Chaco (Agenzia Fides) - "If in the first year of the pandemic we had fewer deaths and more unemployed, in this second year we have more deaths and more unemployed, because it is difficult for us to do our job well and there is no exemplary punishment for those people who took advantage of the people's money at this crucial moment of the pandemic", said Bishop Gabriel Escobar of the Apostolic Vicariate of Chaco, Paraguay. During the main mass of the feast in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary Help of Christians, protector of the community, the Bishop addressed directly the central government and the political class that he holds responsible for the situation.
"We continue to have almost zero initiatives in the effort to obtain a good quantity of vaccines against Covid-19 that can be used to immunize the majority of the population", said the Bishop during the homily. "How long will we continue not to do our job well?". "This stagnation in the country - he continued - has its explanation in the dominance and ineptitude of traditional political parties. The leaders of these party institutions should find a way to resolve and put an end to the great inequalities in the field of justice, in the sector of peasants, of workers, for the closure or failure of sources of work that are at the expense of the workers".
The Bishop urged the community to follow the example of the Virgin Mary Help of Christians in terms of humility, simplicity and generosity, of service to the most needy, in the search for truth, with faith and trust in God.
The Bishop's reflection responds to the great concern of the population regarding the vaccine against Covid-19. Paraguay had experienced the first phase of the pandemic with very few deaths, while now the country is suffering because the government machinery that has to deal with vaccination is slow and poorly managed. The Archbishop of Asunción, Mgr. Edmundo Valenzuela, had already denounced this situation some time ago (see Fides, 19/4/2021). In March, the population had protested in the streets for the government's mismanagement regarding the health situation and the economic and social crisis resulting from the pandemic (see Fides, 9/3/2021). Paraguay currently has 342,000 infected and 8,700 victims, out of a population of 7 million inhabitants. Yesterday, May 26, in Upper Paraguay, also in the Chaco area, the construction of a new hospital began as a sign of hope for a better health service to the local population. Archbishop Gabriel Escobar blessed the "first brick", as is tradition in these cases, and said during the ceremony that "finally after years of waiting, the people can closely see a sign of investment in the health sector, especially in areas far from the capital". (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 27/5/2021)