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Montevideo, September 23rd 2018 - 06:45 UTC

Argentines begin campaigning for a Secular State

Tuesday, August 21st 2018 - 09:09 UTC
Full article 11 comments
The event, called “Collective Apostasy,” focused on a signature drive for Argentines wanting to renounce their affiliation to the church The event, called “Collective Apostasy,” focused on a signature drive for Argentines wanting to renounce their affiliation to the church
People formed long lines in Buenos Aires and other cities, demanding their desire that the Church not interfere in Argentine politics People formed long lines in Buenos Aires and other cities, demanding their desire that the Church not interfere in Argentine politics

Argentines gathered in Buenos Aires last Saturday to oppose the influence of religion on Argentine politics and encourage people to quit the Catholic Church, in the wake of the recent Senate vote not to legalize some abortions.

The event, called “Collective Apostasy,” focused on a signature drive for Argentines wanting to renounce their affiliation to the church through a form that will later be given to the Episcopal Conference in the homeland of Pope Francis.

People formed long lines in Buenos Aires and other cities, and organizers hoped thousands would officially register their desire that the Church not interfere in Argentine politics and that their names be eliminated from its registries.

“We are receiving the apostasies of all the people who want to renounce their ties to the Catholic Church,” said one of the organizers.

The movement is led by the Argentine Coalition for a Secular State and its backers often wear orange scarves. Some this weekend were wearing black scarves too.

“Obtaining the vote for women, the divorce law, marriage equality, the gender identity law, the assisted human fertilization law, the law of integral sexual education, the dignified death law were all done fighting clerical power, which seeks to have total dominion over our minds and bodies,” the event's manifesto published on social media said.

Saturday's event follows the rejection by the Senate in early August of a bill that would have legalised abortion in the first 14 weeks, a vote that was seen as being swayed by the Church.

“The discourse by the church to convince the people to not accept the [abortion] law was so outrageous that I reached the height of my enmity toward the Catholic Church,” said Nora Cortinas, a founding member of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo human rights group.

About two-thirds of Argentina's 43 million residents define themselves as Catholic, but there is rising discontent with the church amid sex abuse scandals and the historic defeat of the vote to legalise abortion.

Categories: Politics, Argentina.

Top Comments

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  • Earthfarmer

    What this story fails to mention is that the state gives money to the church in proportion to those that have been baptized catholic. By a person renouncing their tie to the church, the amount the state gives is reduced. The relationship between the state and the church is, unbelievably, actually written into the Argentine constitution, so if they really want to make an impact they should amend the constitution and break the relationship completely.

    Aug 21st, 2018 - 01:35 pm +2
  • Cheshire_Cat

    Earthfamer - Indeed, it is an old article from the Constitution which reads “the Argentine government supports the Roman Apostolic Catholic religion” while another proclaims freedom of religion. In practice this means that while freedom of religion is protected, the government gives tax money to the Church in proportion to the number of Catholics in the country - A ridiculous and archaic practice in the 21st century.

    Aug 21st, 2018 - 03:48 pm +1
  • Enrique Massot

    On this one, I totally agree with CC and EF. It is high time the Argentine state severed its ties with the Catholic Church, a practice unacceptable in the past and even more so in this day and age.

    Of course, this requires an amendment of the Constitution, which should be a no brainer.

    This could be opportunity for president Macri, who likes to throw things into debate as long as it diverts the public away from the economy.

    Aug 21st, 2018 - 05:50 pm +1
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