GUATEMALA CITY, July 14, 2011 ( – Nine out of eleven of Guatemala’s presidential candidates recently attended a forum held by the country’s Catholic bishops, where the candidates unanimously rejected the decriminalization of abortion, homosexual adoption, and other socially liberal policies, according to the Prensa Libre newspaper.

The responses indicate a very different mentality from the sexually libertine morality prevailing in industrialized countries, where free sexual liaisons are increasingly regarded as “normal” and abortion is almost universally offered as a backup in the case contraception fails.

The candidates present included members of a variety of parties on both sides of the political spectrum, including Otto Pérez Molina of the Patriotic Party, Manuel Baldizón of the Renewed Democratic Liberty Party, Patricia de Arzú of the Unionist Party,  and Rigoberta Menchú of the Broad Front of the Left.

All nine candidates said that abortion should be entirely prohibited under the law, except Pérez Molina of the Patriotic Party, who said that an exception should be made when the life of the mother is in danger.

No candidates supported homosexual adoption, and one, Patricia de Arzú, called homosexual unions an “abomination.”  Six of the candidates said that sex education was the responsibility of parents, and one said that he favors abstinence and fidelity. 

The candidates reportedly deviated from traditional Catholic morality in only two areas: in vitro fertilization and contraception.  While the Catholic Church teaches that both should be prohibited by law, the candidates generally opposed such legislation, wishing to leave such decisions to couples.

The candidates also expressed their opposition to divorce, and said that the government should support the unity of families.  However, Juan Gutiérrez, of the National Advance Party said that he believes couples should be free to act according to their desires.