Two cardinals, a bishop and two priests were convicted this month by the Mexican justice system for having advised against voting for candidates who support abortion and gender ideology, among other recommendations, in elections held in June this year in the country. On that occasion, governors, congressmen from the Chamber of Deputies and state legislatures and occupants of municipal offices were elected.
A statement from the Electoral Court of the Judiciary of the Federation (TEPJF) reported that the Specialized Chamber of the court unanimously considered that the Archbishop of Mexico City and Primate of Mexico, Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes, Archbishop Emeritus of Guadalajara, Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, the Bishop of Cancún-Chetumal, Monsignor Pedro Pablo Elizondo Cárdenas, and Fathers Mario Ángel Flores Ramos, former rector of the Pontifical University of Mexico (UPM), and Ángel Espinosa de los Monteros Gómez Haro “transgressed the constitutional principles of Church-State separation and equity and equality in the election with the dissemination of videos within the scope of the 2020-2021 federal electoral process, through various profiles and channels on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube”.
“From the full analysis of the audiovisual materials denounced, the Plenary concluded that the statements issued had an impact on the course of the last federal electoral process, since they were issued with the aim of influencing the vote of citizens, which shows the transgression of the principles Constitutions of Church-State separation and equity in the dispute”, the statement pointed out.
The TEPJF report highlighted that there was disrespect to the “express constitutional prohibition”, since ministers of religious worship, who therefore “have great influence over those who profess the Catholic faith”, are prevented from commenting on electoral disputes, as well. how to incite votes for or against any political force or candidacy.
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According to the Catholic Information Agency (ACI), the process was opened based on accusations presented by deputies from the Morena party, the acronym for the current president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The legend dropped the complaints, but the court decided to continue the process.
The sentence was sent to the Ministry of the Interior, which must impose the sanctions it deems appropriate – the punishment can range from a simple reprimand to a fine of 3 million Mexican pesos (about US$150,000).
According to the ACI, Cardinal Sandoval Íñiguez recommended, in June this year, not to vote for those “in power”, claiming that “either the dictatorship will come or freedom will be lost, because it is a communist, socialist system. that enslaves”, in addition to pondering that in the election “the family, the good of the family and of life were also at stake, because this government adopted the gender ideology”.
In January of this year, Dom Elizondo Cárdenas said: “The Church says: do not vote for candidates who support abortion, who are against the family, who are against values, which are against marriage as God describes it in the Bible, since first page, male and female, He created them and said to them: ‘Grow and multiply’”.
The other religious defended the vote for candidates who valued the right to life, the family, education, religious freedom and democracy and to avoid candidates who would encourage the “culture of death” and “division”.
Despite having contradicted the Mexican judiciary, the two cardinals, the bishop and the two priests followed the recommendation made by the then Pope Benedict XVI (current Pope Emeritus) in 2010: “When (…) the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls demand it, pastors have a grave duty to issue a moral judgment, even in political matters”.
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