoral work suffered a turn-about of 360 degrees following the II Vatican Council. The Church was with the poor, even if some bishops were not interested in speaking out in their favor. Many bishops were exemplary shepherds, like Bishop Helder Camara of Recife, Brazil. No suffering was lacking.