A Coahuila priest offered an apology on Monday a day after after he suggested that women who have abortions should be killed because they’re “useless.”
Delivering a sermon five days after the Supreme Court effectively decriminalized abortion across Mexico, Rev. Lázaro Hernández Soto also told his congregation at the La Salle church in Monclova that women who abort are morally “empty” and embittered by the experience of ending their pregnancy.
“Abortion is legal, everyone is very happy: ‘We’re going to kill all the children because they hinder us’ … an [unborn] child can’t defend himself,” he said during his homily, which was filmed and subsequently uploaded to social media where it garnered a mixed but mostly negative reaction.
“… We destroy him from the mother’s womb. Why don’t we kill the mother who won’t be of any use either? A woman who aborts is useless. She’s morally, physically and psychologically empty – a woman who will always be bitter, a woman who probably won’t have children and will complain to God,” Hernández said.
The priest suggested that fathers could be responsible for killing their daughters if they had or were thinking about having an abortion.
Flanked by two other priests at a press conference on Monday, he apologized for his remarks, asserting that his intention wasn’t to offend women but simply to urge them not to have an abortion.
“Things were misinterpreted. I was preaching about dignity and family rights. I spoke about the domestic church, which is the family, where the values of the Gospel, of faith and love, are taught,” Hernández said.
“… To speak of the family is to speak of children, adolescents, women, men – that’s where I was going, [I was] awakening consciences about the importance of life, not of death,” he said.
“Yes, the example came up of why are we killing children who can’t defend themselves and letting murderers free who can defend themselves? But I didn’t say ‘we’re going to kill women,’ [my sermon] didn’t attack women.”
Hernández also said that women have an important place in society and noted that “we all come from them.”
“[In the church] we have the figure of the holy virgin, I praise the greatness of women,” he said. “I apologize, it was not my intention to offend anyone,” the priest added before railing once again against the sin of abortion.
Women have to be given a “legal framework so they feel protected and don’t feel compelled to take a decision like that,” Hernández said.
“We know what it means for the mother to commit the sin of taking the life of a defenseless child she is expecting.”