Jesuit priest campaigns for decriminalization of abortion in Dominican Republic
July 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Jesuit priest is using his Twitter page to campaign for the decriminalization of abortion in the Dominican Republic despite denunciations from one of the country’s bishops.
Fr. Mario Serrano Marte, who is stationed on the border with Haiti in the town of Dajabón, began using his Twitter account on July 12 to retweet numerous statements in favor of a pro-abortion march to be held in the country on July 15, organized to support a bill that would eliminate penalties for abortion in three cases: danger to the life or health of the mother, rape and incest, and fetal deformity “incompatible with life.”
He then followed up with his own emphatic statements supporting the march and its goals, including a video of himself promoting the march, invoking name of “Jesus,” and the slogan “accompaniment,” as well as other language that appeared to paraphrase Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia.
“I believe that to decriminalize abortion under three conditions (life or health of the mother, rape, or fetal deformity) is a very just cause that takes LIFE into account. Let women be the ones who take the lead regarding the definition of this process.”
Fr. Serrano wrote on July 15, “To walk today for the decriminalization of ‘abortion on three grounds’ (‘#Aborto3Causales’) is very close to Jesus, who loves, accompanies, and doesn’t condemn people in extreme situations. I accompany them with my prayers from Dajabón.”
To these statements, as well as his video expressing similar sentiments, Serrano added several quotations from the prophet Amos, chapter 7, apparently comparing the prophet’s cause to his own, concluding, “And the Lord took me when I followed the flock, and the Lord said to me: Go, prophesy to my people Israel.”
The priest has received much media attention for his stance, appearing repeatedly on television in the Dominican Republic.
On July 18, Bishop Diómedes Espinal de León of Montecristi, Serrano’s diocese, denounced the priest’s conduct as “embarrassing and sad,” speculating that he must regret not having been aborted by his own mother.
“The Church is radical. ... It’s the defender of life. Perhaps this priest regrets that his mother didn’t abort him, and maybe that’s why he is a defender, and supports and promotes the approval of that law. But not everything that comes out of the mouth of a priest or a religious comes from God,” adding that his conduct is “embarrassing and sad.”
Victor Masalles, the bishop of the Diocese of Bani in the Dominican Republic, also denounced Serrano in a public sermon on July 16 and said he had contacted the priest to rebuke him personally. He also decried the fact that the priest had not been corrected by others.
“A Jesuit priest had the effrontery yesterday to support that march. And no one has said anything to him!” said Masalles. “And he supported the march and they’re saying, in social media they’re saying, ‘But how is it possible? How is it possible?’ And he was saying that it’s a ‘just cause’ to defend the (three) conditions for an abortion.”
“I wrote to him, and I said to him that I was deeply saddened as a pastor to hear a priest who is capable of saying such a thing, that it seemed to me that he was completely uninformed about the business that this signifies, regarding the ‘justice’ of each of the (three) conditions (for having an abortion), and the purpose of that agenda.”
“He’s totally ignorant about it, and he’s become an instrument for that cause, without knowing it. He’s seeking to defend justice, but justice is not what others create, but is rather something that comes from God, and never, ever can a prophet preach the cause of death! If that happens, one should not listen to him. He’s a poor, uninformed man, and may God have mercy on him.”
Despite the rebukes, Serrano has insisted on maintaining his position, and spoke to the press to reaffirm it on July 18, wearing promotional material in favor of the pro-abortion bill.
The Jesuit order appears to have said nothing regarding the priest’s conduct. The order of priests, once seen as strong advocates of orthodoxy and of loyalty to the papacy, have established a reputation in recent decades for dissent from Catholic moral doctrines, particularly those regarding life and family, emphasizing instead the Church’s social justice doctrine in ways that often appear to border on Marxism.
In the United States, numerous Jesuits openly support the LGBT political and social agenda, particularly Fr. James Martin, who defends homosexual unions openly and with impunity from his superiors.
The Dominican Republic’s president is backing the pro-abortion bill, but it is being resisted by the country’s senate, which is under media pressure to accept it. Current legislation in the Dominican Republic prohibits abortion in all circumstances except specific ones that threaten the mother’s life. The bill’s exceptions could allow abortion in any circumstance in which a physician considers the “health” of the mother to be threatened, potentially opening the door to abortion-on-demand.
To contact the Jesuits in the Dominican Republic:
The Jesuit website in the Dominican Republic is http://www.antsj.org/antillas/