Cardinal Warns of a Sign of Totalitarianism

Defends Conscientious Objection in Face of Same-Sex “Marriage” Proposal

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 3, 2005 (Zenit.org).- A nation that does not accept conscientious objection is a totalitarian state, says a Vatican official who was criticized for speaking out against Spain’s proposal to legalize same-same marriage.

Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, made that statement to the Vatican’s Fides news agency after he was assailed by Spanish government officials for exhorting public officials not to officiate at weddings between homosexuals and to invoke conscientious objection.

The lower house of the Spanish Parliament approved the legislation to extend the right to marriage and adoption of children to same-sex couples. The text will be sent to the Senate and could face definitive ratification by June.

Cardinal López Trujillo explained that only a totalitarian state does not respect a citizen’s recourse to conscientious objection, given that any person can choose “not to take part in a crime that represents the destruction of the world.”

In particular, the cardinal referred to Articles 69, 73 and 74 of the encyclical “Evangelium Vitae,” especially 74 which states: “Those who have recourse to conscientious objection must be protected not only from legal penalties but also from any negative effects on the legal, disciplinary, financial and professional plane.”

“If someone invokes conscientious objection and is dismissed from his job, then we are faced with one of the crudest totalitarianisms,” the Colombian cardinal said. “Democracy always respects freedom; it is grave and dangerous not to respect this principle.”

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