Argentina bishops warn against bitter political division

.- Argentina's bishops called on citizens to prevent the country from being torn into staunch partisan divides, urging a unified support for marriage and the defense of life.

“After almost thirty years of democracy, we Argentineans run the risk of dividing ourselves into irreconcilable camps once again,” the bishops said in a message for Advent released on Nov. 29.

“Fear is spreading that these divisions are becoming sharper and that pressure is being exerted to inhibit the free expression and participation of all in civic life.”

They noted that democracy has not yet fully matured in Argentina due to what they called excessive strong-man politics and the conflict between “the unitary and federal visions of the nation, which was widespread at the dawn of our country and has manifested itself intermittently at different moments in history.”

“When we say in our prayers that we want to be a nation, we are expressing a longing that is clearly manifest in our Constitution. We want to be a nation truly based on a republican, representative and federal system,” the bishops said.

In their message they also highlighted that “the dignity of life from conception to natural death is the foundation of all other human rights,” stressing that Argentinean laws must respect this right.

“The family, founded upon marriage between man and woman, is a value that is rooted in our people. It supersedes the State and is the foundation of all of society. Nothing can replace it,” the bishops added.

“A cultural mindset and a series of legislative measures that seem to undermine its importance and harm its identity is cause for concern.”

They concluded by defending the right of parents to educate their children according to their moral convictions and emphasizing that civics should be taught to students without being politicized or tainted by partisan ideology.

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