Buenos Aires archbishop urges to help the poor in May 25 religious service

In front of President Milei, Jorge García Cueva called to stop ‘procrastinating’ assistance to vulnerable populations

Buenos Aires Archbishop Jorge Ignacio García Cuerva delivered a strong homily for the May 25 religious service known as Te Deum, saying that the poor are “making a great effort” to make it through the current crisis and urging people not to “play dumb” regarding their assistance. President Javier Milei and Vice President Victoria Villarruel were among those present at the ceremony.

The Te Deum is a traditional religious service held on May 25 in the Buenos Aires Cathedral meant to honor the annivesary of Argentina’s first constitutional government in 1810. The Buenos Aires archbishop is in charge of the ceremony, which is attended by the president and his cabinet, as well as high ranking military officials and BA City authorities.  

“May we ask ourselves: in these difficult times, what am I doing for the poorest?” García Cueva asked during the mass held at the cathedral. He said that blaming others and failing to take accountability is akin to acting “like teenagers” in light of the efforts the poor are making to get by. 

“We have to assist with actions, not with words,” he said. Commenting that there are hands that are “paralyzed” instead of helping the poor, he added that “some paralysis cannot be procrastinated.”

García Cueva also stated that postponing certain measures in the name of a “better future” would generate “dire and irreversible consequences” in people’s lives and society as well.

“That is a very high price to pay that we cannot afford: malnutrition in early childhood; lack of schooling and accessibility to health services; as well as the elderly and retirees inability to sustain themselves daily with a minimum of dignity are some of these unpostponable examples.”

The Milei administration has received criticism from many fronts for its handling of the economic impact its austerity measures are having on the population. Asked on Friday about people who are struggling with their salaries, Milei flat out denied that that was happening. 

“If people aren’t making ends meet, they would be dying in the streets,” he said. “They would have already died, let’s say.”

According to the Catholic University’s Observatory on Social Debt, 55% of Argentines are poor. Milei cut off aid to soup kitchens shortly after taking office, claiming that half of them were scams and did not exist. This week, the government admitted it has 5,000 tonnes of food in warehouses that it is not delivering to soup kitchens on the grounds that it is investigating corruption.

After the Te Deum, Milei left for Córdoba to attend an official act to celebrate May 25. He will be accompanied by Villarruel and his staff, along with Córdoba governor Martín Llaryora.

The Córdoba rally was originally envisioned as a meeting where Argentina’s provincial governors and the president would sign a so-called “May Pact.” However, since Milei’s flagship omnibus bill has not yet been approved by in Congress, a condition that was non-negotiable to signing the agreement, he said that the May Pact would be signed later in the year.


All Right Reserved.  Buenos Aires Herald