The Catholic Church in Argentina is at the forefront of the campaign opposing equal rights for gays. But thanks to its recent history its influence in Argentina is waning.
“The Church has lost credibility in Argentina,” comments a gay activist. “The military junta had priests blessing bodies before they were thrown in the river from planes.” More recently, the Church has been rocked by revelations of child abuse and accusations of hypocrisy. But having failed to stop gay marriages, it’s now lobbying to prevent gay adoptions. “I think the consequences would be terrible for children,” explains Archbishop Hector Aguer. “The confusion that it generates in the minds of the little ones could be terrible for their future life.” It’s not yet clear if the government will heed the Church’s protests. Thousands of children in Argentina lack even one parent. And – although more than 80% of the population is Catholic – there’s a growing call for greater separation of Church and State. The Church’s edicts on condoms and abstinence are frequently ignored and the gay lobby is gaining influence. Despite this, the Church refuses to be cowed. As Archbishop Aguer states: “We can be understanding and charitable towards homosexuals but we’re going to defend the natural character of the family.” (ABC Aus)