Amid Uruguay's Crisis, Bishops Call for Day of Prayer

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, AUG. 22, 2002 ( Uruguay’s Catholic bishops called for a Day of Prayer for the Homeland, to be observed this Sunday when the country commemorates its independence.

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A severe recession, exacerbated by the Argentine debacle, has affected Uruguay’s trade and tourism and even its financial system.

On July 30 the government ordered banks shut for four days to stop a run on them. Three private banks have been suspended for lack of liquidity.

The Uruguayan economy is expected to fall by 11% this year, while inflation is rising by 40%.

The bishops propose to pray to the Lord, through the intercession of his Mother, the Virgin of the Thirty-Three, patroness of Uruguay, to «enlighten us and give us sufficient courage to overcome together the obstacles of the present moment.»

There will also be prayer to the Holy Spirit, to grant «the gift of wisdom to those whom we have elected to lead our country at a time that is so disconcerting and difficult.»

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