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Bishop organising moral formation of soldiers to prevent abuses

The Military Bishop of Argentina has visited the head office of the charity Aid to the Church in Need to request resources to assist military chaplains in the ethical formation of his country's military personnel.

Monsignor Antonio Baseotti made the request at the weekend, citing the increasing international denunciations of human rights abuses, and murders committed by the military during the dictatorship era in his country during the 1970s and 1980s.

The request follows an initiative of the Charity with the military in neighbouring Colombia, where military chaplains are using the Charity's renowned abridged version of the Catholic Catechism to educate soldiers involved in bloody counterinsurgency operations.

The organisation donated 150,000 copies of the catechism to the Military Diocese of Colombia.

Monsignor Javier Rojas, vicar general of the military diocese said that this project is very important as the Church is worried about the religious ignorance of most soldiers. He said military chaplains perform an average of 100 adult baptisms per year as well as 15,000 confirmations and many more First Communions. He said there is a pastoral urgency, with more than 700 soldiers losing their lives each year in the conflict with the insurgents.

Aid to the Church in Need

Aid to the Church in Need
Case Studies in International Human Rights
Church sorry for role in 'dirty war' (BBC 9/9/00)

7 Aug 2003