Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec 16, 2003 / 22:00 pm
Auxiliary Bishop José Antonio Gentico of Buenos Aires says “it is absurd that in a country like Argentina where bread abounds, children are dying of hunger. This cannot be!” he said in a magazine interview published by the Archdiocese’s Committee on Childhood and Adolescence.
The Church “cannot ignore” such situations and must “denounce those in public power and make them see reality. There needs to be a social consciousness that this is a problem for the State, a problem for the country. We encourage the laity to be more politically and socially committed.” The root of this problem is selfishness. “This means,” he continued, “that there is a group of nations, of peoples that accumulate [wealth] while others die of hunger. If people do not change, the structures will not either.”
For Bishop Gentico the anxieties which children suffer are “terrible” and “cry out to heaven,” and therefore “as the Church we should denounce this with a prophetic voice.” He reiterated the need for a greater commitment on the part of “all Christians in the social and political spheres as well. Because if we give away a piece of bread but the policies don’t change, it’s useless.”
Referring to the question of jobs, the bishop said that “without a decent job to provide for the family’s well-being, we’re just putting band-aids on the problem. The culture of work needs to be renewed. The culture of work upon which our parents and grandparents build their families has been broken. And therefore, today we have young people who don’t know what to do, who have no vision, who can neither study nor work.”