AMERICA/ARGENTINA - Bishops join in prayer before the Virgin of Lujan for a national policy “in which every Argentinean understands that he is valued and respected, one that allows our community to enjoy an authentic and peaceful coexistence.”

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Lujan (Agenzia Fides) - The Archbishop of Mercedes-Lujan and second Vice-President of the Bishops’ Conference of Argentina, Archbishop Agustin Radrizzani, invoked the Virgin of Lujan during the Mass yesterday in the Basilica, asking that Argentineans “may find a way, overcoming all egoism, to banish inequality so that there may never exist among us people who have too much nor those who suffer hunger, that no one may feel excluded and that all may be able to live with dignity.”
The Bishops who participated in the 95th Plenary Assembly went to the Shrine to offer their prayers to the Virgin on behalf of the Argentinean people, “especially for the poorest, weakest, and those who suffer most.” Archbishop Radrizzani prayed that the Argentineans “may learn to foster and cultivate a favorable attitude towards dialogue in truth and mutual respect within the various sectors, as the necessary path in the search for the common good,” convinced that “dialogue does not imply an opportunity to impose or overcome the other or try to convince him of my opinion.”
“Dialogue yields fruit,” the Archbishop of Lujan continued, “when each person tries to see things from the other’s perspective and an agreement is met, a common ground, although perhaps not all that one desired is obtained. However, everyone involved is enriched by the experience of having sought the truth with sincerity and docility.”
The Mass, which included a special Prayer for the Nation, was concelebrated by Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires; Archbishop Luis Villalba of Tucuman; Cardinal Estanislao Karlic, Archbishop emeritus of Parana; and Archbishop Mario Maulion of Parana. Another hundred Prelates from all over the country also joined in the celebration.
Archbishop Radrizzani asked the Virgin “to help us defend the rights of each province and people. May our country’s institutions be strengthened, according to our Constitution, as it is the surest guarantee in enabling all our people to see that they are respected and included in our beloved homeland.”
The prayer said, “We pray for a national policy in which every Argentinean understands that he is valued and respected in his dignity, one that allows our community to enjoy an authentic and peaceful coexistence, where we all work to overcome all avarice and that with magnanimous hearts, we may always see our neighbor as our brother.”
As the Plenary Assembly continued, the President of the Bishops’ Committee on Migration and Tourism, Bishop Ruben Oscar Frassia of Avellaneda-Lanus presented a report on the problem of migration, which he presented as “an unavoidable challenge for governments and their people.” After recalling that “migrants are forced to abandon their homeland due to hunger, illness, and the various forms of ideological, ethnic, religious, and cultural persecution,” he saw the need to consider the migration in neighboring countries, the continental migration, and migration within their own country.
The Prelate stated that, “it is the government’s duty to regulate migration, respecting people’s dignity and the needs of their families, taking into account the demands this places on the society that receives immigrants.” He also mentioned the need for “an analysis of the situation, considering all the variables: the context of globalization and its consequences on humanity, the governing crisis regarding migration, the situation of the Latin American countries, the MERCOSUR regularization plan, and in terms of migratory legislation, the need for a new migration law based on a general consensus among the various sectors of society.”
Bishop Frassia stated that this topic “is a challenge for the entire society, who has the responsibility of responding to it.” The meeting was also attended by Bishop Agostino Marchetto, Secretary for the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, who also presented a detailed reflection on the topic. (RG) (Agenzia
Fides 10/4/2008; righe 51, parole 620)