MEXICO CITY, January 14, 2009 ( – The leadership of Mexico’s socialist Social Democratic Party (PSD) has issued a demand to Mexico City’s Cardinal Archbishop Norberto Rivera that he and the Church stop opposing its initiatives to legalize abortion, homosexual “marriage” and euthanasia, or face legal action.

The PSD is angered by the Cardinal’s consistent reiteration of the Catholic Church’s teachings on the sanctity of human life, sexual morality, and family values.

“It’s an attack against our ideology, because they describe us as enemies of the family, deprecate legislation that depenalizes abortion, ignore the existence of same-sex couples, the practice of euthanasia, and they make fun of transsexuality,” said the PSD’s national president, Jorge Carlos Diaz, in a press conference.

“We are talking about a campaign that is going to be prolonged, because this is delicate and we will appear before the electoral agencies, because we will be confirming that there is a negative campaign against us, that we support ideas that differ from those of the Church,” he added.

Diaz says that if the Church does not agree to cease denouncing his party’s legislative initiatives, “we will report it to the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) for proselytizing.”

Mexico’s Constitution prohibits the clergy from participating in politics, although it does not prohibit Church officials from teaching moral values.  Although they were once applied with more severity, the Constitution’s anti-clerical provisions are no longer seen as prohibiting the clergy from making statements analyzing the moral implications of legislation.

Mexico’s prohibitions against participation in politics by the clergy were used to intimidate Cardinal Rivera in 2007, during the campaign to legalize abortion in Mexico City.  After being threatened with an investigation into statements by the Cardinal and his priests opposing the measure, Rivera backed down from his threat to excommunicate city councilmen who voted for it.