Argentine President Alberto Fernández finally gave up his plans to spend the May 25 National holiday in Antarctica and walked from Casa Rosada with his entourage to the Cathedral after breakfast for the traditional te Deum (thanksgiving service) at the Buenos Aires Cathedral in charge of Archbishop Mario Poli, Jorge Bergoglio's successor since the latter became Pope Francis.
In his homily, Poli called for a fraternal Argentina and never mentioned the country's current economic plight as Bergoglio used to do in times of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. The prelate did, however, address the many gaps stemming from the economic crisis and questioned the ethics of those in power.
When the bread is lacking in so many families is when we have to think about our neighbors and their basic needs: education, health, and justice, Poli said before President Fernández, members of the ministerial cabinet, lawmakers, and Buenos Aires City officials headed by Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta.
Poli's message was apparently aimed at the political fracture among members of the Frente de Todos (FdT) coalition in which the head of state and Vice President CFK do not see eye to eye, plus those with the opposition. The Archbishop spoke of tensions that seem to repeat cruel confrontations and of confrontations to preserve own interests.
In the midst of tensions that seem to repeat cruel confrontations, the Pope tells us with his gestures of the Good Samaritan that the existence of each one of us is linked to that of others, life is not time that passes, but a time of encounter, Poli said.
CFK had left for her El Calafate residence with her son, Deputy mäximo Kirchner, and posted a message on social media about the difficult times the country is going through.
It was President Fernández's first te Deum, due to Pandemic restrictions in force during 2020 and 2021. This year he was planning to travel to Antarctica, but the Ministry of Defense advised against the trip due to weather conditions.
As customary, the president was seated in front of the other officials. All members of the national government sat on one side of the aisle while those of the City of Buenos Aires -of the opposition Juntos por el Cambio alliance (JxC)- were on the other.
The only female high-ranking official attending the religious service was Presidential Spokeswoman Gabriela Cerruti. Ministers Carla Vizzotti, Elizabeth Gómez Alcorta and Vilma Ibarra were absent for different reasons.
Democracy, which sustains us as a social body organized in institutions, gives rise to fraternity but also requires ethics, kindness and solidarity, honesty, dialogue always beneficial for agreement and commitment for the common good of all. Without these values that give foundations to social life, confrontations arise between brothers, of some with others to preserve their own interests, Poli underlined.
The Catholic prelate rounded up his speech: I dare to say that we should not get tired of promoting good, justice, peace, taking care to transmit to the current generations of children, adolescents, and young people, above all, the most authentic values and the cultural heritage that identifies us, so that they may exercise the right to know that there is a future and profound reasons to continue living and loving in our homeland. We entrust this cordial wish to the good hands of families and public education. May God bless all of us who live together in the Argentine nation and long live the Homeland.