Portugal: Organization of referendum on the liberalization of abortion

Source: FSSPX News


The Portuguese parliament, by a large majority, has passed the setting up of a referendum on the liberalization of abortion. On the socialist proposal of making Portugal “an advanced democracy”, the deputies have adopted a text on the question which will be put to electors: “Are you in agreement with the decriminalization of the voluntary interruption of pregnancy if it is performed at the request of the woman, in the first ten weeks of pregnancy, and in a legally authorized health establishment?”

 In a communiqué published by the Catholic agency Ecclesia, Mgr. José Policarpo, cardinal patriarch of Lisbon, called on “the members of the Catholic Church and all those who ‘defend life’ to take part in the campaign on the referendum for the decriminalization of abortion by ‘enlightening their consciences.’” Referring to his previous statements – in which he had stated that it was “not a religious question, but one of fundamental ethics,” (see DICI no 144) the cardinal asked the faithful “to organize and inject some enthusiasm into a campaign” and recalled that “the role of pastors was to proclaim the doctrine of the Church by announcing the Gospel of life.” “My intention was not to deny the religious dimension” of the debate, explained the cardinal. “The right to life is a universal principle” which is a “moral religious precept,” expressing the will of God.

 José Socrates, the Prime Minister, has decided to launch a campaign in favor of a “yes” vote and has called on government ministers to commit themselves to this, so that Portugal would no longer be “a backward country” which “persecutes women” and in order “to strike a balance between personal convictions and liberty.”