Argentina: Catholics urged to quit church after abortion vote
Last week, despite massive demonstrations in support abortion in Argentina, the country’s Senate voted against a Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy (IVE) Bill.
It’s now being reported that those in favour of legal, safe and free abortion are being urged to quit the Catholic Church, which vigorously campaigned against the Bill, and that thousands have already responded positively to the call.
Several groups, including the Argentinian Coalition Laic State (CAEL), have united to encourage people who were baptised but no longer identify with the church to resign.
According to information provided by CAEL, the Argentine state contributes around £536-million a year to the Catholic Church, without taking into account the tax reductions. This financial support is proportional to the number of people baptised and registered as being part of the church.
One of the founding members of Argentina’s Mothers of Plaza de Mayo movement, Nora Cortiñas, above, is just one of the many who have vowed to quit the church. She said:
I’m very sad because I’m Catholic and I’ll apostasize.
Cortiñas is reportedly using the abortion issue to remind people of the collusion between the Catholic Church and the dictatorship of Jorge Rafael Videla. During that period thousands of young people were murdered and children were taken from their homes and handed by nuns to families close to the regime.
According to Concordat Watch:
The Catholic Church is the state church of Argentina, (and of six other Latin American countries, as well: Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Paraguay).
While guaranteeing freedom of religion, Argentina’s 1994 Constitution also asserts that the state supports the Roman Catholic faith (I.2) and that Vatican concordats rank higher than laws (IV.75.22).
It even has a government department called the Directorate General of Catholic Worship. In addition to many institutional privileges, Argentina also provides the Catholic Church with a variety of subsidies, including clerical salaries, which are not available to other religious groups. As in Germany, these perpetual payments to the Church are justified as compensation for expropriation of Church property carried out two centuries ago.