Ecuadorans are preparing to vote on a new constitution and with the September 28 referendum around the corner, the president of the Ecuadoran Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Antonio Arregui Yarza, has issued a call to Christians to remember that “life, the family and peace are goods we must aspire to and ensure that they contribute to a better future.”
In an interview with the Ecuadoran daily “La Hora,” the archbishop announced a day of prayer set for September 14, the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, “to unite our prayers for the protection of certain values that have been singled out recently and that seem to be overshadowed in this Constitution reform.”
Asked whether the day of prayer was in reality a call to vote no on the referendum, Archbishop Arregui replied, “Not necessarily.” “The decision is always complex and each person is free to decide.” “What we do ask is that Christians responsibly confront the fact that life, the family and peace are goods we must aspire to and ensure that they contribute to a better future.”
Archbishop Arregui said the bishops are not campaigning against the government but rather preaching “what we have always preached, such as the commandment not to kill, which is always valid” and “is one of the mainstays of the Christian tradition.”
The archbishop did nevertheless warn that “There is a worldwide pro-abortion movement that has come into contact with our culture and was represented at the Constitutional Assembly.”
The prelate also recalled that the Church presented a “complete and reasonable” proposal to the Assembly to preserve “Christian values and the family.” However, the Ecuadoran Congress approved texts that were “ambiguous and clearly dangerous to the consciences of Christians,” and therefore dangerous to the family, human life, marriage and the right of parents to choose what kind of education their children will receive.