Fr. Arriaga/Development & Peace: Do they have significant influence over Mexico’s Big Pro-Abortion Lobby?

Another cyberspace disappearing act has occurred regarding Fr. Luis Arriaga, the abortion-enabling priest who’s visiting the Archdiocese of Ottawa.  He’s got that magic touch:  incriminating evidence of his organization’s abortion advocacy just disappears from the web after being reported on LifeSiteNews!

On the website of the Mexican group called Catholics for the Right to Decide (Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir), there’s a page celebrating their 15th anniversary. Or as they put it, “15 years of experience in the promotion of sexual and reproductive rights”. They speak openly about abortion on this page, so there’s no doubt about what they mean by “sexual and reproductive rights.”

To mark the occasion, they organized a forum in August 2009. The second panel of the day went to the heart of the organization’s mission to spread abortion in the Church. The panel was called “What are the challenges that we face as a Church in the 21st century with respect to the exercise of human rights by women, specifically their sexual and reproductive rights?” The panel  featured a who’s who of dissenting Catholic religious and priests from Latin America.  A Jesuit, a Dominican, a Missionary of Mary Immaculate and a Baptist pastor.

If you read the list of panelists as it currently figures on their website,  i.e. after the scrubbing, Fr. Luis Arriaga’s name and title do not appear on the list.

Hasta la vista, baby!

However, if you look at the cached version saved by Google on March 20 (the link will only be available for a few more days, but I’ve saved a copy), you will see Fr. Luis Arriaga listed among the panelists in his capacity as his organization’s director:

El segundo panel titulado ¿Cuáles son los desafíos que enfrentamos como iglesias en el siglo XXI en lo que se refiere al ejercicio de los derechos humanos de las mujeres, específicamente sus derechos sexuales y reproductivos?…Fray Julián Cruzalta OP, de la Comunidad Ecuménica Magdala y consultor de CDD; y el Mtro. Luis Arriaga Valenzuela SJ, y Director del Centro de Derechos Humanos “Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez”. Durante el panel se habló del carácter patriarcal de la jerarquía Católica… (Google Cache  here.)

Yes, that’s Fr. Luis Arriaga.  The one and only.   A Mexican radio station, Radio Bemba, also reported on the event. Their report includes Fr. Arriaga as a panelist. No scrubbing there. Yet.

Here’s a curious lacuna for all Socon or Bust readers out there:  Did Development & Peace have enough indirect influence with  Catholics for the Right to Decide to pull reference to Fr. Arriaga off of this pro-abort website?  Did they just phone them up? Send a quick e-mail?  Or did they go through Fr. Luis himself?  What is the relationship between Development & Peace and/or Fr. Luis Arriaga and Catholics for the Right to Decide in Mexico?

And what was the summary of the discussion of this panel? You’ll be sorry you asked:

Original Spanish

My translation

Durante el panel se habló del carácter patriarcal de la jerarquía Católica, especialmente de la falta de reconocimiento de la autoridad moral de las mujeres para tomar decisiones sobre sus propias vidas y cuerpos, así como de la fuerte percepción cultural que existe todavía en algunos lugares del país al considerar que el valor de la mujer mexicana no está determinado por su propia identidad, sino por el número de hijos que puede proporcionar a su marido. Asimismo, los panelistas hablaron sobre el principio de la libertad de conciencia, enfatizando que todos los católicos tienen la libertad para disentir cuando no están de acuerdo con las enseñanzas de la jerarquía, sobre todo cuando éstas dificultan su derecho a una vida digna.

During the panel, they spoke of the patriarchal character of the Catholic hierarchy, especially the lack of recognition of the moral authority of women to make decisions regarding their own lives and bodies, and of the strong cultural perception that still exists in some areas of the country to the effect that the value of a Mexican woman is not determined by her own identity, but by the number of children that she can bear to her husband. Moreover, the panelists spoke of the principle of freedom of conscience, emphasizing that all Catholics have the freedom to dissent when they are not in agreement with the teachings of the hierarchy, especially when these render more difficult their right to a life of dignity.

Note that they’re not just talking about dissent in the abstract, but rather dissent in the specific context of the theme of their panel, i.e. abortion in the Church.

I guess my obvious question to the Archbishop, on this eve of Fr. Arriaga’s talk at the Diocesan Centre, would be: if this priest is so open about Catholics’ right to dissent, what makes you think, your Grace, that he won’t embarrass you in front of a packed room? Or worse yet, at the Life Teen Mass, which is especially for teenagers who are learning about their faith? Would you entrust their souls into this priest’s hands?

If this information disturbs you, then join us for a peaceful prayer vigil this Saturday outside the location of Fr. Arriaga’s first talk in Ottawa.


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