Paraguay – A pastor’s cry for his people: Msgr. Escobar Ayala, SDB, calls for vaccines and jobs for people of Chaco Paraguayo

31 May 2021

(ANS - Fuerte Olimpo) - “If in the first year of the pandemic we had fewer deaths and more unemployed, in this second year we have more deaths and more unemployed because it is difficult for us to do our job well and there is no exemplary punishment for those people who took advantage of the people's money in this crucial moment of the pandemic.” With these words the Bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of Chaco Paraguayo, the Salesian Msgr. Gabriel Narciso Escobar Ayala, denounced during the Mass of the feast of Mary Help of Christians, last May 24, the evils that afflict the flock entrusted to him.

“We continue to have almost zero initiatives in the effort to obtain a good quantity of vaccines against Covid-19 that can be used to immunize the majority of the population,” said the Bishop during the homily. “We are again like the last wagon of the train. How long will we continue not to do our job well?” continued the prelate.

The Bishop's reflection responds to the great concern of the population regarding the vaccine against Covid-19. Paraguay had experienced the first phase of the pandemic with very few deaths, while now the country is suffering because the government machine that has to deal with vaccination works slowly and with many difficulties.

For the Salesian bishop, the responsibility for this state of affairs must be identified in the dominance and inability of the traditional political parties to solve the real problems of the people. “The leaders of these party institutions should find a way to resolve and put an end to the great inequalities in the field of justice, in the sector of the peasants, of the workers, for the closure or failure of sources of work that are detrimental to workers and employees.”

At the same time, the Salesian prelate indicated to the faithful the model of Mary Help of Christians, an example to follow in terms of humility, simplicity and generosity, of service to the most needy, in the search for truth, with faith and trust in God.

Two days after his appeal and his strong denunciation in favor of the people of Chaco Paraguayo, on May 26, Msgr. Escobar Ayala had the pleasure of blessing the laying of the foundation stone of a new hospital in Upper Paraguay, also in the Chaco area. “Finally, after years of waiting, the people can see closely a sign of investment in the health sector, especially in areas far from the Capital,” he commented on the occasion.

In Paraguay, Covid-19 has so far caused over 352 thousand infections and more than 9 thousand victims, out of a population of 7 million inhabitants. The Archbishop of Asunción, Mgr. Edmundo Ponciano Valenzuela Mellíd, also a Salesian, had already reported in April the slowness and inefficiencies in the management of the national vaccination plan.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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