THE Bishops of the Dom
inican Republic, meeting together for their annual conference in Santo Domingo, the capital. have called on the country's leaders to co-operate in order to overcome the Republic's difficulties.
In a statement issued last week. the Bishops expressed their "profound concern at the bitter reality which the Dominican Republic is experiencing— uncertainty and mistrust. As these become more pronounced, peace and bread, the two main hopes of every Dominican family, recede further and further."
The Bishops' appeal comes at a time when a parliamentary cornmission is working on a constitution. to replace laws brought in under the thirty-year dictatorship of General Trujillo, assassinated in May 1961. The Dominican parliament is composed mainly of members of the Democratic Revolutionary Party, headed by President Bosch, who took office in February, after last December's elections.
Relations between Church and State have been uneasy ever since the election campaign began.
• In December, Fr. Emetic() Garcia, a Spanish Jesuit, accused Senor Bosch of Marxist-Leninist tendencies. Sr. Bosch threatened to withdraw from the election, but subsequently settled his differences with Fr. Garcia during a television interview, • In April this year, the Bishops stated that draft proposals for the constitution were marked by a "total absence of explicit recognition of the laws of God and of the Church".
a Last week, however, Fr. Garcia was granted Dominican citizenship.
The Bishops' appeal concludes with a denial that the Church is taking sides. The Church", they say, "is an instrument neither of nor for politics. It is a sacred institution which preaches love among men".