Archbishop Pastor Cuquejo of Asuncion has called on Paraguayans to reflect as they get ready to go to the polls and to cast their vote “with clarity and transparency.”
Asked by reporters about Paraguayan President Nicanor Duarte’s criticism of the Church leaders, Archbishop Cuquejo lamented the “repetitive” statements of the president and instead chose to exhort voters to “choose their next leaders better, with clarity and transparency, because the kind of government we will have during the next five years will depend solely on us.”
Duarte harshly criticized the bishops in recent weeks, saying that just as some priests have said they distrust politicians, politicians also “have the right to distrust priests and pastors.” In recent speeches he mentioned the cases of two priests, Fathers Jose Antonio Rubio and Fernando Lugo. “I said one had cheated (Rubio) and the other does not act like a priest (Lugo), so be careful. Nobody who behaves appropriately is going to be sanctioned,” he said.
Lugo recently announced his candidacy for president during the next elections, which resulted in his suspension from the priesthood.
“Priests and monks had a monopoly on the truth only during the Middle Ages,” Duarte claimed. “Everyone who distrusted them were taken directly to the bonfires and burned at the stake. We are in the 21st century,” Duarte said in response to the bishops who questioned his comments.