.- Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City released a statement this week, standing by the priests of Iztapalapa who are being “warned” by drug traffickers. The Cardinal called on his priests to confront the concrete reality of drugs through pastoral work that reclaims family values and supports the region’s poor.
The Archdiocese of Mexico’s news service reported that during the cardinal’s visit to the Vicariate of Iztapalapa, the priests there told him that drug traffickers and local residents warned them that they “should be silent in response to the spread of drugs,” which is a phenomenon related to poverty and is one of the most serious issued facing the region.
“Before thinking about a confrontation with drug traffickers, we should ask ourselves what we should do so that society does not lose its values,” the Cardinal said, adding that the Church has the obligation to help because “society expects that the Church contribute to solving such a grave problem.”
Cardinal Rivera said the drug problem must be addressed at its root and that independent of the efforts of the government, the Church needs to develop a pastoral plan based on education, prevention, and awareness. Many people, he explained, fall into drugs as an escape from loneliness.
The prevalence of single mothers who are unable to dedicate enough time to their children, as well as even the layout of some homes leads to the spread of drugs and gangs, the cardinal noted. “In some homes families feel smothered, they need space for living and recreating,” he stressed.