The bishops of Venezuela have issued a pastoral statement sharply criticising plans by President Hugo Chavez to inaugurate a massive sterilization campaign as part of a highly touted war on poverty.
    The Venezuelan bishops denounced the president's "Bolivar 2000" program, saying that the sterilisation effort would be immoral, abusive, and contrary to natural law.
    "It is a very grave abuse of any form of authority to compel poor mothers to undergo sterilisation," they warned.
    The statement was signed by Bishops Ramon Linares of Puerto Cabello and Freddy Fuenmayor of Cabimas -- the heads, respectively, of the bishops' committees on the family and on doctrine.

12:20pm 25/5/99 / Catholic World News


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