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ARGENTINA | 27-08-2019 17:08

Church leaders ask Macri to strengthen food assistance for poor

President Mauricio Macri and Church leaders agree to "strengthen efforts to provide food assistance" to the poor and look beyond "political speculation," amid the ongoing economic crisis.

President Mauricio Macri and the leadership of the Catholic Church this morning have agreed to "strengthen efforts to provide food assistance" to the poor and look beyond "political speculation," amid the ongoing economic crisis.

The comments were made by National Secretary of Worship Alfredo Abriani, after President Macri had met with Church leaders at the Casa Rosada. 

The Juntos por el Cambio leader welcomed a group that included Oscar Ojea, the head of he Argentine Synod (Argentine Episcopal Conference, CEA), the Archbishop of Buenos Aires Mario Poli and the Bishop of Chascomús Carlos Malfa for a meeting in his office. 

The group were due to "analyse the social situation" in Argentina, according to a press statement.

"We all agreed on the need to strengthen food assistance and to work together for those who need it most," Abriani told reporters.

The Church official said that the group had led "a review of the current situation after the elections" with the president, who "ratified his commitment to be more presidential than ever" and vowed to "take care of Argentines and not to engage in political spectulation." 

"We all agree to call for responsibility at this delicate time and not to speculate politically in these times of uncertainty," Abriani added.

For his part, the president called on the Church's leadership to help him maintain "social cohesion" in the lead up to the October election.

"The president assured the commitment to continue working for the union and peace of the Argentines and, in that sense, called for the collaboration of the Church, which is a fundamental actor that can help social cohesion," said a statement released by the Casa Rosada.

The CEA (Conferencia Episcopal Argentina) said it had asked Macri to ensure "electoral campaign does not prevent us from looking at the urgent needs of many citizens."

At the meeting, the bishops expressed to the president "the need to find solutions to the serious crisis of the current moment, beyond the development of the electoral process." 

Macri's meeting with Church leaders comes a week after Frente de Todos presidential candidate Alberto Fernández made a visit to the Synod's headquarters in Retiro, where he discussed the " delicate socio-economic situation that affects Argentines."

– TIMES/NA/TÉLAM

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