The Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, exhorted thousands of students this week not to be trapped by “the proposal of the easy shortcut, instant gratification, alcohol or drugs, because that is darkness.”
During the traditional Mass for Education, the cardinal also urged young people to “walk in the light” and not to be seduced by the purveyors of darkness. “Open your hearts to the light even though it is hard, do not allow yourselves to be enslaved by the promises that seem to be freedom but are in reality oppression, the promises of vain happiness, the promises of darkness.”
Cardinal Bergoglio recalled that teachers and schools have the responsibility to defend children and adolescents. “Go out and announce this way of life, this way in which the light overcomes,” he said, adding they must warn young people of the seriousness of drugs. “We have no idea how serious this gloomy proposal is, this corruption that is even distributed on the street corners of our schools.”
Pointing to a letter written by 20 Buenos Aires priests on the drug addiction crisis, the cardinal said, “this is not a issue [just] for these priests, it’s an issue for us all. It is an issue for me and for all the auxiliary bishops who support this statement.”
“This darkness is so strong that yesterday one of the priests who signed the statement was threatened, and we know that these threats are no joke. We do not know how they will end up,” he added.
Some of the poorer areas in Buenos Aires, referred to as “villas,” are suffering from a large number of drug addicts and related violence.