Argentine Bishops to Pope: 'We offer fraternal support in your work for peace'
By Deborah Castellano Lubov
"Your brother bishops on pilgrimage in Argentina wish to convey to you our closeness, affection, and fidelity."
This is how the Bishops of Argentina began a letter sent to Pope Francis on the occasion of their 120th Plenary Assembly.
The Lord, they stressed, is asking the Pope to be His messenger of peace at this moment in humanity's history.
They added, "We know that you are close to those who suffer from the violence of war and that you are ready to give your life if necessary to end this and all wars."
Close to you in this trial
"We are hurt by the unjust mistreatment of you and your mission, especially in our country, probably motivated by vested interests and even bad intentions that seek to tarnish your image and confuse our people," they went on to say. "But you know well," they said, "that this is the most precious and mysterious way that the Lord Jesus has of associating you with His redeeming Cross."
Argentina's Bishops said they are "very close" to the Pope in this trial, and reiterated they join his "persevering prayer" to God for peace and justice.
Addressing Pope Francis as father and brother, the Bishops prayed that Mary, "especially under her patronage of Our Lady of Luján, to whom you looked so much and by whom you let yourself be looked upon, fill you with consolation and strength to continue as a good shepherd, guiding the Church and serving the world."
The Bishops said they pray for their fellow Argentinian, and told the Pope they accompany him in this task of building bridges of peace between peoples.
The Bishops concluded their letter asking for Pope Francis' "fatherly blessing" for the Church in Argentina and for Argentina as a whole.