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In this period of Lent, a time of personal and community reflection and change, we cannot forget the political and social events that have taken place in Catalunya over the past months.

It is within that context that we, as bishops of the Catalan dioceses, appeal to everyone to strive to re-establish mutual trust in the society which is ours, with its great cultural, political and also religious plurality. Social cohesion, concord, feeling close to one another and respect for the rights of everyone living in Catalunya, these must be among our main goals at this time.

We can neither ignore nor belittle the fact that with regard to Catalunya there exists a political problem of the highest order which demands a just solution to the situation that has arisen, one that will be minimally acceptable to all and that has to be sought with a determined attempt at truthful dialogue, with generosity and a desire for the common good of everyone. For that reason, as we have often said, with the words of Pope Francis which constrain us, we say to Catholics and to all who will listen to us: “in a culture which privileges dialogue as a form of encounter it is time to devise a means for building consensus and agreement while seeking the goal of a just, responsive and inclusive society”  (Evangeli Gaudium 239).

On 21st December last year Parliamentary elections were held with a a high level of voter participation. The elected members, in their commitment to service, must provide the democratic mechanisms for the formation of a new government of the Generalitat, acting with a sense of responsibility towards all groups in the country, especially the most the needy, in order to overcome the consequences of the institutional, economic and social crisis through which we are living.

We want to make mention of a specific issue that concerns us. With regard to the remand of some former members of the Government and leaders of social organizations, without entering into judicial debates we ask for calm thought on this matter with the aim of encouraging a climate of dialogue that is so badly needed and in which the personal circumstances of those affected are taken into account.

As citizens of this country and as shepherds of the Church making its way in Catalunya, we once again reaffirm that, although it is not appropriate for us to opt for any particular answer to the new scenarios that have arisen in recent times, we defend the moral legitimacy of any of the various options proposed for the political structure of Catalonia that are based on respect for the inalienable dignity of individuals and of peoples and are advocated in a peaceful and democratic way.

In conclusion, we ask Catholics, as they discover the way of God for living in these complex times, to be instruments of peace and reconciliation within Catalan society, and to pray ceaselessly to the good Lord for peace and justice in Catalunya.

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