4-December-2011 -- EWTNews Feature |

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Criticism grows against Colombian priest's support for abortion

Father Pedro Mercado, chaplain of the Colombian Congress, added to increasing criticism of Father Carlos Novoa, calling the Colombian priest's support for abortion unacceptable.

In several recent radio and television interviews, Fr. Novoa—who teaches at the Pontifical Xavierian University in Bogota—defended the practice through his own interpretation of passages from John Paul II's encyclical "Evangelium Vitae," documents from Vatican II and canon law.

Nothing that Blessed John Paul II said "can be interpreted as a justification for the partial legalization of abortion," Fr. Mercado countered a Nov. 25 piece for Colombian newspaper El Tiempo.

"The clear and unchanging position of the Catholic Church must not be distorted," he said.

On Nov. 12, dozens of young people gathered on campus to protest Fr. Navoa's views. Human Life International president Father Shenan J. Boquet also weighed in on the controversy in a Nov. 17 statement underscoring that "there is absolutely no justification" for abortion in Church teaching.

Fr. Mercado said that Fr. Novoa has taken sections of Evangelium Vitae out of context and "has confused two very different standards of judging: the moral and the legal."

"In the passage in question, the Pope refers to the human tragedy that so many women—the vast majority—suffer in deciding to have an abortion."

"Poverty, loneliness, abandonment and anguish are terrible circumstances for the Pope that could diminish moral responsibility," he said.

"However, the Blessed says nothing that could be interpreted as a justification of the partial legalization of abortion," Fr. Mercado underscored. "Rather, this is radically condemned in all circumstances in numerous sections of the pontifical document."

He also criticized Fr. Novoa's recent statement that "as a priest he does not accept abortion but as a citizen he considers it to be a respectable option."

"The arguments for rejecting abortion in all circumstances are not exclusively religious," Fr. Mercado said. "There exist substantive legal and scientific reasons for the defense of human life from conception to natural death."

"I hope he will have a chance to clarify his opinion and correct the fallacies in his argument. Such an act would be an example for the ecclesial community of humility and communion with the authentic sense of the Church," Fr. Mercado said.

Read more: http://www.ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/Americas.php?id=4487#ixzz1fhiINYFO

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