Friday, May 26, 2006

Bobby the Hero

I had gotten a bit of feed about this some weeks ago, but it's made today's edition of The Tablet: Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez of San Juan picked up plaudits a couple weeks back as he played broker in bringing together Puerto Rico's political leaders to halt a government shutdown.

Word from the island is that, in public opinion surveys, the New Jersey-born archbishop -- a former auxiliary of Boston and bishop of Corpus Christi -- polls higher than that of any of its political class, a feat accomplished on the mainland by Cardinal McCarrick and... Cardinal McCarrick.
Along with the leaders of the island’s main evangelical and Pentecostal Churches, he chaired a mediation committee that brought together Governor Aníbal Acevedo Vilá and opposition leaders to agree on raising an emergency loan of more than US$700m (£370m).

Archbishop González Nieves explained that he saw it as the Church’s duty to intervene in economic, social or political crises when the stability of the country was under threat. “Our action is predicated on the need to protect the dignity of the individual, the right to work, health and peace,” he told the San Juan daily El Nuevo Día this week.

The crisis arose when the government of the Caribbean island, which is a semi-autonomous territory of the United States, was unable to persuade the opposition-dominated legislature to approve a tax package designed to plug a gap in this year’s budget.

PHOTO: Reuters/Ana Martinez