Just a few short hours after the executive committee of the Bishops’ Conference of Argentina issued a statement calling for social peace in the country, the Minister of Justice, Anibal Fernandez, rebuked the bishops and said the government doesn’t need or want the Church’s help.
“We must avoid attitudes that lead to confrontation and division,” the bishops said, “and that generate a climate of confrontation that fosters violence. The present moment demands sincere and transparent dialogue, reconciliation among all Argentineans and the search for a consensus that strengthens social peace.”
However, Fernandez told the bishops the government doesn’t need their help. Government officials reacted to the statement by saying that they considered the comments to be negative criticism, with Fernandez adding that the Church should put out statements that are “more encouraging.”
“We are rebuilding a country that was going up in flames,” he said in response to the bishops’ comments. Ironically, Fernandez held an important post in the previous administration, which considers the current government to be continuing its policies.