Archbishop Aguer: Church Leaders Failing to Preach the Gospel to Young People

Monsignor Jorge García Cuerva, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, celebrated a Mass in the Metropolitan Cathedral at the beginning of the 2024 school year. I read in La Prensa that he asked “young people who are disillusioned not to leave the country, and to do everything possible to build the Argentina they desire.” I noticed the archbishop’s pastoral confusion; he was speaking to high school kids, who are generally not disillusioned and not thinking of leaving the country for now. He also cited catchwords from Pope Francis, according to whom “we must make a mess and live with enthusiasm.” But the central theme was an invitation to dream: “I ask all of us to dream of a better Argentina,” and “Don’t stop dreaming.”

What should the fantasies of the dream be? Because “to dream” properly means to represent in fantasy images or events while we are asleep. Is it possible to dream while awake? The verb is used in a figurative sense to mean – as we read in the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) – “to think fantastically, and to take as true and certain what is not so,” and by extension “to yearn persistently for something” and “to have a craving or vehement desire to achieve something.” I suppose this is the sense in which the archbishop uses the word. A dream is a project, desire, or hope likely to be realized, and children and adolescents are potential dreamers. In Archbishop García Cuerva’s homily, the objects of the proposed dream are to be happy, to choose a desired profession or job, and, beyond the strictly personal, a better Argentina. The problem lies in the unreality of dreams, their doubtful possibility. Hope is not a dream, but a possible future that becomes present in waiting.

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