“Querida Panamá”, a pastoral reflection on the care of the Common Home

“Querida Panamá”, a pastoral reflection on the care of the Common Home

On Thursday, February 22, 2024, at the Great Hall of the Catholic University Santa María la Antigua, the Bishops of the Panamanian Episcopal Conference presented a letter entitled "Querida Panamá" (Beloved Panama). It is a pastoral reflection on integral ecology in the country.

Monsignor Manuel Ochogavía, Bishop of Colombo and secretary of the Panamanian Episcopal Conference (CEP), stressed that this document is intended to be a proposal on a topic that is fundamental to all Panamanians: the care of the Common Home and the effects it has for those who live there. "This message is meant to highlight the concern that we bishops and the Church in general have about situations that are severely affecting life in our country, in all spheres; there is an urgent need to work on raising the awareness of all Panamanians so that we can make the necessary changes at the political, social, and economic levels so that we can have a sustainable and livable environment," the secretary said.

A Synodal Impulse

The work on the document began in August 2023 and experienced a synodal impulse, through the encounter of different knowledge. The result was a joint work carried out by an interdisciplinary group that included, among others, bishops, priests, religious, committed lay people, technical personnel and an environmental engineering area.    

Listening to the voice of the people and the land

For her part, Maribel Jaén, national executive secretary of Caritas Social Pastoral Care, who participated in the presentation of the document, pointed out that this reflection touches sensitive issues on topics such as water care, air, and social justice with peasant and aboriginal peoples. Likewise, he said the document brings a series of initiatives that are recommendations or suggestions that, to be implemented must start from the reality of the communities. 

The "Querida Panamá" letter was signed by the Panamanian bishops last Feb. 18, at the Jesús Nazareno Shrine in Atalaya, during the Eucharist before pilgrims and devotees visiting this place of worship. The material will be distributed through all necessary channels to encourage dialogue, promote awareness and reflection in all spheres not only within the Church, but in all areas where this concern for the environment exists.


27 February 2024