By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

Bishop Florencio OlveraCUERNAVACA, MEXICO, April 3, 2009 ( – The Catholic Bishop of Cuernavaca in the state of Morelos, Mexico is standing his ground in the face of heavy opposition against his “Ten Electoral Commandments,” which state that Catholics should not vote for parties favoring the legalization of abortion, homosexual unions, euthanasia, and pornography, among other policies.

Bishop Florencio Olvera is distributing a pamphlet to all of the parishes of the diocese which  contains the “commandments” as well as principles to follow in deciding on whom to vote for in Mexico’s coming mid-term elections.

Although Olvera does not explicitly name any political parties, the state’s Federal Elections Institute official, Dagoberto Santos Trigo, is urging federal officials to fine him for violating Mexico’s constitution, which forbids the involvement of the clergy in politics.  He has also been denounced by homosexual groups, as well as a representative of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), which promotes many of the measures condemned by Olvera.

In an interview with the Cuernavaca Sol newspaper, Olvera reiterated that “I’m not telling them for whom to vote, nor supporting any political party. What I’m presenting are natural principles and truths, and aside from being a bishop I am a citizen and I have the right to express myself.”

Bishop Olvera has been formally denounced by political parties in previous election years, but has not been prosecuted for his activities so far.

In a homily last Sunday, Olvera responded to his critics, stating that “we should all love everyone, gays, our sisters who are lesbians and prostitutes, even those who commit assault and kidnapping.  They are human persons and we should love them, but we cannot accept their vice.  Are we going to bless the kidnapper because he is a kidnapper?  Of course not.  Are we going to bless those who preach abortion, no, and so on.”

“They criticize you,” he continued.  “You stay firm to your principles, because you are proclaiming the good, the great, that which is useful.”  He urged people to pray “for those who promote abortion, euthanasia, and don’t let yourself be fooled, and tell them: I respect you as people, but your actions are evil, they are not of Christ.”

Olvera also said that “this is what I always preach, and I have never indicated anyone in particular.  Now I am complaining, yes, as they are making false accusations against me.  Let them do what they want, but I will always preach this.”


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