The Society of Jesus in Uruguay has expressed "deep regret" over statements made to reporters by local priest Father Jose Ignacio Gonzalez Faus, who voiced support for the legalization of abortion.

In remarks published Oct. 22 by La Daria, Fr. Gonzalez Faus said he supported the legalization of procedure after the government of Uruguay passed a bill allowing the practice up to the twelfth week of pregnancy.  

Jesuit superiors in Uruguay, however, were quick to distance themselves from Fr. Gonzalez's views in a statement issued on Oct. 25.

"The position of the Society of Jesus regarding the issues mentioned by Father Gonzalez Faus in the aforementioned interview is none other than that of the Catholic Church, and his statements in no way reflect our thoughts and viewpoints," the Jesuit leaders said.

Fr. Gonzalez's statements "have done nothing more than create confusion in people, especially the way in which he approaches the issue of the legalization of abortion."

The priest's stance "is not only contrary to the position of the Church in general, but also totally ignores the actions of the Church in Uruguay in recent months regarding this issue."

"Many priests, religious and laity have strived to clearly present the position of the Catholic Church and have publicly stood up to defend it," the group added. "This includes us as well."