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Arturo Sosa: Democracy could be among victims of COVID-19


While in many countries the coronavirus continues leaving behind many victims, in others, the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight as they gradually return to normality.

It's a delicate phase that the superior general of the Jesuits thinks shouldn't be one of reconstruction.

ARTURO SOSA
Superior General of the Society of Jesus
“I would avoid using the word 'reconstruction,' because what we don't want is to rebuild what was there before. I think we need to go into a phase more about self-critiquing, at the global level, about understanding what the crisis is teaching us.”

Arturo Sosa notes that the pandemic has revealed that the current economic model leads to higher levels of inequality, and that economic paralysis has further widened the gap between socioeconomic classes.

ARTURO SOSA
Superior General of the Society of Jesus
“On the contrary, we hope the situation helps people see that other economic models are possible.”“It's much easier to find a vaccine for the coronavirus than for the virus of selfishness, war and the possibility of having a more equitable distribution of wealth than what we have now.”

The superior general of the Jesuits says the challenge is for everyone, as even democracy could become a victim of the pandemic.

ARTURO SOSA
Superior General of the Society of Jesus
“How can such a situation, which gives such a clear view of existing inequality, lead to political action, to a citizenship that moves in that direction? How does political growth come about? Even democracy could become one of the victims of COVID. Or it could be a moment where democracy rebuilds its foundations at the grass-roots level, thus creating real pressure, because this isn't going to change in two days.”

He also explains that the pandemic has claimed the lives of at least 32 Jesuits, most in the United States, France and Lebanon.

The Society of Jesus has responded with local emergency initiatives, many of them requiring tremendous courage. For example, some have kept soup kitchens and schools open, while others have continued to teach students lacking Internet access.

Javier Martínez-Brocal

Translation: CT