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Criminal Charges Filed against Ecuadorian Archbishop for Opposing “Abortion” Constitution

LifeSiteNews.com

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

GUAYAQUIL, ECUADOR, August 12, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A group of Ecuadorians have filed criminal charges against the head of the country’s Catholic episcopal conference for making critical statements about the nation’s new proposed constitution.

The organization "Impunidad Jamás" (Never Impunity), claims that Archbishop Antonio Arregui is violating a 1937 treaty between the Vatican and Ecuador, which requires the clergy to avoid intervening in politics. 

Church officials say they are not advising the people on how to vote, but rather giving them important information necessary to make the decision as Catholics.

Impunidad Jamás is said to be inspired by Cuban communist leader Che Guevara.  Ecuador’s current president, Raphael Correa, habitually quotes Guevara at the end of his speeches.

"This meddling goes against every ethical and juridical principle," said a group spokesman.  "Monseñor is disobeying the will of the Pope, and it is for that reason that in the charges we are filing with the prosecutor we’re asking that the Holy See be notified so that he can be removed from office."

The Archbishop, whose churches have been desecrated in recent weeks by angry socialists, and who has been threatened repeatedly with death, denounced the charges as an "attack on the freedom of expression and a sign of anti-democratic disrespect for peaceful coexistence."

In related events, the Correa administration continued to attack the Catholic hierarchy for its published criticisms of his party’s proposed constitution, which the bishops say contains pro-abortion and anti-family language.  They also fear that it would move the country towards totalitarianism.

"The Constitution clearly says that the right to life will be respected from conception. If the little priest doesn’t understand, how sad, he should go to a dictionary," said Vice President Lenín Moreno in an interview.  "And if he does understand and is tricking the people, he should make an act of contrition and a firm purpose of amendment."

Although the constitution proposed to the country by Correa’s Alianza PAIS party has a clause mentioning that children have the right to be protected "from conception", the same document also contains pro-abortion language.

The document states in its section on "civil rights" that "All have the right to make free, responsible, and informed decisions regarding their reproductive health and life and to decide when and how many children to have and how often to have them." 

"Reproductive health" is a term often used by pro-abortion groups to refer to abortion indirectly.

Previous LifeSiteNews Coverage:

Socialist Forces in Ecuador Desecrate Eucharist in Conflict over new "Abortionist" Constitution
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/aug/08081105.html

Death Threats Received by Archbishop and Human Life International Leader in Ecuador for Opposing "Abortionist" Constitution
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/aug/08080611.html

Ignoring Threats and Intimidation, Catholic Bishops of Ecuador Denounce Pro-Abortion Constitution
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/aug/08080610.html

New Ecuadorian Constitution Endangered by Pro-Abortion, Anti-Family Language
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/jul/08071606.html

Ecuador’s Proposed Constitution Would "Establish Penalties" for Groups that "Promote Homophobia"
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/jun/08061903.html

Famous Model and TV Announcer Wins Battle to Protect Life and Family Values in Ecuadoran Constitution
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/apr/08040110.html

Ecuador’s President and Ruling Party to Seeks to Exclude Mention of God in New Constitution
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/mar/08033101.html

Ecuadorans Battle Over Abortion in their New Constitution
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/aug/07082912.html

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