HLI: “Absolutely No Justification for Abortion in Catholic Teaching”

HLI president responds to pro-abortion statements of Columbian priest.


DATE: November 17, 2011

CONTACT: Stephen Phelan 540-622-5270 – SPhelan@hli.orgwww.hli.org

FRONT ROYAL, Virginia — Father Shenan J. Boquet, president of Human Life International, issued the following statement in response to news reports of the anti-life statements and misrepresentation of Blessed John Paul II’s words in Evangelium vitae made by the Columbian priest Father Carlos Novoa, S.J.:

“While it is the duty and responsibility of every priest, and all children of Christ, to faithfully proclaim the true teachings of our Lord and the Catholic Church, sadly there are some who mislead the faithful. According to news reports, Fr. Novoa has repeatedly expressed support for abortion in certain circumstances, which violates the duty of the faithful to protect life from conception to natural death. In doing so, he has also reportedly misrepresented the words of Blessed Pope John Paul II. To be clear, there is absolutely no justification for abortion in Church teaching, and any Catholic, even a priest, who says differently separates himself from the Church in doing so. We must reiterate the Church’s teaching as it relates to the indefensible statements of Fr. Novoa.

“The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us, ‘Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception . . . Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.’

“The words of Blessed Pope John Paul II were made clear in Evangelium vitae that believers in Christ are called to defend and promote the sacred value of human life:

[E]very person sincerely open to truth and goodness can, by the light of reason and the hidden action of grace, come to recognize in the natural law written in the heart the sacred value of human life from its very beginning until its end, and can affirm the right of every human being to have this primary good respected to the highest degree…believers in Christ must defend and promote this right.

“We expect Fr. Novoa’s superiors and his bishop to clarify the Church’s teaching to Fr. Novoa, and take appropriate action, before this scandal grows further out of control.”


About HLI: Human Life International: Pro-Life Missionaries to the World. Founded in 1981, HLI is the world’s largest international pro-life organization and has affiliates and associates in over 100 countries on six continents. www.hli.org



About Fr. Shenan J. Boquet

Fr. Shenan J. Boquet has served as president of Human Life International since 2011. He was ordained in 1993 as a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana. As HLI’s president, Fr. Boquet collaborates with fellow laborers in the pro-life and family movement in over 80 countries, offering the Sacraments, giving seminars and trainings, appearing on numerous media outlets, and encouraging people of all walks of life to live as faithful advocates for a Culture of Life and Love. He is available for interviews and bookings on behalf of HLI by emailing hli@hli.org.

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