Reset the relationship of the Church with the government, establish a firm stance against the growth of poverty, evaluate the last short cuts with the president Mauricio Macri and propose a scheme of gradual renunciation of state support with a final message issued to the Papa Francisco. Under these prerogatives The Plenary Assembly of the Argentine Episcopate, which brings together bishops from all over the country, will begin today.
The 116th Plenary Assembly of the Argentine Episcopate will begin a session with a Mass presided by its president, Monsignor Oscar Ojea, from the House of Exercises "The Cenacle", in the city of Pilar, and will continue until next Friday, where it is expected to be issued a final document. .
"The agenda of the assembly of the Episcopal Commission is wide, but certainly the issue of poverty, the support of the state and the mass of Luján with the unions led by Moyano that caused so much concern in the government will be the focus of the debates," he admitted. last night Infobae a prelate near Ojea.
It has not been ruled out that there is a final message to Pope Francis, although it has been clarified that the Supreme Pontiff "will have no interference in the development of the Episcopal Assembly."
During the assembly, the bishops will receive the visit of Cardinal Peter Turkson, Prefect of the Department for the Integral Human Development Service. And the different episcopal commissions will have their usual meetings in which they will share the pastoral actions that are being carried out.
The theme of State support for bishops will be addressed, as there is an agreement of the Episcopal Assembly and Casa Rosada to establish a "gradual dismissal scheme" of prelates to that income of the State to separate the Church-Government bond that must be defined in this episcopal assembly.
Currently, in the 2019 budget, the government established funds for the Church at 126 million pesos and there is an idea of reducing state spending gradually.
However, the Secretary of Worship Alfredo Arbriani has already advanced to Monsignor Ojea in a meeting that they held two weeks ago and revealed Infobae, that the move away from state support to the bishops will be gradual and will not be eliminated suddenly in 2020, since it fell yesterday from some media.
"There is a closed agreement so that the Church and the State take their time and that the support to the bishops is gradual and agreed upon," he explained. Infobae a close friend of Arbiani.
Strictly speaking, last August there was a meeting of the Secretary of Worship with the bishops of the Episcopal Conference, where they spoke of "discussing alternatives and the bishops assumed a gradual renunciation."
On the other hand, near Ojea admitted that the controversy triggered by the mass in the Basilica of Luján, where Monsignor Agustín Radrizzani received the dome of the guild of the truck drivers led by Hugo Moyano, which generated a strong discomfort of the Casa Rosada, will be another subject to be discussed starting today in the pastoral retreat of Pilar.
From this point of view, there were already two public letters clarifying Radrizzani where he said that "it was not the intention of the Church" to harm some believers who were upset by this mass. Thus, it is hoped to clarify this bond of the bishops with the political leadership and the corporations, especially taking into account that an electoral year is coming and the actors of the politics will be sensitive to this type of gestures of the Church.
The other central theme of the meeting of bishops that begins tomorrow is the advancement of poverty in Argentina.
The Church has already expressed its concern about poverty levels and at the last meeting Ojea with the governor of Buenos Aires María Eugenia Vidal and with the Minister of Social Development Carolina Stanley The need to continue to support parish social assistance has been lifted.
Regardless of, Infobae He was able to know that the bishops will have access to the latest poverty issues handled by the Catholic University of Argentina's Social Debt Observatory (UCA), which warns of an increase of more than 31% of the poor in Argentina. In addition, each of the bishops will bring to the debate the reality of their provinces, where the issue of increasing poverty is an area of concern for all.
This growth, which will be announced by the UCA report in December, will be part of the topics to be analyzed by the bishops, although there is already a decision by the Church to "continue to accompany and help those who need it most in coordination with the bishops" . the state, "said a prelate who speaks assiduously to the leaders of the episcopal conference.
According to its statute, "the Plenary Assembly is the principal and principal organ of the Episcopal Conference which expresses in a particular way the collegial affection of its members" and is held twice a year. 93 bishops (diocesan, auxiliary), 3 diocesan priests administrators and invited 43 eminent bishops are called, the Apostolic Nuncio and an elected bishop.