Mauricio Macri and Alberto Fernández embraced as they attended Mass together Sunday, during which they heard an urging from the pulpit, calling for the coutnry to united – and to avoid attacking one another as adversaries.
"Respect for others is the base of society. We should maintain the unity and the peace. Don't fall to the temptation to want to destroy the other," said Monsignor Jorge Eduardo Scheinig, the archbishop of Mercedes-Luján. during his homily.
The service took place outside in front of the famous Basilica of Our Lady of Luján, about 70 kilometres from the capital in Buenos Aires Province.
Macri and Fernández, fierce political rivals, sat next to one another. Neither made a statement, but they could be heard exchanging comments amongst themselves every so often. They attended with their partners, Juliana Awada and Fabiola Yáñez, respectively, as well as members of both Cabinets.
Scheinig told the officials pointedly that "the poor should be our most cared for brothers." Poverty rose from an estimated 26 percent to around 35 percent in the four years of Macri's administration, according to official statistics.
"The homeland is all of us. No person or group alone or isolated is the country," the priest said.
Scheinig also said "many will help us achieve a social pact," echoing a policy wish of the president-elect, who is seeking to bring together labour groups, employers and businesses to tamp down price increases. "We're aware that what's coming, what we're already living in this world and in Latin America, isn't easy," he said.
During his homily, the priest called for unity, and said people are "tired" of "fights."
"We can't stay trapped in a web of dishonesty, corruption, and immorality," he added.