.- The adjunct Secretary General of the Bishopsâ Conference of Ecuador, Father Nicolas Dousdebes, has sent a letter to President Rafael Correa asking him to respect the opinions of bishops and priests even though he may not agree with them.
In the letter, Father Dousdebes called on the president to remember that priests are included in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which says that âall people have the right to express their opinion on whatever issue they wish through any means.â âPlease donât exclude us from that,â he wrote.
âChristians should love peace but without renouncing the defense of the values of the Gospel and teachings of the Church,â he said. Acting this way, Dousdebes said, is âjust like any other voice in a democratic society and should be respected and listened to.â
Father Dousdebes lamented that bishops and priests have become the targets of âinsulting epithets,â âfor the sole âcrimeâ of expressing their disagreement with some parts of the new constitution that are ambiguous and could be interpreted as favoring abortion, putting homosexual unions on par with marriage, and stifling parentsâ rights to educate their children.â
The bishopsâ spokesman reminded President Correa that priests are not âghosts dressed in black, freaks or perverse liars like your expensive ad campaign states, but rather citizens who, like you, serve the people, sometimes without recognition or reward. We donât receive any kind of salary from the state, and therefore we have the freedom to say that we do not agree with everything the government says, as if it were the sole voice of truth, especially in matters of morality and life,â he said.