Vatican Promotes Dialogue In Letter to Tico Bishops
Two weeks after the possibility that the Vatican might weigh in on ongoing debate of free trade in Costa Rica caused a flurry of controversy, a Holy See official sent bishops here a mild missive supporting “serene dialogue” on the issue.
The Tico Times received a copy of the letter Tuesday from the Costa Rican Episcopal Conference. Signed by Vatican City Secretary of State Angelo Sodano, it assures Costa Rican bishops that “I follow attentively the evolution of the society of your beloved country, especially all that has to do with political decisions (with) ethical and moral aspects.”
The letter does not express a Vatican position on free trade or the controversial Central American Free-Trade Agreement with the United States (CAFTA). President Oscar Arias met with Sodano at the Vatican during his recent tour of Europe, and said afterward that the official had promised to send a letter to Costa Rica’s Catholic leaders in support of free trade.
Upon Arias’ return, discussion began among the President, bishops and CAFTA supporters and critics regarding whether the letter would support free trade in general, or CAFTA in particular, as well as what the Church’s role should be in decisions of this kind (TT, June 23).
Costa Rican bishops sent a letter to Sodano expressing their intention to foster dialogue and leave the controversial decision up the Legislative Assembly. Arias, in a press conference convened specifically to respond to the bishops’ letter, said he agreed with their comments and that the assembly is the proper place to decide the pact’s fate.
The assembly’s Foreign Affairs Commission is debating the agreement.
You may be interested
Buchón cantina: Spritz cocktails to dine forNatalia Díaz - October 18, 2018
Buchón was the first place I tasted the Aperol Spritz, months before it became fashionable around San José. In fact,…
Tico Times Shade: What does ‘middle class’ mean in Costa Rica?Alejandro Zúñiga - October 18, 2018
It’s not often The Tico Times writes an explainer about basic Costa Rican daily living that’s equally surprising to a…
Costa Rica grants asylum to Nicaraguan activist Alvaro LeivaAFP - October 18, 2018
Costa Rica granted the Nicaraguan human rights activist Alvaro Leiva political asylum last week. Leiva is the secretary of the…