Child Malnutrition Targeted by Church in Mexico

Campaign Aims to Create a "Culture of Solidarity"

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MEXICO CITY, OCT. 13, 2002 (Zenit.org).- The Mexican Catholic bishops' conference has initiated its first Solidarity Campaign to sensitize the public about supporting the poorest and most outcast, especially children.



Fifty-five dioceses took part in the recent launching of the campaign. Local and national media are also participating in the project, which ends Nov. 24.

The 2002 Solidarity Campaign, started through the bishops' Commission for Social Pastoral Care, focuses on "Hunger and Malnutrition of Poor Children."

"In no way does the Church believe that this campaign will resolve the serious problems of child hunger and malnutrition," Monsignor Abelardo Alvarado, secretary-general of the bishops' conference, said during a press conference.

"However, it considers urgent the need to move the conscience of men and women who, in following Jesus, will engage in horizontal lines of help without promoting attitudes of dependence, but of mutual assistance," he said.

The episcopate made an appeal for solidarity not only in times of emergency but in a permanent way, "because child poverty, hunger, malnutrition are wounds in our society that call for a frontal attack on the part of all Mexicans," Monsignor Alvarado affirmed.

The executive secretary of the Commission for Social Pastoral Care, Father José Antonio Sandoval Tajonar, said: "What we wish is to create a culture of solidarity -- to move from the solidarity expressed in critical times to a culture of solidarity, where one's brother is always kept in mind."