AMERICA/MEXICO - Archbishop Garfías Merlos: "Young people are a key element in building peace"

Monday, 24 June 2019


Mexico City (Agenzia Fides) - "The origin of violence in Mexico is the absence of God in the individual and community life of people, which makes them inhuman and cruel". Thus Mgr. Carlos Garfías Merlos, Archbishop of Morelia and vice-president of the Mexican Bishops' Conference and, commented to Agenzia Fides the alarming figures on the kidnappings and abductions recorded in Mexico City. According to the Executive Secretariat of the National System for Public Security, there was an increase of 271% of the phenomenon, in the last year 28% compared to 2018.
Responsible for the National Plan for the Construction of Peace, in agreement with the Federal Government, Mgr. Garfias explained that, to promote a peace process in Mexico, it is essential to integrate young people: "We are aware of the fact that many young people are attracted by easy earnings and for this reason it is urgent to propose professional training programs so that all those who want to continue studies have the total support of family, society and the Church. We need scholarships and middle and high school support for those who are in financial difficulties. Furthermore, agreements have also been established with some companies that are looking for youth labor".
"The Church's proposal to combat violence - explains Mgr. Garfias - provides attention to the victims, a program to promote peace, which includes the empowerment and training of pastoral agents to deal with the victims".
The Archbishop also said that in places where there is a lot of violence "daily life proceeds normally unless there are dramatic or high-impact episodes such as in the States of Michoacán and Guerrero".
Speaking of social inequality, Mgr. Garfias proposed the establishment of a Center for Social Pastoral in Acapulco, in the parish of Costa Azul, which hosts wealthy faithful, and where programs of attention to young people, solidarity economy and school support are proposed to foster a bond between the wealthiest people and those who are not well off.
Finally, on the issue of migrants, the vice-president of the Mexican episcopate said that "it is important to work to guarantee conditions of equality for the whole population and to help all those who are in situations of need and emergency, such as migrants". (PM/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 24/6/2019)