Cardinal Rubiano is determined not to make the mistake that the American bishops made when abortion was being legalized here. That was to do nothing.
Bogotá, May. 12, 2006 (CNA) - In response to a ruling by Colombia’s Constitutional Court making the country the first in Latin America to legalize abortion, the country’s bishops said Thursday that civil disobedience may be necessary to resist the new immoral law. Likewise, Bogotá’s Archbishop, Cardinal Pedro Rubiano Saenz is threatening excommunication against the responsible lawmakers.
The president of the Bishops’ Conference of Colombia, Archbishop Luis Augusto Castro, rejected the Court’s decision to legalize abortion in certain cases and said it was a crime against human life. “A door is being opened toward the elimination of the innocent lives of so many children who will not be allowed to live, we have always said this is wrong,” the archbishop said.
“We continue to say that this is an act against the life of the unborn and it is immoral.”
Likewise, Cardinal Rubiano told Columbia’s El Tiempo newspaper that “all those who commit the crime, the sin of abortion, will be excommunicated immediately."
“This applies as well to those who foster or assist abortion,” he added, insinuating that the justices who passed the ruling to allow abortion in some cases, might be included in this excommunication, without mentioning them explicitly.
Cardinal Rubiano lamented that the justices did “open the door” for a broader legalization of abortion. “Draw your own conclusions,” he added, stressing that abortion is “a deliberate murder in the womb of the mother.”
For his part, Archbishop Castro said that “We must have a two-fold perspective, that is, to see the situation of the mother and help her in every way, but also look after the child, because nobody does it…Nobody looks after the baby, there is no consideration for a child that has been conceived, who tries to move forward in this world but has his possibilities cut off.”
The archbishop noted that in the conception through rape, “the child is innocent…the criminal should be punished and put in jail for a longtime, but the child should not have to pay for the sins of another. He is an innocent baby. In this sense we defend the life of the baby as well.”
While Archbishop Castro underscored that a child conceived through rape is “the result of a deplorable action,” he emphasized that what exists in the mother’s womb is a child who committed no crime. Many women who have conceived through rape, he noted, “accept their babies because they understand that the child is one thing, and the person responsible for the rape is another.”
The bishops of Tunja and Engativa decried the Justices for taking the easy way out and they noted that “not everything that is legal is moral.” They said Colombians should question the legitimacy of the ruling.
“It is sad that the Justices have chosen the easy way, which is the path to crime,” said Bishop Hector Gutierrez Pabon of Engativa. “In the Catholic Church, there is no such thing as a first, second or third class citizen and it should be this way also in society.”
“Many people will think that because it is legal it is okay. No! What is legal is not always morally licit,” he added.