Colombian priest retracts alleged support for abortion

.- In the wake of increasing criticism, Colombian priest Father Carlos Novoa retracted previous statements that appeared to support abortion using documents from the Vatican and Blessed John Paul II.

“I wish to make it clear that in no way can my words be interpreted as a justification for abortion or as support for those who defend the right to terminate a human life,” Fr. Novoa said in an editorial for local newspaper El Tiempo.

His remarks come after the bishops of Colombia held a meeting between Fr. Novoa and nearly twenty pro-life leaders on Nov. 30.

Controversy began over comments the Jesuit priest made to the paper El Espectador on Oct. 15 that seemed to support the ruling by Colombia’s Constitutional Court to legalize abortion. 

Fr. Novoa, who teaches at the Pontifical Xavierian University in Bogota, also appeared to defend the procedure through his own interpretation of passages from Blessed Pope John Paul II’s encyclical “Evangelium Vitae,” documents from Vatican II and canon law.

His statements were praised by leading abortion advocates but harshly criticized by Catholics and pro-life supporters.

On Nov. 12, dozens of young people gathered on campus to protest Fr. Navoa's comments. Human Life International president Father Shenan J. Boquet weighed in on the controversy in a Nov. 17 statement underscoring that “there is absolutely no justification” for abortion in Church teaching.

In a Nov. 25 piece for El Tiempo, Father Pedro Mercado—chaplain of the Colombian Congress—also called the priest's support for abortion unacceptable.

However, in his own op-ed piece over the weekend, Fr. Novoa argued that his position has been misinterpreted and that he in fact opposes the legalization of abortion.

“In no way do I hold that Pope Wojtyla directly or indirectly supported the legalization of abortion,” he wrote. “Likewise, I declare that I do not subscribe to the ruling by the Constitutional Court that legalized the termination of pregnancies in three cases.”

In previous statements, Fr. Novoa had said, “As a person I respect that ruling.” However, in his recent editorial, he claimed his “respect” actually meant “rejection.” 

“The meaning of that word is determined by its etymology and its use. In our media, it is used as a delicate way of stating that one disagrees with somebody, of saying, 'Your position is respectable but I do not share it,' or to put it more briefly, 'Your position is respectable,'” he wrote.

Although he said “I respect the ruling,” what he meant was, “I reject the ruling,” Fr. Novoa said.

“Catholic tradition in its purest form defends life, especially human life, which is a gift from God that is not at our disposal and which we must protect and cultivate,” he emphasized.

“For this reason, the Catholic Church rejects abortion. With all my heart I embrace this rejection, as a priest in service to the Church.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

A state without territory elects new government
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage

Liturgical Calendar

July 25, 2014

Saint James, Apostle

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 20:20-28


Daily Readings

First Reading:: 2 Cor 4: 7-15
Gospel:: Mt 20: 20-28

Saint of the Day

St. James »


Homily of the Day

Mt 20:20-28


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: