Saturday, December 30, 2006

Church right-wing shocker

This news snippet from the BBC on Paraguay has alerted the Daily (Maybe) to the astonishing fact that the Catholic Church is right wing. Gosh.

Lugo, left, watching footballRetired Bishop Fernando Lugo "known for his work among the poor" is "leading in the opinion polls" for the Presidential race (due in 2008) but the Church has threatened to suspend him from the Priesthood, or even excommunicate him, for his decision to run.

The Catholic News Service reports that standing against a right wing President "is not congruent with the priestly and episcopal mission, which has as its fundamental objective the salvation of souls." The Church bars priests from participating in trade unions or political parties, although it is happy to collaborate with fascist regimes, like that of Franco. Spero News reports that Lugo responded by saying the Church “can either accept my decision or punish me. But I am in politics already.”

Right wing President Nicanor Duarte Frutos, whose party has been in power for SIXTY YEARS (including during the period of torture chamber dictatorship which ended in '89), has been beset by corruption scandals where he has had to sack large parts of his cabinet and high profile police officers. If Frutos is unable to change the Constitution to stand again in 2008 the right's candidate will almost certainly be General Oviedo who led a failed coup against President Juan Carlos Wasmosy in 1996.

Lugo, founder member of his party, the National Union of Ethical Citizens, is regularly compared to Morales and Chavez and has been a consistent supporter of the movement of landless peasants and, unusually for a Latin American politician, has declared that he wants his running mate to be a woman. Lugo has the backing of the majority of the left including Tekojoja (Equality) a unity party formed from the movement for agrarian reform in a country where 80% of the land is owned by the large estate owners.

Business leaders are particularly concerned that Lugo may become president as his track record as an advocate for the poor could spell a cut in their profit margins. Bless.

La Prensa Latina reports that "President Nicanor Duarte said to newspaper La Nacion Lugo constituted a menace to the current system, because of his socialist aspirations". Lugo also has an interesting take on the class nature of Paraguay stating famously "in Paraguay there are only thieves and the victims of thieves." He said of his intention to run for the Presidency that "the time has come to take exclusion, oblivion and discrimination from the current Paraguayan social life."

Bring on the menace, let's see what he's got.

9 comments:

a very public sociologist said...

This sounds very interesting. I think you're the only one on the left to have picked this story up, Jim.

Jim Jay said...

Could be... the left press is on holiday and I jumped in the gap!

studentmedic said...

Hehe, that's interesting Jim! Even if only because it illustrates what we knew before so well!

Anonymous said...

Have you seen those photos of Karol Wydosaifudlkfjhask (before pope elevation) and Pinochet together?

Jim Jay said...

Well, I found this - is that what you were thinking of?

Ellee said...

Very interesting stuff. Just want to wish you a happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

That's one of them. Din 'alf give me the 'orn, that. I couldn't prevent myself...

Scott said...

As people have said, it's not very supprising, Latin America was the birth place of Liberation Theology and that was stamped on by JP2 and Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.
It's influrance has however helped spawn the PT (Workers Party) and PESOL in Brizal.
I guess the main reasion for being against LT was (and is) that it's close to communism and by extension the old sovite unions anti-religous laws.

Francisco said...

May I just remind the writer that during the time of Franco, in Spain, there was NO priest leading, or making any political decisions. The church says that priests are to dedicate to the leading of souls, not to political ideals. Anyone who is a lay member of the church and wishes to be involved in politics in any way is totally free to do so. In Franco's government there were lay catholics working, in the same way as in Zapatero's, who is a socialist, there also are lay members of the church.