AMERICA/ARGENTINA - Priest threatened with death returns to the capital to continue to fight against drugs

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Buenos Aires (Agenzia Fides) - The priest José María "Pepe" Di Paola, who long ago left the neighborhood Barracas of the Argentine capital, because threatened by drug traffickers, will return to Buenos Aires to continue his program of prevention and recovery of addicts. "This is to continue to support people with these addictions and fight against this scourge that kills so many innocent people in a few months. A task to which I feel called in the Church," said the priest.
The note sent to Fides Agency reports that Fr. Di Paola almost 3 years ago left Barracas for the city of Campo Gallo, in the diocese of Añatuya, after being threatened with death by drug traffickers because of his fight against drug addiction. In the parish of Our Lady of Caacupé he gave rise to the community "Hogar de Cristo," to allow adolescents and young drug addicts to be part of society again. Now he will go back to Buenos Aires, he explained, "to continue the unfinished mission." Even if the priest has not said where he will go exactly, Church sources consulted by the local press have said he will be "in the territory of the Diocese of Lomas de Zamora."
Fr. Di Paola is one of the priests who have raised his voice against the legislative initiative to legalize drugs so-called "recreational", particularly marijuana, and to allow the cultivation, but has always maintained his position not to criminalize the addict. The great Buenos Aires suffers much the drug problem, so that the Church has insisted, even recently (cfr. the Bishops’ Message for Christmas, see Fides 04/12/2012) to combat this scourge. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 18/12/2012)