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Archive of October 13, 2010

Church in Costa Rica urges government to maintain IVF ban

San José, Costa Rica, Oct 13, 2010 (CNA) - The president of the Bishops’ Conference of Costa Rica, Archbishop Hugo Barrantes Urena, has called on the country's government to continue its ban on in vitro fertilization, despite pressure from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACH) to legalize the procedure.

In vitro fertilization has been illegal in Costa Rica since 2000, however, the IACH has criticized the legislation and is calling for its reversal.

The archbishop noted that although IVF is presented as a final opportunity for those suffering from infertility, women are often not told that a number of embryos are destroyed in order for the procedure to be successful.

Costa Rica’s Constitutional Court ruled to ban IVF in 2000, noting that human life must be protected from the moment of conception.

Archbishop Barrantes slammed the IACH for a report omitting any reference to the respect for human life from the moment of conception and for giving importance only to the right to privacy and to a woman's right over her own body.

The Costa Rican government, he said, must follow its constitution and refuse efforts to put the desires of couples above the life of the unborn. He added that while the suffering of couples unable to conceive is understandable, “a child is ‘always a gift’ and can never be a means for satisfying a need or a desire. Rather, her dignity as a person demands that she always be treated as an end.”

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Abortion cannot be justified, teaches Argentinean archbishop

Santa Fe, Argentina, Oct 13, 2010 (CNA) - This week, Archbishop Jose Maria Arancedo of Santa Fe de la Vera Cruz, Argentina devoted his weekly radio program to the issue of abortion. The prelate criticized groups who promote the procedure as a “right” that must be protected by society.

After recalling that the unborn child is a human being from the moment of conception with its own DNA, the archbishop noted that no matter how tragic the situation may be, the unborn child’s right to life, “which is the first of all rights,” must always be respected.

“This isn’t taking a right away from anyone, it is defending the rights of a person,” he explained.

The archbishop stated that the law must protect the dignity of every human being, which does not depend on religious beliefs but on scientific fact and human nature.  “We are dealing with a fact that transcends the individual and the private sphere, because both the life of a person and the culture of a society are at stake.”

Archbishop Arancedo pointed out that in the countries where abortion is legalized, the number of cases do not decrease, as abortion proponents argue, but rather dramatically increase and the practice becomes accepted. “How sad and unjust to hear, ‘the practice has become accepted,’ which is the same as saying, that a culture has been established. 

“The law that makes abortion illegal, therefore, has a preventative and pedagogical reason, inasmuch as it protects and defends the value of life,” the archbishop said. “For this reason, the true degree of civility of a nation is measured by how it protects those most in need,” he added.

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Bishops call for continued prayers as Chile experiences 'Easter morning'

Santiago, Chile, Oct 13, 2010 (CNA/EWTN News) - The Bishops’ Conference of Chile issued a statement this morning on the ongoing rescue efforts to bring the 33 trapped miners to the surface at the San Jose Mine and reunite them with their families.

The miners have been trapped under a half-mile of rock deep beneath Chile's Atacama Desert since the mine shaft collapsed Aug. 5. Rescue workers originally projected that the miners would be free in late December.

The first of the miners was brought to the surface on Oct. 13 and rescue officials now say it is possible that all will be free within a day.

In a statement titled, “Chile is experiencing an Easter Morning,” the bishops' press office noted that “the word of God is being proclaimed with force” outside the mine, “as the first miners have been brought to the surface and reunited with their families.” The statement added that prayers of gratitude have characterized the rescue efforts. “Some have offered up prayers as soon as they walked out of the capsule Phoneix 2, which carried them to safety.”

“While prayer vigils are being carried out throughout the country and will conclude with rescue of the last miner, a grateful and emotional nation closely follows operation ‘San Lorenzo,’ as this rescue effort has been dubbed” in honor of St. Lawrence, continued the bishops' conference.

St. Lawrence is the patron of miners.

The Chilean bishops “have invited all communities to continue praying and thanking the God of life for this Easter moment which we are all witnessing,” the statement said.

Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz of Santiago joined numerous other Chilean bishops for a Mass and prayer vigil that began at 11:00 p.m. Tuesday, coinciding with the beginning of the rescue effort.

Earlier this week, Bishop Alejandro Goic Karmelic, encouraged the faithful to intensify their prayers for the success of the rescue operation. “This is an opportune moment for the entire Church to unite in this prayer of faith and hope,” he said.

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Dialogue needed in Middle East to prevent Muslim-Christian clash, says patriarch

Vatican City, Oct 13, 2010 (CNA/EWTN News) - Without dialogue a "new clash" of the Muslim East and Christian West could result, said one Eastern Catholic patriarch during discussions at the Vatican yesterday on the Church in the Middle East.

Patriarch Gregorios III Laham, Patriarch of Antioch of the Greek Melkites, Archbishop of Damascus of the Greek Melkites, said in his Tuesday afternoon address to participants in the Synod for the Middle East that living together in peace and the Christian presence in the region are concretely and existentially connected.

Pointing to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the "main reason" for this conflict, he said that the situation is marked by fundamentalism, slow development, increased hatred and a loss of hope among young people who are the majority of the population (60 percent) in Arab countries.

The accompanying emigration of Christians from the region due to this conflict could eventually create a "new clash of cultures, of civilizations and even of religions, a destructive clash between the Muslim Arab East and the Christian West," he added.

To counter this possible catastrophe, he proposed improved dialogue between Christians and Muslims to increase trust between the East and West.

"To convince Christians to stay," said the patriarch, "we think it is necessary to address our Muslim brothers to tell them with honesty what our fears are … ” He listed the need for the separation of Church and State, protecting democracy, nations being identified as Muslim instead of Arab, the need to protect human rights and laws being created that assert that Islam is the only or main source of legislation.

He also pointed to fundamentalist parties "which have been blamed for acts of terrorism, for killings, for burning churches, for extortion, in the name of religion ..."

The "great challenge" for the area, concluded Patriarch Gregorios III, is to achieve peace.

"This," he said, "is the great 'jihad' (holy war) and the great good. This is the true victory and the true guarantee for the future of freedom, prosperity and security for our young, Christians and Muslims, who are the future of our Nations."

The patriarch's five-minute address was one of many during the evening that were made ahead of an "open" session in which free debate was encouraged. During this session, participants spoke about a variety of themes, including the importance of mutual respect and freedom of religion in the area.

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Holy Father gives thanks for rescue of Chilean miners

Santiago, Chile, Oct 13, 2010 (CNA/EWTN News) - Pope Benedict XVI gave thanks for the initial success of efforts to free the first of 33 Chilean copper miners who have been trapped beneath the earth for the more than two months.

At his weekly general audience, Oct. 13, the Pope said that “with hope" he continues to commend the miners to the "divine goodness" of Christ.

The miners have been trapped under a half-mile of rock deep beneath Chile's Atacama Desert since the mine shaft collapsed Aug. 5. Rescue workers originally projected that the miners would be free in late December.

The first of the miners was brought to the surface on Oct. 13 and rescue officials now say it is possible that all will be free within a day.

Pope Benedict XVI has offered prayers for the miners on several occasions during their 69 days underground. He also sent them each of them a rosary, delivered personally by Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz of Santiago, Chile.

Also at his weekly audience, the Pope recalled the anniversary of the final Marian apparition at Fatima, Portugal in 1917.  He prayed for the Blessed Mother’s intercession, especially in the lives of  young people, the sick and newlyweds.

"To the heavenly Mother of God, I entrust you, dear young people, so that you might generously respond to the call of the Lord," the Pope said. He asked that Mary might be "comfort" for the sorrows of the sick and that she accompany the newly married couples as they begin their families.

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Dissident sends letter to international forum demanding rights for Cubans

Havana, Cuba, Oct 13, 2010 (CNA) - The coordinator of the Christian Liberation Movement, Oswaldo Paya Sardinas has sent a letter to an annual conference in Prague urging respect for the human rights of Cubans.

“We Cubans want reconciliation and a peaceful transition to democracy, and to be in charge of our own present and future situations within our country,” Paya said in a letter read by Vaclav Havel, at the conference, the 14th annual international Forum 2000.

Havel is credited with leading the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia.

In his letter, Paya criticized the Castro government for not recognizing the right of Cubans to move about freely in the country and travel abroad. For this reason, he said, dissidents are promoting a new law that would recognize this right “in order to eliminate all the discrimination that exists against Cubans in our own country.”

“They talk about changes, but the government does not carry out true change, which would be to recognize in law and in practice the rights of Cubans as human beings, as citizens.”

“Let us say, then, peace on earth, and let us build this peace. But this will not be possible if we all do not strive to achieve not only peaceful coexistence between nations and among nations, but also authentic reconciliation, cooperation and friendship. That will be peace on Earth,” Paya said.

“The vocation of mankind to peace comes from creation itself, because God created us free and as brothers and sisters, and for this reason we must live in peace. The source of peace is love of neighbor, respect for his dignity, the promotion of rights, solidarity and also working together for the common good, which is the source of unity in diversity,” Paya said.

He then called on the Prague forum to support reconciliation among nations and the recognition of human rights.  “Rights lead to trust, order and justice.  They are essential, but they are not enough by themselves if there is no love.”

This year's Forum 2000 was held Oct. 10-12 under the theme, “The World We Want to Live In.” 

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Free Catholic psychotherapy workshop series to be open to public

Denver, Colo., Oct 13, 2010 (CNA) - A free series of workshops usually available only to Catholic psychotherapists will be open to all interested people starting tomorrow, Oct. 14.

The five-session teleconference to be led by Catholic psychotherapist Suzanne Baars, a frequent contributor to EWTN, will be offered monthly and will focus on affirmation therapy.

“This approach to therapy is a result of the work of Suzanne Baars’ father Dr. Conrad Baars, a Catholic psychiatrist,” explained Dr. Christina Lynch, staff psychologist for St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver.

“His treatment approach in the areas of scrupulosity, obsessive-compulsive disorder, emotional deprivation disorder, and other areas of difficulty has been revolutionary.”

According to Conrad Baars and his colleague Dr. Anna Terruwe, criticism, neglect, abuse or emotional rejection in childhood can result in stunted emotional growth. Such “unaffirmed” individuals are incapable of emotional maturity without first receiving authentic affirmation from another person.

In affirmation therapy, the therapist aids healing by revealing the client’s innate goodness.

“Genuine … affirmation enables clients to not only know but feel their own goodness, paves the way for the client’s gradual emotional growth, and facilitates the disappearance of the symptoms of deep feelings of inferiority, inadequacy, uncertainty and insecurity,” Suzanne Baars said.

The workshops are being offered to the public as an encouragement to learn more about this therapeutic approach and to provide a networking opportunity to Catholic psychotherapists and students across the country, Lynch said.

Based on the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas, Lynch said the Catholic approach to psychology integrates the Christian concept of the human being with sound psychological principles. Baars, who is a licensed professional counselor in Dallas, where she operates her private practice, In His Image Christian Counseling, often presents the work of her late father.

“People who would be interested in these teleconferences would be professional counselors who wish to develop a firm foundation for their therapy in the anthropology of St. Thomas Aquinas—specifically as to how his treatise of the passions (emotions) can be utilized in therapy,” Baars said. “Also, laypersons, as well as priests, seminarians, consecrated persons, etc., who seek understanding of their emotional life and how it may be integrated with reason, will and the spiritual life, would benefit greatly from hearing this approach to integrating St. Thomas’ anthropology with modern psychology.”

The workshop series will consist of an hour-long teleconference lecture followed by time for questions. Topics will be: Aquinas and affirmation therapy; the role of the emotions as psychic motors; the repressive process; from affectivity and effectivity to affirmation; and the therapist as affirmer. The series is set for 7 p.m. MDT on Oct. 14, Nov. 11 and Dec. 16 and will continue in 2011 on Jan. 13 and Feb. 10. Call  712-432-6100 and enter participant code No. 71034 followed by the pound sign (#).

To register, visit www.catholicpsychotherapy.org. The lectures will also be available as podcasts at the same website.

The workshop series aims to build awareness of the Catholic Psychotherapy Association, Lynch said, and to provide a preview of what people will experience at the organization’s second annual conference, set for March 25-26 at the John Paul II Center in Denver. Conference theme is “Implementing the Catholic Faith Into Your Practice.”

“All those interested in supporting the promotion of Catholic values in psychotherapy are welcome to become members of the Catholic Psychotherapy Association,” said Lynch, who serves as secretary for the group’s board of directors.

Local CPA members will host the upcoming conference. Last year’s conference held in Dawsonville, Ga., drew 75 attendees from more than 20 states.

“I was pleasantly surprised at the number of people who came to our inaugural conference outside Atlanta in April and hope our numbers this coming March will be even greater,” said Baars, who is a founding member of the CPA. “I enjoyed meeting so many people who share my desire to have a place to come and be able to share and integrate the Catholic faith into professional practice.  Moreover, the presentations were of great help to any professional therapist, offering a depth of knowledge that helps form and support our members.”

Printed with permission from the Denver Catholic Register, newspaper for the Archdiocese of Denver.

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God makes himself present in 'a thousand ways,' Pope tells pilgrims

Vatican City, Oct 13, 2010 (CNA/EWTN News) - God has “a thousand ways” to touch souls and to teach them how to "really live," Pope Benedict XVI told a crowd of more than 25,000 pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square on Oct. 13.

Continuing his series of teachings on holy women in the Church’s history, the Pope turned to the 13th-century mystic, Blessed Angela of Foligno in his weekly general audience.

Blessed Angela’s life has much to teach people today, many of whom are “living as if God did not exist,” the Pope said.

The lesson of her life, he said, is that “God has a thousand ways, for each of us, to make himself present in the soul, to show that he exists and knows and loves me."

Born into wealth and privilege, Blessed Angela led a carefree life until in her late-30s, when personal tragedies made her aware of her sinfulness. She made a confession after receiving a vision of St. Francis of Assisi. Following the death of her husband and children, she entered the Franciscan Third Order.

Her story is retold in the "Book of Blessed Angela of Foligno," composed from the writings of the friar who served as her confessor. The book details how she overcame fear of sin and punishment through ever greater love for God. It also describes the many mystical experiences that marked her life, but which she found difficult to put into words.

This book, the Pope said, is a guide for others seeking to turn to God. Blessed Angela’s life, he added, shows how the Lord touches the soul so that one can learn the "way with God and towards God."

"From conversion to mystical union with the crucified Christ, to the inexpressible," a "high path" marked her life, the Holy Father observed, noting that her "secret" was constant prayer.

He quoted Blessed Angela's words: “However much more you pray, ever more greatly will you be illuminated; however much more you are illuminated, so much more profoundly and intensely will you see the Supreme Good, the supremely good Being; how much more profoundly and intensely you see it, much more will you love it ... Successively you will arrive to the fullness of light, because you will understand not being able to comprehend."

The Pope delivered his teaching on a beautiful fall morning in Rome. Among those attending the audience was a Scottish group led by Scottish Cardinal Keith O'Brien of St. Andrews and Edinburgh who still carried the plaid scarf he received during the Pope’s visit to his country last month.

"We pray that the Lord makes us aware of the signs of his presence," Pope Benedict concluded, "that he teaches us to really live."

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New Phoenix auxiliary bishop learned importance of faith from family

Phoenix, Ariz., Oct 13, 2010 (CNA) - Eduardo Nevares, the new auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix, intends to serve God with “gladness.” In an Oct. 12 interview, he discussed his exuberant reception by the faithful, his upbringing in a devout Mexican-American home, immigration, and the importance of the family as a source of vocations.

Bishop Nevares’ family, originally from Monterrey, Mexico, was “very rooted” in their Catholic faith. His mother and father met in the church choir as teenagers. After marrying they had four children in Mexico.

“Daddy, seeing that he needed to provide more opportunity for the children, decided to come to the United States,” said the bishop, who was born in San Antonio, Texas and grew up in Houston.
In the U.S., Bishop Nevares’ father served as a church usher and at the credit union, always available to help the parish’s priests.

His mother continued to sing in the choir. After dinner, she would gather her children together and pray the family Rosary.

“I hated it because it was a very long and boring prayer, but it made an impression,” the bishop said. “Seeing the importance of prayer really started to impress upon me that God was something very important in her life.”

Nevares only attended one year of Catholic school. However, his mother would take him to Mass at Houston’s Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish after dropping off his older siblings at Catholic school.

“I remember one day (at Mass) I heard little bells ringing. And I asked my mother ‘What is that?’ And she said ‘Jesus is here.’ And I said ‘Oooh, wow.’

“Just the thought of having Jesus present at Holy Mass and seeing my mother’s living devotion to the Eucharist really made an impression upon me growing up,” Bishop Nevares told CNA.

He also cited as formative his experience of a priest who also served as his scoutmaster. Because his father worked the late shift, the priest would take his brothers to their scout meetings.

“Seeing his kindness and joy really made an impression upon me.”

Noting his previous experience as vocations director in the Diocese of Tyler, CNA asked Bishop Nevares how Catholics can foster vocations.

“It all begins with the family,” he replied, saying this is one reason why Bishop of Phoenix Thomas Olmsted has planned to “fortify the sacrament of marriage.”

“That’s where all the vocations come from. Priests, sisters, brothers, deacons, we do not come flying down from heaven. We come from families.”

There are presently 22 to 23 seminarians for the diocese, a figure the bishop called “very good” but not enough for a Catholic population of almost 800,000. He expressed hope that over the next three to five years the number of seminarians will double or even triple.
 
In addition to vocations, Bishop Olmsted has tasked his auxiliary bishop with assisting bilingual ministry and ministering to the diocese's almost dozen ethnic groups.

On the topic of immigration, Bishop Nevares said the Arizona bishops’ position is based on the belief in the human dignity of every human person, including illegal aliens.

“Many of them have died trying to cross into the U.S. because of the devastating heat of the desert or have drowned in the rivers. We’re very concerned about that.”

The proposed state law SB1070 was a concern also because it had “no consideration at all for the unity of the family,” such as when a husband, wife and children have different residency statuses.

Bishop Nevares noted that illegal aliens should not be seen as “aliens from outer space” but rather as “our brothers and sisters in Christ.” While a “handful” of illegal immigrants are involved in crime like the trafficking of humans, guns or drugs, “the majority are coming over here because they want to work and provide for their families back home.”

People come because of “dire need” such as hunger. “It’s not easy to leave your family, country and culture with just the clothes on your back to look for work. These people are in flight … we need to put ourselves in their shoes.”

CNA then noted the bishop’s response to the Arizona Republic’s question about whether Catholics were required to take a stand against same-sex “marriage” in California or other states.

"That gets into individual conscience," he had told the paper. "I would hate to make a sweeping generalization."

In the Oct. 12 interview with CNA, Bishop Nevares said he was “kind of new to all of the politics of this area” and the reporter caught him “a little off guard.”
 
He summarized Bishop Olmsted’s restatement of Catholic teaching that marriage does not depend upon government approval but is “a sacrament, a holy union that comes from God.”

“Because of that God-ordained commandment, that is on what the sacrament of marriage is based. Any other union is not of God.

“And so therefore the Catholic Church has defended the sacrament of marriage against any and every type of perversion. Because if we get away from the union of man and wife, which is holy and of God … then we open the door to any kind of perversion, whether it be homosexual marriage, other kinds of sexual attractions, man-boy, woman-girl, and whatever else.”

He explained that any good Catholic needs to vote for his or her conscience, which is “guided by the truth of the Word of God and the truth of the Catholic Church.”
 
Discussing his reception as a new bishop, Bishop Nevares recalled that the “exuberance” of the people was “very comforting and reassuring.” He intends to spend his first whole year meeting the people, the clergy and the religious of the “huge” Diocese of Phoenix.

He was “honored and humbled” that God chose him to be a bishop and that he has Bishop Olmsted, a “wonderful bishop,” as his mentor.

“He’s been a brother to me and I hope to be one day half the bishop that he is.”

“May I continue to ‘serve the Lord with gladness’ and share it with all I meet,” he told CNA, referring to his episcopal motto. “I’m very blessed to be here.”

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Contraception cannot be the ‘default mode’ of marriage, Sacramento bishop says

Sacramento, Calif., Oct 13, 2010 (CNA) - Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento said that the meaning of human sexuality and relationships are “misunderstood and misused” because contraception has become the “unquestioned default mode of marriage.”

Writing in the Catholic Herald, the diocese’s new bimonthly magazine, Bishop Soto said that building a culture of life is “more than a political agenda.” The gospel of life has the power to “transform hearts and habits as well as laws.”

“One habit that has taken hold of many marriages is the use of artificial means of contraception,” Bishop Soto wrote. “The prevalence of the practice in and outside of the Catholic community has made contraception the unquestioned default mode of marriage. As a consequence, sexuality and relationships are misunderstood and misused; and their true purpose is misplaced.”

“The habit has shaped the hearts and minds of many, especially the young,” he continued. “Marriage is no longer understood as the covenant of love between a man and a woman that creates life, because procreation is no longer associated with sexual intercourse,” Bishop Soto continued.

He said that in this situation, many people cannot understand why a sexual relationship between any two people who care for each other cannot be called a marriage.

Bishop Soto explained that Catholic teaching against artificial contraceptives is rooted in a “reverential awe” for the marriage covenant, in which the family finds “life, grace and goodness” in the ordinary rituals of the home. “The sexual ritual should not be discounted or dismissed from this sacramental view,” he added.

He noted that the technique of Natural Family Planning, which connects married couples to the “natural bodily rhythms that create life,” is an important moral alternative to the “contraceptive culture” prevalent in society.

He encouraged married couples and young people eager to be married to embrace this alternative “as a gift, not a burden.”

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Washington archdiocese team to run marathon to support vocations

Washington D.C., Oct 13, 2010 (CNA) - Nearly 200 men and women from the Archdiocese of Washington will “run for vocations” in the upcoming Marine Corps Marathon and 10K Run to help raise money for seminarians.

The archdiocese’s “Run for Vocations” team will seek to raise awareness of the need for priestly vocations and raise money for seminarians. The marathon is slated for Oct. 31 in Arlington, Va.

Among those who will be running is James Peck, parent of a Marine and a parishioner from Jesus the Divine Word parish in Huntingtown, Md.

Peck was diagnosed with an aggressive and deadly form of brain cancer after completing the marathon last year. Despite chemotherapy and radiation treatments, the tumor returned and he has faced more surgery and treatment.

His wife Cecilia has faced her own ordeals. She and other women from the parish were on a mission trip in Haiti earlier this year and were trapped in the country after the disastrous January earthquake.

Through all this, the Pecks’ only son Nathan has served as an active duty Marine on the front lines of Afghanistan.

And Peck is looking forward to the upcoming marathon.

“A year later, despite my illness, I believe that God’s always been with me, and he will give me the strength to push myself to help holy priests in bringing God to people and people to God,” he said. “So, my 2010 participation is not any different, only now, it’s more special.”

The Marine Corps Marathon, now in its 35th year, claims to be the fourth largest marathon in the United States. The full marathon course is 26.2 miles long.

Among the archdiocesan runners, 49 are running in the full marathon while 138 are participating in the 10K. Funds raised through the team will help cover unexpected expenses for seminarians, including medical costs, travel expenses for family emergencies, and spiritual enrichment.

More information on the Archdiocese of Washington’s running team is available at http://www.adw.org/vocations/runforvocations.asp.

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Archbishop charges Workers' Party with 'deceiving voters' in Brazil

Brasilia, Brazil, Oct 13, 2010 (CNA) - Archbishop Aldo Pagotto of Paraiba accused Brazil’s Workers'  Party of “misinformation and manipulation of consciences” in an effort to win the upcoming presidential run-off election, slated for Oct. 31.

In a video released Oct. 11, the archbishop said the party’s actions on behalf of its candidate, current Presidential Chief of Staff Dilma Rousseff, are aimed at “deceiving voters” into believing that she does not favor any legalization of abortion in the country.

Despite assurances from President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the party is clearly committed to promoting “the culture of death in our country,” Archbishop Pagotto said.

Abortion is currently illegal in Brazil, except in cases of rape or when the life of the mother is at risk.

In the current campaign, Rousseff has cited her Catholic upbringing and described herself as pro-life. However, in an internet video produced in 2007, she is shown arguing that, “Today in Brazil, it is absurd that abortion has not yet been legalized’.”

The archbishop charged that since the 1990s the Workers' Party has been in league with international organizations that have financed the expansion of contraception and abortion in Brazil.

“Ever since it rose to power, the Workers' Party agenda has been the complete legalization of abortion in Brazil,” he said.

Archbishop Pagotto recalled that the Lula administration had argued for United Nations recognition of abortion as a “human right” in 2005. At the same time, the archbishop noted, Lula wrote to the Brazilian bishops and assured them, “by the faith he received from his mother” that he had no “intention of legalizing abortion in the country.”

Shortly after sending that letter, Lula sent a bill to the National Congress that would have legalized abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy.

In addition, the archbishop noted, the Lula administration has advanced the so-called “Brazilian Consensus,” which recommends that abortion be legalized in Brazil and throughout Latin America.

These acts, the archbishop said, refute the assurances of Rousseff and Lula in the current campaign.

 “As pastor I cannot settle for this kind misinformation and manipulation of consciences,” the archbishop stated.

“When democracy becomes this type of demagoguery in order to win votes, a dictatorship is on the horizon,” he warned.

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