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Argentine Bishop: The Pope is doing the same thing he did 30 years ago in San Miguel

2014-02-05

Argentine Archbishop Hector Aguer visited Rome. Years ago he worked side by side with Jorge Mario Bergoglio, as auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires, and also in the diocese of San Miguel. He says that the Pope is now doing the same thing he did 30 years ago.

MSGR . HECTOR AGUER
Archbishop of La Plata (Argentina)
"I remember that in the late 70's and early 80's he asked the bishop of San Miguel to establish a parish in the areas near Colegio Máximo, so that he could teach young Jesuits to become missionaries. And that is what he is doing now with the Universal Church."

Msrg. Aguer is happy because Pope Francis is still seen as a close figure in Argentina, even though he was elected months ago. But that doesn't mean everything is smooth and easy for Catholics in the Pope's hometown. Among other challenges, there's a lack of vocations, and not only for priesthood, but also for parenthood.

MSGR . HECTOR AGUER
Archbishop of La Plata (Argentina)
"The situation of the family in society today makes us think about other vocations. I would add that it would be good to give our youth an idea of what a call to love, marriage and family means. Why? Because everyone knows that today almost no one marries, not even through the court.”

The family is not the only concern for Argentine bishops. They are also worried about other social problems such as drug trafficking or social unrest.

MSRG . HECTOR AGUER
Archbishop of La Plata (Argentina)
 "We echo the cry of the people, especially of those who are in a more difficult situation. The economic changes always produce a widespread social impact . What I noticed in Argentina is a climate that is becoming really exasperated and violent. One has to take a lot of care to avoid spreading more division and desperation. That is why the words of the bishops are a call to harmony, to peace, to the discernment of situations. That is our main task now."

One thing all Argentinians share is that they are all proud of having a Pope from their homeland. They are looking forward to 2016, when Pope Francis will hopefully travel there to celebrate 200 years of independence.


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