San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Gay rights

Costa Rica archbishop uses annual Catholic pilgrimage to promote church's anti-gay, anti-IVF agenda

In a reminder that Costa Rica’s Catholic Church is still woefully stuck in the past, one of its highest leaders on Sunday used the annual pilgrimage to Cartago, which draws an estimated 2 million people each year, to speak out against legalizing gay civil unions and in vitro fertilization.

During a Sunday sermon to commemorate the annual romería, or pilgrimage, to the colonial city of Cartago and its Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Los Ángeles, San José Archbishop José Rafael Quirós made several references to the need for families to be integrated by a husband and wife, calling marriage between a man and a woman a “patrimony of humanity.”

To prove this point, Quirós cited the biblical figures of Joseph and Mary, urging “all nations” to “consider this reality.”

In the audience were Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís and First Lady Mercedes Peñas.

Quirós also mentioned proposed legislation to legalize IVF, which Solís’ administration this week sent to the Legislative Assembly for consideration. Costa Rica is the only country in the Western Hemisphere to ban IVF, and Solís’ promotion of the bill responds to a requirement to do so by the San José-based Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Three years have passed since the court condemned Costa Rica for prohibiting IVF. Costa Rica has continued to ignore that ruling, primarily because of conservative Christians in the Assembly and a powerful Catholic Church that still influences politics in this small Central American country of just under 5 million.

“There is no lack of international pressure tied to aid” to obligate the adoption of “certain reproductive policies,” Quirós claimed.

Fulfilling a campaign promise, Solís this week also promoted the legalization of gay civil unions via another piece of proposed legislation sent to lawmakers.

To read more of the archbishop’s thinking, follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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You make a good point, but perhaps not to the point? I’m not sure and not saying you are wrong as I was not at the mass and did not hear exactly what was said.

An alternate argument may simply be that Archbishop José Rafael Quirós may have been pointing to the nurturing family entity created by Joseph and Mary for Jesus, and not referring the the biological function of fatherhood. To me, that makes sense in the context of the discussion as I understand it as in fact Joseph was an EXCELLENT father to Jesus as we understand – biological or not. Mary, likewise was an EXCELLENT mother. and the family dynamics as we know them were in tune with God’s instructions.

I am the father of my daughter in every way except biologically. I’m the only father and dad she has ever known. Her biological father never knew her or took the least interest, unlike Jesus’s situation who had both a a caring and loving father and mother here on earth and a Holy Father who watched over His every breath and tear during his awesome life hear on earth.

This is just my interpretation and respectfully submitted. It’s no more right or wrong than yours, simply how we wish to interpret and use the message that was given.

God bless

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Marco Luxe

It seems to me that the Holy Family is an argument FOR IVF, as Joseph wasn’t the “actual” father of Jesus. It just goes to show that biblical interpretation is used to promote whatever policy you want.
“To prove this point, Quirós cited the biblical figures of Joseph and Mary, urging “all nations” to “consider this reality.” “

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Gents, thanks for your thoughts. They are thought provoking.

With respect,

Although not a Catholic, wish to stand with Archbishop José Rafael Quirós and his message. The article states the “Costa Rica’s Catholic Church is still woefully stuck in the past”.

It’s never easy or popular to say the things that need to be said, or to stick to what God tells us is right. It’s a lonely road and usually those who follow it are criticized, marginalized, or sacrificed “for the common good”. On the other hand, it’s far easier and more popular and clever to look out after our own personal interests at the expense of everyone else s. No wonder civilizations and societies continuously fail.

I don’t believe I’m necessarily homophobic. I just trust God’s word on that and all other subjects. All people are God’s children, and we all need God’s forgiveness – I’m certainly no exception. If we choose to break God’s laws and not hurt anyone else or cause the to aso sin with us, then we only have God and ourselves to answer to in the end.

What I do object to is segments of the community forcing us all, including the church, to accept what they choose to do as “right and normal”. Should gays have rights in society, absolutely – they same ones we all expect from our governments as free people. Should they or anyone have the right to criticize God’s word and change the very nature of the church and God’s will – absolutely not. That is one reason the church and state are separate, so one doesn’t interfere with the rights and obligations with the other.

It seems quite odd that those who feel they have suffered prejudice the most often become in themselves the most prejudiced of all. They can say and do the most outrageous things and expect to have that right, but even suggest one word against what they promote and be prepared to reap the whirlwind. That is neither right or fair – for freedom of speech and public action to be a one way street.

In the end, God will judge all of us through Christ. If what we do is wrong and unrepentant, we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves for how we spend eternity.

God bless.

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Carlos Rojas Jara

Where’s the outrage over divorce and the legalization of prostitution?
Do I hear crickets in the religious straight men’s club?
There is, however, biblical reference for understanding these obvious contradictions from the Catholic Church, or any other church for that matter:
Defined as “a member of an ancient Jewish sect, distinguished by strict observance of the traditional and written law, and commonly held to have pretensions to superior sanctity.”
Also, “a self-righteous person; a hypocrite.”

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John McPhaul

What about the Pope’s recent declarations in favor of the environment? Didn’t Mons. Quiros have anything to say about that?

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