Colombian bishop: Church leaders have right to encourage pro-life voting

.- The secretary general of the Bishops’ Conference of Colombia, Bishop Fabian Marulanda Lopez, said this week he was surprised by former president Alfonso Lopez Michelsen’s opposition to the bishops’ call to vote for pro-life policies and candidates in the upcoming elections.

In response to a column Michelsen wrote for the Colombian daily El Tiempo, in which the former president chided the bishops for “meddling in Colombian politics” by “calling for the prohibition of abortion, gay marriage and euthanasia,” Bishop Marulanda responded with a letter in which he wondered aloud if the former president had even read the bishops’ statements.  “One would think you would have read the statement of the bishops” before criticizing it, he said, “because there is nothing in that text related to what you are so concerned about: no finger-pointing or subtle prohibitions.”

The statement, Bishop Marulanda continued, “does not mention the word ‘abortion’ nor ‘gay marriage’ or ‘euthanasia’.”   Nevertheless, he said, this does not mean “that the bishops are not concerned about these issues.”

Bishop Marulanda said he was surprised that “such a ‘profoundly liberal’ man like you, Dr. Lopez,” would be so upset at the bishops for “calling on citizens to participate in the political process” and for demanding candidates support policies that respect life, fight poverty, and promote education and peace. 

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