Peruvians increasingly look to Catholic bishops to mediate disputes
Published: March 21, 2005
LIMA, Peru (CNS) -- In a country afflicted by poverty and social upheaval, Peruvian public officials and ordinary citizens are increasingly looking to Catholic bishops to mediate disputes. In early March, retired Bishop Luis Bambaren Gastelumendi of Chimbote, former president of the Peruvian bishops' conference, helped end a two-week strike by doctors in the public health system after the physicians rejected the government's offer of a pay raise as insufficient. The doctors, who work in facilities serving the poorest Peruvians, were seeking parity with their peers in the state-run system which serves insured patients. Bishop Bambaren's assistance led to agreement on a phased-in raise of about $300 a month, which will bring the doctors' pay to about $925 a month. "The country is in crisis. People don't believe in politicians any more. They don't believe in private enterprise. The Catholic Church is addressing the people's deep desire for the common good, basing its work on principles, not on special interests," said Archbishop Pedro Barreto Jimeno of Huancayo.
Copyright (c) Catholic News Service /U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The CNS news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed, including but not limited to such means as framing or any other digital copying or distribution method, in whole or in part without the prior written authority of Catholic News Service .