.- Archbishop Hugo Barrantes Urena of Costa Rica sent his greetings to the country’s first female president, Laura Chinchilla, reminding her of the need for collaboration between the Church and the State. The new president responded by expressing her commitment to defending and promoting Christian values.
Radio Fides, the official radio station of the Archdiocese of San Jose, released a phone conversation between the archbishop and the president-elect. The prelate congratulated Chinchilla adding that he was proud she would become “the first female president to lead us in the executive branch...My prayer is with you.”
He went on to note that “the Church and the State are independent but not indifferent to each other.” For this reason, he continued, “those programs in which the human being is at the center will always have our support.”
“May God enlighten you so your policies will embrace those most in need. I know that you are a worthy person and of your great intentions to make Costa Rica better.”
For her part, Chinchilla responded, “I am grateful for the gestures of the Catholic Church in the creation of a climate of harmony...I will always be appreciative of the Church’s advice, which is welcome.”
She thanked the archbishop for his words, which she said were “very heartfelt and based on the social doctrine of the Church.”
“The latest papal encyclical (Caritas in veritate) sheds much light on this,” she added.
Chinchilla also expressed her commitment to the “defense of the truth and the values the Church proclaims. I will strive to keep them at the center of my administration.”
“Let us ask for strength of our patroness, Our Lady of the Angels,” said Chinchilla, who then traveled to the shrine to give thanks for her election victory.