Agenzia Fides REPORT - The Bishop of the Diocese of Neuquén and Vice President of the Argentine Episcopal Conference, Hios Exc. Mgr. Virginio Domingo Bressanelli, S.C.I., expressed concern about the economic situation, social inequality that still exists in the country, in particular in the province of his diocese, and for the spread of drugs. The note sent to Fides Agency is an interview to the local press by the Bishop, in which he states: "The year 2012 was not one of the best years from the economic point of view. It is said that in 2013 and 2014, the situation can improve ... It is well known that when there are difficult situations, those who suffer the most are the vulnerable, the poorest, those with lower incomes or those without work." Mgr. Bressanelli, Bishop of Neuquén since 2011, pointed out that "the number of people who are in a vulnerable situation, who I met on the street and asked for help has increased."
The causes of the social situation, Mgr. Bressanelli cited "the international crisis, especially in the West, and the very few foreign investment in Argentina that have limited sources of employment." Therefore he said: "We (bishops) are neither the opposition nor the government, we are Pastors." This is why the document of the Argentinean Bishops touched "two important issues, such as family and social life."
The words of the Bishop were motivated by his demand for a decisive intervention of the State to counter consumption and drug addiction. "In Neuquén alcohol, gambling and drugs addicts are a serious problem" denounced Mgr. Bressanelli. According to what was reported, the figures are alarming: the average age when drugs begin decreased from 14 to 8 years. "Drug problem is now also present in primary schools," he said, saying he is in favor of increasing social workers. "The question of dependence must be attacked from all sides," concluded Mgr. Bressanelli. (CE)