AMERICA/ARGENTINA - Bishops say frank and honest dialogue and a spirit of reconciliation is needed to overcome present fragmentation. They also say new education law must cater for transcendent dimension of the human person and respect parent’s right to decide how children are educated

Monday, 13 November 2006

Pilar (Agenzia Fides) - The Catholic Bishops of Argentina have called for “frank dialogue involving all society in order to end excessive present fragmentation”. In a statement “Common Good and Dialogue", issued by at the end of a plenary assembly 6-11 November the Bishops say " dialogue is a great means for building and consolidating democracy". Therefore "intensifying dialogue the country will overcome this excessive fragmentation which weakens society and find the necessary consensus to reaffirm its identity and grow in social friendship". The Bishops also call for "a true spirit of reconciliation born of truth and sustained by justice which reaches its fullness in love" in order to consolidate the nation.
The Bishops say despite progress made in recent years "levels of poverty and social exclusion are still high". And they call for "more concern for the poor and in a spirit of solidarity work to increase the riches of the country and distribute them with more equity", urging all Argentineans to assume personal responsibility and play a more active part in building civil society and achieving the common good.
In a Pastoral Letter to the faithful on the subject of the new law on national education the Bishops underline certain important principles to be included so the new law will be "an effective mans of formation for the future generations of Argentineans and for the common good of the country". First of all they say that the "principal and subsidiary role of the State must respect the natural and inalienable right of parents to decide how their children are educated and in keeping with their own faith and beliefs". Integral education must necessarily include the transcendent dimension of man. The bishops say "our children and young people deserve an education law which takes fully into consideration the aspirations of the person and offers every child the chance to know, love and believe in God, Creator and Father of all". The Letter says "education is the indispensable basis for a society of justice and solidarity supported by the values of peace, freedom, equality and commitment for the common good", and the state must give equal funding to state and private the Bishops say calling on parents and teachers to promote these principles and legislators to include them in the new law. (RG) (Agenzia Fides 13/11/2006; righe 30, parole 427)