Local January 17, 2013 | 8:25 am

Catholic bishops: Today’s problems must be dealt with faith

Santo Domingo.- The Conference of Dominican Republic’s Catholic bishops (CED) asked its congregation nationwide and the population to deal with today’s many and serious challenges and problems with faith and ethical ??and Christian values, which they affirm are the foundation for development, justice, true peace and human coexistence.

In their first Pastoral Letter of 2013 to mark the reverence for the Virgin of La Altagracia on January 21, the Catholic bishops said that today more than ever, Christians must confront with faith the evils such as the breakdown of the family, insecurity, drug trafficking and rampant crime.

They also listed as serious and harmful evils for Dominican society, the public and private corruption, the increase in gambling and alcoholic beverages, the individualistic mentality, the pursuit of easy money any way possible and consumerism.

"Many are falling into a culture of rampant consumerism as a rule of life, and a love of money and things, regardless of the means to achieve it," the document says.

The pastoral letter titled "Stand firm in faith" and signed by 19 bishops, urges "all men and women of good will in their hearts who embrace the Word of God, which invites to form healthy, loving, understanding families, with respect and forgiveness."

"This month we celebrate the presence of the Virgin Mary among us, we want to highlight the figure of women and encourage men to value, appreciate and respect our women, who are our wives, daughters, sisters, mothers, aunts, cousins, and grandmothers, our working women who are struggling, entrepreneurial and committed to values.”

“Let us look to God who gives us faith as a gift, faith that drives us towards the search and experience of attitudes that strengthen family life," the CED said.

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