Peru: Church leaders urge fight against corruption

ANKARA

Religious leaders in Peru demanded dialogue and a fight against corruption after a political crisis there erupted as President Martin Vizcarra dissolved Congress and the legislature responded with a vote to remove him from office.

“The news is embarrassing, for a country like Peru that is showing the world that it is openly fighting corruption,” Cardinal Pedro Barreto Jimeno of Huancayo wrote in a message Tuesday while en route to the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon at the Vatican.

On the same day, Archbishop Miguel Cabrejos, head of Peruvian bishops’ conference, said the church “call[s] on all of society and on political players to act according to the constitutional and democratic order,” as reported by the National Catholic Reporter.

Vizcarra and the opposition-run Congress had been at odds over the political reform agenda of the government to tackle corruption.

Opposition lawmakers blocked Vizcarra’s reform packages at a time when many politicians are under investigation for a number of allegations that involve bribery and irregular campaign contributions.

The army and police stood behind the president at a critical junction and the Organization of American States supports Vizcarra decision to call for elections in January.

Both Barreto and Cabrejos agreed the political crisis should be turned into an opportunity for the common good of Peruvians.

“We must not lose faith in God and in ourselves,” Barreto said. “Beginning with each of us, the Lord can perform the miracle of reconciliation in the country, based on truth and justice.”
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