Archbishop Hugo Barrantes of San Jose, Costa Rica, stated that a flyer circulating through the city that claims he is opposed to the Free Trade Agreement is an “abuse” and is “completely out of place.”
On Monday, Representative Mayi Antillon showed reporters the flyer printed with the name of the archbishop with an invitation to a “Vote No” rally against the referendum that is scheduled for October 7.
“Attempting to manipulate the voters by falsely using the name of Archbishop Barrantes is very serious, he is not involved in this,” she said.
Antillon stressed that the archbishop is very concerned about the matter because “we have been saying the truth, and not lies, must be used. In no way would he ever do something like this,” she added, insisting that the archbishop’s position has always been “totally neutral.” She also said the archbishop has not sponsored other activities organized by groups opposed to the referendum, including a group that has organized a protest at the auditorium owned by the Bishops’ Conference. “I find it very strange that the Conference and the auditorium managers would be part of this, as it would be sort of consenting to it,” she emphasized.
Archbishop Barrantes stressed that churches and religious places should not be used to promote a “yes” or a “no” vote on the referendum, even if the Supreme Court “says the clergy can take a position.” “What the Church teaches is that we are above this, not in favor or against, in order to provide ethical enlightenment,” the archbishop stated.