6-December-2011 -- EWTNews Feature |

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Colombian priest praised for retracting alleged abortion support

Pro-life groups in Colombia praised Father Carlos Novoa for publicly opposing abortion after he appeared to support it using documents from the Vatican and Blessed John Paul II.

Fr. Novoa's stance against abortion is "good news" since "it encourages us to remain united in defending and promoting the Gospel of Life," said advocacy group United for Life on Dec. 3.

Controversy began over comments the Jesuit priest made to newspaper El Espectador on Oct. 15 that seemed to support the ruling by Colombia's Constitutional Court to legalize abortion.

Fr. Novoa, who teaches at the Pontifical Xavierian University in Bogota, also appeared to defend the procedure through his own interpretation of passages from Blessed Pope John Paul II's encyclical "Evangelium Vitae," documents from Vatican II and canon law.

His statements were praised by leading abortion advocates but harshly criticized by Catholics and pro-life supporters.

In a Dec. 2 editorial for newspaper El Tiempo, Fr. Novoa affirmed his opposition to abortion and claimed that his previous comments were misunderstood.

He acknowledged that "the Catholic Church rejects abortion," and said that with "all my heart I embrace this rejection, as a priest in service to the Church."

"If my recent statements, which were made amidst the public debate, have caused confusion, I wish to make it clear that in no way can my words be interpreted as a justification for abortion or as support for those who defend the right to terminate a human life," Father Novoa wrote.

The priest's retraction came after a meeting on Nov. 30 at the offices of the Bishops' Conference of Colombia between the Jesuit priest and over 30 pro-life leaders.

"We were able to convey our comments to Father Novoa, with firmness but in charity, making him see how grave his statements were because of their inaccuracy and indiscretion and that made it appear that he supported abortion," United for Life said.

Read more: http://www.ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/Americas.php?id=4501#ixzz1g4PwM5Ue

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