AMERICA/ARGENTINA - “Drug addiction is not only a problem of ‘substances’, it is a matter of culture, values, life style and decision": Bishops denounce drug abuse which is widespread among young people and feeds on the innocence and fragility of children

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Buenos Aires (Agenzia Fides) - "Drug abuse, synonym of death " is the title of an pastoral Letter issued by the Catholic Bishops of Argentina at the end of their 94th plenary assembly 5-9 November. In the letter the Bishops remark on the "pain of many families all over the country whose children have been trapped by the effects of drug abuse and its consequences of death and destruction". The Bishops say drug trafficking is firmly established in the country and prospers destroying families and spreading death. Argentina “is not longer a passage way for drugs... drug abuse is widespread among our young people and it takes advantage of the innocence and fragility of children", generating corruption and death,,, drug abuse is dehumanising, it annuls the gift of freedom, causes programmes for life to fail and subject families suffering and grief".
One of the principal causes of this terrible evil the Bishops say is a lack of roots for young people "a precarious present and an uncertain future", very often "if they are unable to find adults willing to listen to them", they fall into "an existential void", and so "drug addiction is not just a problem of ‘substance’, it is a matter of culture, values, life style and decisions". The Bishops say the situation is serious and calls for action on the part of the whole of society, "a social network to promote a culture of life". The Letter gives three principal directions: "promote a culture of life based on transcendent dignity of every human person called to happiness and to live free of all slavery"; remove false illusions that drugs can be taken and left easily; "denounce and pursue traders of death who destroy humanity with their scandalous trafficking, especially the younger generations. The state must invest resources to fight drug trafficking and consumption".
The Bishops conclude expressing a "desire to serve society and help to tackle this evil. The Conference is preparing a programme of pastoral care to be a sign of God's love to those who suffer. The Bishops also express trust that "God the Father will inspire us that we may give an opportune and effective response to this tragedy". (RG) (Agenzia Fides 13/11/2007: righe 29, parole 428)