Argentine Bishops Address National Crisis

BUENOS AIRES, NOV. 20, 2001 ( Argentina´s bishops expressed their closeness to fellow citizens «at this time of disconcert and suffering,» in a letter published at the end of the episcopal conference´s plenary assembly.

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«We are aware that our homeland is suffering, and all of us along with it,» stated the «Letter to the People of God» published Saturday.

«The breach between those who have much and the multitudes who live below the level required by human dignity is ever wider,» the letter added.

Argentina has been plunged in a recession for 42 months. The country is struggling with $132 billion in debt, and a devalued peso.

The bishops said their assembly focused again on the «social and political problems that have taken Argentina to this hitherto unheard of crisis,» such as the «idea of the philanthropic state; squandering of public funds; extreme liberalism, through market tyranny; tax evasion; lack of respect for the law, both in obeying it as well as in the way it is dictated and applied; loss of the meaning of work.»

«In a word, a generalized corruption that undermines the nation´s cohesion and discredits us before the world,» the bishops concluded.

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