Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani, the Archbishop of Lima, urged government officials gathered for a Mass earlier this week to reject “ideological colonization” by those who wish to impose abortion and gender ideology on the country.
The Cardinal, who has said that “all abortion is murder,” underscored the Christian heritage of Peru and reiterated the Catholic Church’s stance on the defense of life from conception to natural death, and the nature of marriage as a covenant between one man and one woman.
Cipriani’s words came during his homily at a Mass attended by Peru’s President Ollanta Humala, accompanied by his wife, ministers, and other civil authorities. The essence of being Peruvian, he said, takes into account the country’s “origin, its culture and its Christian faith.”
The Cardinal reminded the assembly of the results of a recent survey conducted by the consulting firm Vox Populi, which found that Christianity is the faith of 94 percent of Peruvians. He said that this statistic “is key to a correct reading of the destiny of the country, always respecting the secularism of the state but without forgetting where we came from and who we are.”
Cipriani also drew attention to the importance of the protection and promotion of the family, praising the country’s ability to value the “basic cell” of society, fundamental for the nation’s future. “The vast majority of the population says what they value most is family,” he said.
“Anything that strengthens the family has the approval of the people. All that harms the family has the disapproval of the people,” he said.
The Cardinal urged his hearers to beware of social trends that work against the country’s best interests. “Let us not accept the neocolonialism promoted by some institutions and agencies of countries that are materially powerful but spiritually ill.”
“Peru has its own way,” he continued. “We should not expect to be enlightened by countries that have reneged on their history and origins, and today walk in the darkness of so-called modern practices contrary to the family, marriage and life,” he said.
Last month, the Cardinal reacted to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that abolished state laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, calling it a “tragic decision” and an “attack on the institution of marriage.”
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome.