AMERICA/ECUADOR - Apostolic Vicar of Napo: "The spread of drugs among the very young is a big challenge"

Thursday, 15 September 2016 bishops   missionary animation   development   youth  

Rome (Agenzia Fides) - "The serious problem of drug use which is widespread among the young has become a big challenge" says His Exc. Mgr. Adelio Pasqualotto, C.S.I., Apostolic Vicar of Napo, Ecuador, who is in Rome for the Seminar Study for recently appointed Bishops in mission territories organized by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (see Fides 02/09/2016).
"The Apostolic Vicariate is in the central part of Ecuador", explains to Fides Mgr. Pasqualotto, "this geographical location is situated on the way towards Colombia, where trade but also drugs, a lot of drugs come from"..
"It is almost unthinkable that in what was such a remote and quiet area for many years, is now an area where the serious drug problem among the very young has become a social concern - says the Bishop. Drug traffickers place themselves in front of schools and wait for the weakest. We as a church do everything we can, our pastoral care is centered on catechesis and sacramental preparation, but there is no police control. That is why it has become a challenge: we must prepare young people to protect young people".
With about 20 parishes and not even 30 priests, the Vicariate covers an area of 24,600 km2. The population, about 140 thousand inhabitants, mainly live in poverty and suffer from the general economic situation. "The last earthquake that hit us did much damage on the coast of Ecuador, but left a mark all over the country. On the coast it left destruction and misery", the Bishop concluded.
(CE) (Agenzia Fides, 15/09/2016)