.- Archbishop Fernando Saenz Lacalle of San Salvador, El Salvador, is calling on the country’s new president, Elias Antonio Saca, to strengthen “respect for human life and the family” during his term.
The Archbishop said, “We raise our prayers to the Lord that He may bless the new leaders of our country, so that in this new time respect for human life and the family might be strengthened, that there might be social peace and that they might ensure that the basic rights of work, health, housing and education for all.”
“It is wonderful that in his speech the President placed an emphasis on social issues, on development and all the social aspects of life, but there needs to be more solidarity with those most in need,” the Archbishop added.
Likewise, Archbishop Lacalle called upon all Salvadorans to “pay taxes,” to live out the principle of “subsidiarity,” which implies that “not only does the government have to do things, all of us have to collaborate in the social development of the country.”
The Archbishop underscored that last Thursday President Saca met with different opposition leaders to discuss ways of working together to govern the country and to resolve outstanding issues.
On the other hand, regarding a petition by the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva calling upon El Salvador to reverse an anti-gang law because it violates conventions on the rights of children—prosecuting 12 year old children as adults—the Archbishop defended the legislation saying, “We need security and peace.”
“We need special protection for children, but we also need respect for innocent life, and if some minors constitute a danger, there must be concrete measures to prevent them from doing harm, and this does not mean that they are not protected or that they are not being taken into consideration, but rather maybe it is the best way to keep them from becoming criminals,” the Archbishop added.