MEXICO CITY, May 28, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A Jesuit priest representing a pro-abortion organization recently cut off by the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (D&P) has left office following the cancellation of his April speaking engagement in the Archdiocese of Ottawa.
Fr. Luis Arriaga, the now-former director of the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights (PRODH), was scheduled to speak in Ottawa in early April as a funding recipient of D&P. Following a series of LifeSiteNews exposés on the pro-abortion activities of PRODH, Archbishop Prendergast contacted Catholic Church authorities in Mexico, who confirmed their own “concerns” about the organization, according to a D&P letter sent to its members earlier this month.
Following the cancellation, the archdiocesan press office stated that “The Archdiocese of Ottawa continues to be engaged in clarifying with Mexican Church officials the status of the Pro Centre for the Defence of Human Rights in light of its support for groups espousing abortion.” D&P followed with its own statement declaring that it had ended its relationship with PRODH, although it continued to deny that the organization is pro-abortion.
Although the provincial leaders of the Jesuit order in Canada and Mexico issued a statement defending Arriaga and PRODH on Wednesday of last week, Arriaga’s exit was announced only two days later on the PRODH website.
“Luis Arriaga Valenzuela ends his term as director of the PRODH Center,” the site’s headline reads in Spanish, and added that the “new leader” is to be Jesuit priest José Rosario Marroquín Farrera. No mention was made of Arriaga’s next destination.
In the transition ceremony, Fr. Arriaga gave a speech defending his administration of PRODH, and openly endorsed his organization’s ongoing association with the pro-abortion All Rights for Everyone Network (Red Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos) which is also listed by D&P as one of its grant recipients. The network is openly pro-abortion, and includes as one of its members the group “Catholics for the Right to Decide.” Arriaga also revealed during the speech that PRODH has been a member of the coordinating committee of the organization for the past year.
Fr. Arriaga’s exit marks the end of a 22 year career with PRODH. Since Arriaga rose to the leadership position of the organization in 2007, PRODH signed multiple pro-abortion “human rights” declarations, urging the decriminalization of abortion in Mexico in accordance with Mexico City’s abortion-on-demand law, which permits and even finances abortions for any reason during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The organization also put its name on a declaration published in Guadalajara denouncing the State of Jalisco’s proposed pro-life constitutional amendment, and held at least one press conference at its offices in which “Catholics for the Right to Decide” promoted its pro-abortion stance.
The cancellation of Fr. Arriaga’s speaking engagement and loss of D&P funding followed the revelation by LifeSiteNews that the priest had shared a stage with Consuelo Mejía of Catholics for the Right to Decide and another pro-abortion activist in November of last year, while each received awards from the Mexico City government for their respective activities on behalf of “human rights.” Arriaga’s statement congratulating Mejía for her work, along with a photo of a beaming Fr. Arriaga standing next to Mejía, were regarded as particularly damaging.