In an official statement published on Wednesday, the Paraguayan Bishops’ Conference called on the government of former bishop Fernando Lugo, who will take power on August 15, to defend the right to life and the family based “on marriage between one man and one woman.”
In its statement, the bishops said that although the country doesn’t abide by a specific religion, “it should respect religious freedom, freedom of worship and of conscience. Likewise, it should take into consideration the values proper to the nature of the human person and of society, especially with regards to life, its promotion and defense from conception to natural death; the nuclear family based upon the marriage between one man and one woman; the care and education of children, and also, comprehensive aid for the poor, rural communities, indigenous peoples, as well as the elderly, the infirm and the abandoned.”
The bishops’ comments come after the future Minster for Women’s Affaris, Gloria Rubin, announced her support for legalizing abortion in the country.
The bishops acknowledged that during the April 20 elections, “The people expressed their desire for change and they choose a new phase for the country. Nobody doubts the importance of meeting these expectations, getting rid of errors and negativity in political life and the urgent adoption of measures to seek the common good above personal, family, group and partisan interests. In this context, we congratulate the new government and the people for achieving the objectives of authentic change.”
The main protagonist of this event, the bishops said, is “Mr. Fernando Lugo, who was a member of the Bishops’ Conference and left of his own accord, was given a dispensation by Pope Benedict XVI and became president of the Republic of Paraguay.”
“It does not seem necessary to point out that the Catholic Church does not identify with the new government. But it is not redundant to reiterate that we cannot neglect our pastoral work in order to become involved in politics,” the bishops continued. They reiterated their willingness to support policies in favor of the common good, that promote human dignity and the rights of persons and that seek a comprehensive development of the people and their communities.”
The Church will continue to offer “constructive criticism” of the government’s actions and to raise her “prophetic voice of proclamation and denunciation,” the bishops said.