Archbishop outlines deep Catholic roots of Argentina

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Archbishop Hector Aguer of La Plata, Argentina said locals should be proud that the country's Catholic foundation has been preserved throughout its two-hundred year history.

“The Catholic presence in the origin of our national identity cannot be ignored,” he said during his weekly television program, “Keys to a Better World,” on July 7.

Archbishop Aguer recalled that the Church had a decisive role in the founding of the country, noting that in both the struggle for independence and the life of the nation as a whole, the “presence of the Church cannot be ignored.”

Although some historians “want to re-read history in order to put a parenthesis around the Catholic presence,” the archbishop said, the move towards independence characterized by the influence of notable Catholic clergy and laymen.

This presence is especially noticeable the further one gets from Buenos Aires. Deep inside Argentina, he said, “The substratum of Catholic culture that was passed on from generation to generation in the early years remains prevalent.”

After the country’s war of independence, the Church in Argentina “entered a period of difficulties,” Archbishop Aguer explained.

“While our patriots sought to help the Catholic cause from the beginning, relations with the Holy See were interrupted and the number of priests was low.”

“How was the faith passed on? In the family, at home. It was the mothers and the grandmothers who passed on from one generation to the next the fundamental truths of the faith, together with love of country,” he said.

“For this reason, the Catholic presence in the origin of our nationality cannot be ignored, and it is good to remember that each time we celebrate one of our national holidays,” the archbishop stated.

“We need to work hard so this is not lost, and this always depends on each one of us.” 

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