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22 / 08 / 2008 - The Enemies of Life in Ecuador Messed with the Wrong Bishops
When Ecuador's socialists decided to inject pro-abortion, anti-family language into their new constitutional project, they neglected to factor one thing into the equation: the presence of a firm, unified body of Catholic bishops...
When Ecuador's socialists decided to pull a fast one and inject pro-abortion, anti-family language into their new constitutional project earlier this year, they probably felt rather self-assured. After all, their young president, Rafael Correa, is enormously popular in Ecuador, and his Alianza PAIS party won a clear majority in elections for the nation's Constituent Assembly, charged with re-writing the nation's constitution.
Although Ecuador has strong Catholic roots, as well as a lively minority of Evangelical Protestants, the new powers that be in Ecuador were betting that their unpopular position on human life and family issues would be of secondary interest. Especially to a population interested in pursuing a new political model that rejects the neoliberal ideology of "democratic capitalism", which has been thoroughly discredited in the region.
But Alianza PAIS neglected to factor one thing into the equation: the presence of a firm, unified body of Catholic bishops. Bishops who were not about to let them trample on the right to life, sexual morality, the integrity of the family, and the authority of parents to determine their own children's education.
In response to the proposed document, the leader of the Ecuadorian Episcopal Conference, Archbishop Antonio Arregui of Guayaquil, issued a bold and unequivocal statement denouncing the document's pro-abortion language, as well as other passages recognizing homosexual "rights", "transgenderism" (the notion that gender is all in one's head), and other anti-family provisions. Succinct and to the point, Arregui called the issues "non-negotiable".
Defying death threats, menacing language from the nation's president and political party, and even criminal charges filed against him, Arregui has held firm, and in recent days the entire Catholic hierarchy in Ecuador signed a statement giving him their unequivocal support. One Archbishop referred to the nation's new proposed Magna Carta as a "sandwich" laced with "cyanide".
The bishops are even preparing a full legal analysis of the document, which is to be distributed to all of the parishes in the country.
As a result, Rafael Correa's project to reconstruct his nation on socialist lines, an idea that had been accepted by a majority of voters, is now being derailed. According to the most recent published polls, between 42 and 50 percent of the voting population now supports the Constitution. Even if a majority of participants cast a "yes" vote, the document won't come into law unless a majority of the eligible participants vote in favor (abstentions count as negatives). Them's the rules.
In addition to the leadership of Antonio Arregui annd the rest of the Catholic hierarchy, prominent Ecuadorians from both sides of the political and religious aisle have been sounding the alarm, including former Constituent Assembly and Alianza PAIS memebers Rosanna Queirolo and Diana Acosta, and Evangelical Pastor Francisco Loor.
The response of the Catholic hierarchy and its allies in Ecuador, in the face of political and physical intimidation, offers an embarrassing contrast to the muted voices, silence, and even connivance of religious leaders in the United States, Canada, and Europe, who seem to fear the derision of the cultural pseudo-elites more than their counterparts in South America fear death.
What would be the outcome if all the Catholic bishops of the United States were to make a firm and unequivocal stand against the "culture of death", excommunicating pro-abortion politicians, and ensuring that all Catholics are adequately informed about the Church's doctrine in such matters? If politicians knew that they were likely to lose one quarter of the voting population over such issues (in addition to the many non-Catholic votes), it is hard to imagine the continuing viability of pro-abortion, anti-family politics at the national level.
Religious leaders in the United States, mindful of the commandment of Christ to "be not afraid", can look to the example of Ecuador, Brazil, the Philippines, and other countries where the implacable and courageous efforts of religious leaders and laity have stopped the "culture of death" in its tracks. Although they are confronted with billionaire international foundations and quasi-governmental agencies, they have a weapon that is more potent than all of the wealth and power on Earth: they have the truth.
Source : Matthew Cullinan Hoffman - LifeSiteNews.com