The Committee on Ecclesiastical Law of the Bishops’ Conference of Ecuador reiterated this week that the Church cannot allow Father Fernando Vega to participate in the upcoming elections for the Constitutional Assembly.
The committee pointed out that both Canon Law and the international treaty between the Holy See and the Ecuadorian state, entitled “Modus Vivendi,” clearly prohibit priests from participating in politics. It said Archbishop Vicente Cisneros acted in accord with Church and civil law by prohibiting Father Vega from being a candidate in the elections for the Constitutional Assembly.
Father Vega, who is in charge of Social Ministry in Cuenca, declared himself a candidate for the leftist political party “Acuerdo Pais.” Archbishop Cisneros asked him to renounce his candidacy, but Father Vega instead proposed he take a “sabbatical year” in order to devote himself “temporarily” to politics.
The committee pointed out, however, that the sabbatical year for this purpose is not an alternative contemplated in Church law.
Father Vega insists he will continue his political career and said if he is elected he will make put his office at the disposal of the archbishop.