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‘The Mass is something sacred’: Argentina archbishop responds to political chants at Mass

“The Mass is to unite, the Mass is to make us brothers,” said Buenos Aires Archbishop Jorge Ignacio García Cuerva during Mass on Saturday, June 15, 2024. | Credit: Archdiocese of Buenos Aires

‘The Mass is something sacred’: Argentina archbishop responds to political chants at Mass

By David Ramos

In response to the controversy sparked by people chanting a political slogan during a Mass in the Argentine capital, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Ignacio García Cuerva, was clear: “The Mass is something sacred.”

“The Eucharist is something sacred; that’s why the Mass is something sacred, because it is the very core of the faith of our people,” the prelate said while celebrating Mass on June 15 at the St. Ildephonsus Parish in Buenos Aires.

“Here we come to be nourished by unity, brotherhood, peace. That’s why it is not good to use the Mass to divide, to fragment, to be partisan,” he added.

Videos circulated recently showing Mass being interrupted by people chanting political slogans such as “the country is not for sale,” expressing opposition to the government of President Javier Milei.

The first occasion occurred on Sunday, June 9, when Passionist Father Carlos Saracini interrupted the Eucharistic celebration at Holy Cross Parish — apparently during the concluding doxology — by beginning the chant “the country is not for sale.” Many parishioners joined in, clapping to the rhythm of the chant.

A few days later, on June 14, near the end of the Mass presided by Gustavo Carrara, auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires, the participants and at least one of the priests in the church began to chant “the country is not for sale.” The bishop, who interrupted the chanting to go on with the prayer, posted that same day an apology “to anyone who might feel offended.”

The archbishop of Buenos Aires pointed out that “it’s not good to use the Mass so that we end up separated as brothers. And it’s not good to count on the good faith of those who participate in the Eucharist or of the priests who are invited to preside over it so that what has happened in recent days happens, as happened yesterday to Bishop Gustavo Carrara. That’s why the Mass is something sacred.”

“The Mass is to unite us; the Mass is to make us brothers; the Mass is to nourish us and to be witnesses of the kingdom in the streets,” the Argentine archbishop said. This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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