Emigration Jeopardizes Stability of Family in Ecuador

Says Bishop to Aid to the Church in Need

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KONIGSTEIN, Germany, SEPT. 24, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Growing emigration to Europe and the United States is threatening family stability in Ecuador, said one of their bishops to Aid to the Church in Need.

According to Bishop Rafael Cob Garcia, the apostolic vicariate of Puyo, as reported in a statement Aid to the Church in Need, this phenomenon is causing a division of society.

«Ecuador has sufficient natural resources, for example, crude oil,» the bishop said.

However, the «lack of good governance, political stability, and social justice» has led to the present situation, he added.

Consequently, thousands of Ecuadorians are obliged to leave the country in search of better opportunities, the prelate explained.

Covering an area of 30,000 square kilometers, the apostolic vicariate of Puyo has some 60,000 inhabitants, 90 percent of whom are Catholic. Among them are 17 priests and ten seminarians.

«In this region, there is virtually no infrastructure. Many small villages are located in remote, backward areas»; education «is crucial to development here and support from abroad for Catholic schools is indispensable,» he added.

Asked about his priorities, the bishop listed the formation of priests and the laity, as well as the building up of living Church communities to contain the influence of sects. «Catholics must be firmly convinced of their faith,» he concluded.

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