Pilar (Agenzia Fides) - "What have we done with our homeland? Forty years after the recovery of democracy, we see with pain how many chances we have lost to build a flourishing and happy Argentina". The bitter observation comes from the Bishops of Argentina, gathered for the Plenary Assembly of the Bishops' Conference being held April 24-28 at the retreat house "El Cenáculo" in the town of Pilar. Among the topics on the agenda are the synodal path, youth ministry, social ministry and the educational Pact.
"Anger and tiredness are not good counselors", continued the Bishops, who invited "to continue to trust in the democratic path ... It is always possible to be reborn if we do it together. There is always a way forward if we are able to speak up and put our country on our shoulders. This is a desire that knows no yielding or parties, it belongs to a people".
In their April 26 message, the Pastors shared the pain of seeing the suffering of an entire people, caused "by the burden of disappointment, broken promises, broken dreams" and also by the "lack of a clear horizon for our children". It is increasingly difficult to put bread on the table, to take care of one’s health, compounded by the fear of going out on the streets, violence and generalized aggression. "The loss of the values that sustained family and social life is being felt more and more", they reiterate. " The dropout of the boys from school hurts our souls... We forget again that the best security policy is education".
The Bishops "implore those with greater responsibility" to think of the suffering of many, rather than the petty interests of a few. They therefore call for "concrete and realistic proposals" instead of inconsistent solutions; to listen to each other and discuss with respect until common ground is found; to move toward "a strategic development project that opens a horizon of hope, dignity, social peace, work and prosperity, privileging those who have been thrown into oblivion."
Quoting Pope Francis in the encyclical "Fratelli Tutti", the Argentine Bishops invite us to cultivate the great values of honesty, respect, care for life, kindness, service and justice, as "without these there will be no policies or projects to pull us out of the pit." Political activity should also be based on "an austere and consistent life." They propose a path of faith to believers, asking the "God who gave us life and loves us so much" to give us the strength not to give up and to keep fighting.
Finally they inform that they have decided that all dioceses in the country will go on a mission, visiting some neighborhoods where the most vulnerable and abandoned live. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 27/4/2023)