Political Groups Assail 4 Mexican Bishops for Speaking Out

Prelates Urge Voters to Shun Pro-Abortion Candidates

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MEXICO CITY, MAY 29, 2003 (Zenit.org).- A new political party, México Posible, has sued the bishops of Queretaro, Tlaxcala, Cuernavaca and Acapulco for expressly telling the electorate not to vote for its members.

A wing of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) also asked the bishops to withdraw from politics, although it hasn’t filed a lawsuit.

In their complaints, México Posible and the PRD wing cite the statements and writings of the bishops on the forthcoming July 6 elections. The bishops ask that votes not be cast in favor of parties or candidates that promote abortion.

México Posible and the PRD wing, grouped around their national leader Rosario Robles, have called for the decriminalization of abortion. The former also supports the legalization of homosexual unions, euthanasia and the use of marijuana “for recreational purposes.”

The Federal Electoral Institute only recently approved México Posible.

Forces of the left, center and even the ruling National Action Party (PAN) have asked the bishops to set aside their role as moral guides and dedicate themselves strictly to worship.

The government secretariat, in charge of religious affairs, sent a notice to the Mexican episcopal conference requesting that it “restrict” the bishops’ participation in politics.

The episcopal conference responded by supporting the work of the bishops and stating that “we are not going to remain silent” when it comes to “denouncing anti-moral values,” said its secretary-general, Bishop Abelardo Alvarado.

In statements published Wednesday in La Jornada, Bishop Alvarado lamented that some political parties gain publicity at the expense of the Catholic Church hoping to “win the votes of alleged minorities.”

Monsignor Guillermo Ortiz, spokesman of the episcopal conference, said that the bishops’ right to set forth Church doctrine “ends when there is a desire to support, reject or attack some specific party, and there was not fault committed in this respect.”

“From my point of view, [the lawsuit] will not go forward because what the bishops have done in general, and what the Church does, is to defend life, the family,” Monsignor Ortiz told the newspaper Reforma.

Mexico is preparing for intermediary elections on July 6, which will renew municipal executives and state governments in some states, and the country’s Chamber of Deputies, which to date is headed by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

The world’s second largest Catholic country, Mexico has about 90 million faithful.

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