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Costa Rica ambassador praises 'paternal' heart of Pope Francis
By Elise Harris
Ambassador Jaime Feinzaig, Costa Rican ambassador to Italy, speaks with CNA on Nov. 8 2013. Credit: Andreas Dueren/CNA.
Ambassador Jaime Feinzaig, Costa Rican ambassador to Italy, speaks with CNA on Nov. 8 2013. Credit: Andreas Dueren/CNA.

.- The Costa Rican ambassador to Italy praised Pope Francis for his example and attention to the poor, speaking also of the many visible fruits in the country's relationship with the Vatican.

“We are absolutely marveled, absolutely happy he has been selected, because His Holiness has an attitude...so beautiful, so paternal, so open,” Ambassador Jaime Feinzaig reflected in a Nov. 8 interview with CNA.

Feinzaig has held the position as Costa Rica's ambassador to Italy for just over a year, and accompanied the president of the country, Laura Chinchilla, in an audience with the Pope last week.

Expressing his joy in election of the Argentinian pontiff, the ambassador reflected that “the election of Pope Francis is one of the most important acts of the century. It’s one of the most important acts in the history of the Catholic Church.”

Despite having been in office for such a short time, Feinzaig revealed that there are already “logical” and “obvious” changes in Costa Rica’s interaction with the Italy so far since the new pontiff’s election.

Many changes can be seen “worldwide” he noted, due to Pope Francis' unique “style,” emphasizing that “with his example, with the dialogues” he offers a new approach to situations.

“He preaches with his own example, with his example he is changing all the structures that haven't always been all good. So we only have blessings for the Holy Father. In this I speak in the name of all of Costa Rica.”

Among the issues discussed in Chinchilla's cordial meeting with the Holy Father were the country's infrastructure problems, the need for peace and the means required in order to obtain it, as well as concern surrounding the use of nuclear and chemical weapons.

Both sides of the discussion also stressed the need for greater collaboration between the Church and State in their shared concern over the protection of human life and environmental concerns, as well as handling various social problems.

Despite these present concerns, Fenzaig highlighted several areas of growth in the country where many fruits of previous collaboration efforts can be seen, one of which is the topic of immigration.

This issue is “very, very, very important,” he stressed, adding that “Costa Rica has been extremely open to all the immigration.”

Recalling how most of the country's immigrants come from Nicaragua, the ambassador revealed that “It's interesting the Costa Rican government is welcoming Nicaraguan people that don't have work in Nicaragua,” adding that the relationship between the people in each country is “very close, it's very nice.”

Although the influx of immigrants is “a source of” problems for Costa Rica, Fenzaig observed that “Costa Ricans and Nicaraguans, we are brothers, we are brothers and sisters.”

When asked if Pope Francis' continuous call to have compassion for the poor and marginalized has helped to foster this attitude, the ambassador replied “Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. The Holy Father is a man truly wise,” and “truly magnificent.”

“Really, with all of my heart, compliments.”

Feinzaig also made known that there will be a special delegation of different ambassadors to the Holy See on the Dec. 8-10 of of next year, where they will have the opportunity for a private audience with the Bishop of Rome.

Tags: Church in Costa Rica, Vatican diplomats


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