The president of the Argentinean bishops’ Committee on Health Care Ministry has stated that education is necessary to break the cycle of poverty.
President of the committee, Bishop Luis Stockler, released his letter on poverty to mark the National Day of the Sick in Argentina.
The bishop warned that the lack of nutrition and medical care during pregnancy and the first three years of life leads to a weakening of the immune system, delayed mental development, an increase in school drop-outs, illiteracy, unemployment and unpreparedness for marriage.
Bishop Stockler noted that this cycle, as well as infant mortality, keeps society from climbing out of the spiral of poverty. “Poverty leads to illness and illness leads to poverty. In our parishes and chapels we must realize that poor nutrition and medical care in a community is an indicator of social injustice,” he said.
The key to overcoming poverty is education, the bishop continued, “understood as loving and respectful treatment, person to person, heart to heart. If we educate parents, especially mothers, we are educating the family.” He urged Church institutions to bolster their efforts to train parents in caring for the basic needs of the family and to reach out to those in need.
“The Church can’t possibly provide all of the material resources for needy families,” he noted, “but we can raise awareness in our communities, where we all wish to strive to decisively overcome the negligence that is the cause of poverty,” the bishop concluded.