The Vatican today informed the Argentine Cancilleria (foreign ministry), that Monsenor Antoneo Baseotto has been reconfirmed as priest, after President Kirchner himself had asked the Pope to remove Baseotto from that position.
For most of you not in the know, in February Baseotto said the following about Gines González García, the Health and Wellbeing Minister, after making a speech in which she came out in favor of legalizing abortion in Argentina: Said Baseotto, 'She should get a noose around her neck and be thrown at sea'.
The remarks created immediate controversy, was big on 24 hour news channels, and even prompted president Nestor Kirchner himself to ask Pope John Paul II to remove Baseotto in light of his questionable remarks. But now the Vatican responded by reconfirming Baseotto and saying that his remarks are 'in line' with the anti-abortion posture of the Catholic Church, thus rejecting formal requests to remove Baseotto.
Relations between Argentina and the Vatican have not been the best in recent years, as the debate of legalizing abortion in the Federated Provinces is seen with complete disaproval by the Church. Also, the formal legalizing of same-sex unions in Buenos Aires (and increasingly other cities and provinces), have also strained relations.
I have nothing but respect for the Catholic Church and respect their views, but I think remarks like the ones that priest said are way out of line. It is incredibly troubling that the Vatican would not say anything about such innapropriate discourse just to justify an anti-abortion stance.
Argentina has always been a far lesser practicing country than Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and virtually all of Latin America where the Catholic faith is very strong and devoted in the population. Argentina is also socially more liberal, for example in Chile only last year divorce became legal.
The Vatican's views should be respected, but the Vatican should come out against such over the top talk, and respect current social trends in other countries. Argentina is in a 'liberal' period, just as other countries are in a more 'conservative' period, and the Vatican needs to accept that.