During a visit to Aid to the Church in Need’s headquarters in Germany, Bishop Domingo Barbosa da Silveira of Minas, Uruguay, said "the predominant secularization" in his country is the greatest obstacle to the Church’s mission of evangelization.
"Uruguay is the only country in Latin America in which Christian holidays have been secularized. For example, Holy Week has been renamed ‘tourism week,’ Christmas is now ‘day of the family,’ and Epiphany has become ‘children’s day’," the bishops explained.
According to Bishop Barbosa, while 65% of the three and a half million inhabitants of the country are "baptized Catholics, only 3% practice their faith."
The bishop also noted the "growing poverty and breakdown of the family" as principal problems in Uruguay. "Many people have lost sight of the meaning of life and of spiritual values," he added.