DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, October 12, 2007 ( – A man claiming to be a Mexican priest and theologian has made headlines in the Dominican Republic after arriving in the country to support the legalization of abortion, which is being promoted by international groups and some lawmakers in the island nation.

The man, who calls himself Brother Julian Cruzalta and claims expertise in “Eco-Feminism” has been giving press conferences and speeches since arriving on October 8th, claiming that the debate over legalizing abortion has been “contaminated” by excessive emphasis on morality and religious belief, and scolding religious officials for passing judgment on a matter that he claims should be judged by women.

“For that reason I say that dialogue is important because if the churches have a point of view they should express it publicly, but if others have another point of view on the subject they should respect it, and that is called liberty of conscience in Human Rights, and I believe that in this country abortion is not going to be ended.”

He urged the government to implement sexual education programs and “those who claim to defend life should know that human life is health, housing, education, and a just wage.”

Implying that the beginning of human life is a matter of debate, Cruzalta added that “to defend the purely biological does not suffice; what is important is defending life, there it is, life with all of its dreams, frustrations, rejections and acceptances, the life of a woman that in a particular moment is carrying something she doesn’t want and has been raped, someone who has received a deposit of something she doesn’t want much less has desired in that way.”

He denounced what he called “certain deaths caused by an unsafe abortion because of its clandestine nature, converting the fact into a health problem that discriminates against the poorest people.”

Cruzalta’s opinions are in stark contrast with the repeated denunciation of abortion as a grave sin by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, including the bishops of the Dominican Republic, who are waging a fierce battle to preserve the nation’s absolute prohibition of abortion. Lawmakers are currently considering removing penalties for “therapeutic abortions”, which are ostensibly done to protect the mother’s health. In reality, however, the concept of “therapeutic abortion” is broad enough to cover practically any pregnancy.

Cruzalta is, according to media reports and internet sources, a professor of “human rights” at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, a public institution, and is involved in the “Magdalene Ecumenical Community” in Mexico City, which among other things gives courses in gnostic “kabala” teachings.

As late as 2006 he was affiliated with New York’s Union Theological Seminary, an “interdenominational” Protestant school not affiliated with the Catholic Church. In 2004, he was listed as a signatory of a letter urging President Bush to restore funding to the UN Population Fund, which aids China in its coercive “one child policy” that involves forcing women to have abortions, and in some cases killing their children after birth.
Cruzalta has also been associated with homosexual causes, receiving an award from the homosexual group “Rolagay” in 2001, on the occasion of its “First Mexican Congress on the History of the LGBTT Community”.

Cardinal Lopez Rodriguez, Archbishop of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, who denounced the “friar”, said that he had solicited information from the Archdiocese of Mexico City on Cruzalta, and that he did not know in whose name the man is speaking.

Related coverage:

Catholics in Dominican Republic Plan Offensive Against Abortion

Cardinal Denounces Proposal to Legalize Abortion in the Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic Protest Against Attempt to Legalize Abortion