Mexican presidential candidates to present proposals to bishops

.- The president of the Bishops’ Conference of Mexico, Bishop Jose Guadalupe Martin Rabago, confirmed this week that several of the country’s presidential candidates, including Roberto Madrazo, Andres Lopez Obrador and Felipe Calderon, will address the bishops at their general assembly April 24-28 about their proposals for the country.

Speaking to reporters, Bishop Rabago explained that “due to the short amount of time we have for this assembly,” it was impossible “to permit other candidates to attend.”

“We hope that the candidates will explain their proposals in order to maintain an equally close relationship with all, as later they will debate in public in order to make their plans known to the entire country so that people can have greater clarity about the person for whom they will vote in the upcoming elections,” he added.

Historic encounter

The secretary general of the Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Carlos Aguiar Retes, called the upcoming meeting with the candidates “historic”, adding that “this type of thing has never happened before.”

In an interview with the newspaper “Proceso,” Bishop Aguiar Retes said the bishops are interested in “knowing firsthand the position of each candidate” about “those issues that are of interest to us” and about which “they speak little,” such as the defense of life and values.

Another issue of concern to the Church in Mexico is access to the media and full recognition of religious freedom.

Bishop Retes said the meetings with the candidates will be private and last two hours.  Candidates will first outline their proposals and then take questions from the bishops.

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