.- Bishop Roberto Rodriguez of La Rioja, Argentina, has appealed to the government to create a global plan for the country. In view of the upcoming presidential elections in October, the bishop has called on Argentinian politicians to think about the future by considering the direction of their society.
In an interview with Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), Bishop Rodriguez said that politicians should deal with “specific present-day problems", by asking the fundamental question of where society is going. Commenting on the current efforts he said, “this was something that could not be seen at present.”
“In their actions with regard to society generally, and to domestic, foreign and economic policy, the politicians should constantly be asking themselves the question of meaning,” the bishop remarked.
Relations between the Church and the Argentinian government are somewhat strained, he added. While the government does maintain contacts with some individual bishops, Bishop Rodriguez observed, this dialogue should be at the level of the Bishops’ Conference.
The chief areas where the bishop sees a lack of thought about the direction of society are those of abortion and family planning. "We bishops are not playing politics, but society must be established on an ethical footing", he added. The Church is offering the politicians her collaboration in this ethical discussion, he said.
The prelate sees another threat in the way that the media can distort its reporting on the Church. "We have seen what they did with the Holy Father's speech in Regensburg. Many journalists draw false conclusions because they do not read what people have really said", added Bishop Rodriguez. This often represents a bigger threat to the Church than state policy, he concluded.
On the other hand, the freedom of the press is also being endangered in several Latin American countries, the worst being Venezuela and Bolivia. ACN’s information director, Dr. Martin Fontanari, warned that these developments must be watched so that, "the warning voice of the Church in society is not silenced."