Bishop Rejects Donation from a Campaigning Politician

ASUNCION, Paraguay, NOV. 19, 2002 ( A Paraguayan bishop publicly turned down a donation from a politician on ethical grounds.

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Bishop Celso Yegros of Carapegua returned a check for $755 sent Nov. 8 by Osvaldo Domínguez Dibb, a presidential contender who is a member of the governing Colorado Party. The check ostensibly was to fix a roof at the Paraguari parish, 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of the capital.

The gesture coincides with the recent appeal of the bishops’ assembly urging politicians to abstain from buying votes in the forthcoming primary and national elections.

«For a long time, we have not accepted the gifts of politicians on ethical grounds, and even less from persons making donations in the midst of an active campaign,» the bishop told radio station March First last week.

He said the position helps «avoid any suspicion that will eventually cause the Church to be identified with any party.»

Bishop Yegros further said the episcopal conference had issued a statement appealing to parties to «seek the common good, while respecting ethical or moral principles.»

He said the conference hopes that candidates for elective posts «will not take advantage of ignorance and the crushing economic situation to buy votes … [and] consciences.»

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