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Monday, August 18, 2008

Ecuadoran president pushing young people to resist guidance from the Church

.- President Rafael Correa of Ecuador has lashed out at the Church again this week, encouraging young people to refuse to be taught by those who want to leave the country “in darkness”—a reference to the campaign by the bishops to vote responsibility during the upcoming referendum on the new constitution.

During the inauguration of a government program for young people, Correa said his project “is the last chance for peaceful change in Ecuador, for democratic and constitutional change, and yet there are some who want to keep us in the past.”

Although some of the president’s closest collaborators said this week the bishops should “tone down” their comments, Correa attacked the bishops, who said they would begin offering guidance to parishes to instruct the faithful about aspects of the new constitution that are incompatible with the faith.

“Let them catechize 6 or 7 year-olds, because we should reflect on this and not have to put up with sermons or instructions from anybody,” Correa said. “We need to say ‘yes’ to the future, without being afraid and without the old fear of the clergy or the vengeance of the devil,” he added.

He called on young people to take note of “who is lying and who is telling the truth, who wants to move the country forward and who wants to leave it in the darkness in which it has always existed. Think about it and don’t let them teach you,” he told them.

“Those arrogant people who want to give us orders, instructions, catechesis, have the answer they deserve,” Correa said, referring to recent radio program in which he said he was not going to discuss the issue anymore.

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