The pandemic and the references to the plebiscite for a new Magna Carta marked the Ecumenical Te Deum this Friday in commemoration of the 210th anniversary of the country’s first Governing Board.
The liturgy, attended by President Sebastián Piñera and the first lady, Cecilia Morel, brought together only 50 people between political and ecclesiastical authorities, moving away from the massive celebrations of other years due to the coronavirus.
During the ceremony, the Archbishop of Santiago, Celestino Aós, encouraged Chileans to participate in the historic plebiscite that will take place on October 25, which opens the possibility of leaving behind the current Magna Carta, drawn up in dictatorship and considered by many as the cause of the country’s inequalities.
“Participate, make your contribution by expressing your will through voting. To decide well, find out, be told the consequences of each option, but do not allow anyone to force you how to vote or for anyone to decide for you,” said Aós.
The cleric referred to the social crisis that Chile has been experiencing since last October, the worst since the return to democracy in 1990, and called for unity: “We are a people on the march. Only united will we overcome injustices and rise up of this crisis “.
The president of the Senate, Adriana Muñoz also took advantage of the instance to encourage citizens to “actively participate in the country’s decisions by voting, in an informed way and above all through dialogue.”
At the event, which changed its usual headquarters to be located outside the capital sanctuary of Cerro San Cristóbal, a prayer was held in tribute to the more than 12,000 deaths from COVID-19 since the arrival of the virus to the southern country last month of March.
As a commemoration, during the same day, President Sebastián Piñera met with his cabinet at the Chilean Government headquarters, the Palacio de la Moneda.
The act, much more austere than in other years due to sanitary restrictions, concluded with the traditional photograph of the authorities who posed complying with the protocols of physical distancing and use of masks.
The ceremony did not include the traditional “corner”, in which a folk group dances a cueca foot, the country’s national dance.
Chile celebrates this year the most austere National Holidays in decades due to the pandemic, which has forced the authorities to suspend all popular acts and celebrations and to establish special health protocols for this weekend.