Costa Rica needs laws that support life, bishops say
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.- At the conclusion of their annual meeting, the bishops of Costa Rica urged the country to reject the legalization of abortion and in vitro fertilization and adopt laws that protect life.

In a statement issued Feb. 10, the bishops criticized numerous proposals for abortion, in vitro fertilization, and same-sex unions, saying they “do not address the real needs of our nation and take no account of the dignity of the human person, the nature of the family and the values of Costa Rican society.”

The bishops also recognized the role of schools in helping to educate children but warned that when it comes to the issue of sexual education, “under no circumstance can parents be forced to allow their children to receive sexual education that is reduced to graphic sexual information stripped of moral values and that uses a language and methodology that does not respect the natural modesty of children or the authority of their parents.”

They also expressed support for the work of religious education teachers, who ensure that “students receive instruction in doctrine and Catholic practice” and help to pass on “the perennial values of our culture.”

“We call on the media, the social networks and those who shape public opinion to put aside their economic, political and ideological interests and use these instruments responsibly and in a spirit of service to the common good to promote the authentic values that foster Costa Rican society,” the bishops said.

The Church leaders announced that the 4th National Eucharistic Congress would take place next year in the Diocese of Cartago, coinciding with the centenary of the first congress held in 1913.

They also joined in prayer for the success of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Mexico and Cuba March 23-28, “that it may be a time of spiritual renewal for these sister nation and for the Church in Latin America.”

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