The relation between the Catholic church and the administration of president Mauricio Macri is a mature relation and links are as they should be, and this is based on autonomy and cooperation which is good for both sides, according to Monsignor Jose Maria Arancedo, head of the Argentine Episcopal Conference, CEA.
The prelate was describing a recent meeting of Pope Francis with the CEA leadership including the Archbishop of Buenos Aires and primate of Argentina Cardinal Mario Poli; Salta archbishop Mario Cargnello and Chascomús bishop, Carlos Malfa.
It was a very productive meeting and I found the pope very well and enthusiastic and we reiterated our wish to receive him in Argentina, said monsignor Arancedo who pointed out to the mature and positive meeting of Argentine president Macri with the Pope two days earlier.
”I think the relation (Pope-Macri) stands where it should be: with autonomy, closeness and cooperation, without mixing things because you must be able to distinguish to unite underlined Arancedo who pointed to a responsible relation, serious and mature which I hope will be useful for the whole of the country.
Arancedo pointed out that at the meeting with the Pope the bishops talked about issues related to the Argentine church, its evangelization and pastoral mission, which is of great concern and the initiatives from the different dioceses and communities in the framework of the Holy Year of Mercy convened by Francis.
It was a fraternal and lively encounter with a display of joy and good spirit from the holy father.
As to the meeting two days before of the Pope with Macri, foreign minister Susana Malcorra said that the president showed the administration's plans referred to infancy care, infrastructure and reactivation of the railways system.
There was much interaction on concrete issues and how the administration is trying to advance in those fields; the president is an engineer, short in words so he decided to show up with all the plans and this resulted in a very lively and interesting conversation, said Malcorra.
Francis was very much interested in the railways recovery and the different branches since he knows many of the small towns and villages which have been virtually abandoned by the absence of the train, and the plan will generate jobs and return life to those small population groups.
The minister also downplayed the interpretations of the meeting last February saying that hearing was overblown. The Argentine media then reported that chemistry between the two leaders was not good, and it is known Francis has been critical of the social situation in Argentina regarding employment and poverty.
They are two persons who care and look after things of common interest. It is evident Francis sees Argentina from a very special angle, he's here in Rome, he leads a world church. Does this mean he will bless everything done by the government?, No. Does this mean that the Pope coincides a hundred per cent with all that is been done by the administration?, certainly not, said Malcorra.
The minister added that sometimes people try to ideologize links between Pope Francis and Argentina, but Jorge Mario Bergoglio is above all that and the fact he ended tellin the president, good, press forward” is very significant.