.- The Bishops’ Conference of Costa Rica announced Thursday that it completely rejects a bill that would modify the country’s constitution, remove a clause that establishes the Catholic faith as the Costa Rica’s religion and eliminate any reference to God in legal oaths.
The bishops said the measure that was proposed by the “Movement for a Secular State in Costa Rica” is being portrayed as “a means of safeguarding religious freedom” for Costa Ricans, when in reality the movement’s purpose is to take advantage “of this opportunity in order to push its own agenda.”
Some members of the movement, the bishops noted, “have shown themselves to be opposed to the values of the Gospel and the Christian ethics the Church teaches. Their marked particular interest prevents them from seeking the authentic common good and discredits them as supposed defenders of religious freedom in the country.”
They went on to stress that the current Constitution “has historically allowed for a healthy, respectful and balanced collaboration between Church and State in the interest of the integral development of our country. To affirm the contrary is to ignore history,” the bishops said.
Addressing the group’s intention to strip God from legal oaths, the bishops said it is evidence of a secularist agenda which is “opposed to the concept of the just autonomy of the political community and the Church and is understood as the exclusion of God and faith from the public sphere, reducing it to the private realm.”
For this reason, they added, “anti-religious prejudices, special interests and moral relativism are an expression of a myopia that denies any value of the transcendent dimension and of living the Christian faith.”
The bishops said their opposition to the bill was rooted “in the defense of principles and values that support authentic democracy and not in the search for supposed privileges, because a democracy without values…easily becomes a dictatorship and ends up betraying the people.”