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Pope urges Argentines to examine conscience

Pope John Paul II has urged Argentines toward national dialogue and a serious examination of conscience as a prerequisite for overcoming their national crisis.

Meeting with the country's bishops on Monday, the Holy Father spoke of Argentina's plight with a sense of realistic hope.

"Your country is undergoing a profound social and economic crisis that affects the whole society and, in addition, endangers the democratic stability and solidity of public institutions, with consequences that go beyond the homeland's own frontiers," John Paul II said.

"In many homes even the most basic and indispensable is lacking, exposing so many people to a future full of risks and uncertainties," he continued.

The Holy Father said that this situation "should lead to a serious examination of conscience on the responsibilities of each one and the tragic consequences of egoism lacking in solidarity, of corrupt behavior reported by many, of lack of foresight and poor administration of the nation's goods."