DAILY CATHOLIC     MONDAY     August 3, 1998     vol. 9, no. 150

from a CATHOLIC perspective

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO


          BOGOTA (CWNews.com) - Colombia's Constitutional Court, the nation's highest, may legalize incest as it considers a request to eliminate the criminal penalty for sexual intercourse between brothers and sisters or parents and children.

          The Constitutional Court, which last year made Colombia the first Latin American country to legalize euthanasia and the personal possession of drugs, on Tuesday began considering a request made by lawyer Alberto Franco. At present, incest is punishable by 6 months to 4 years in prison. Franco has argued that incest "is a moral problem and not a legal one, because it is related to freedom and personal autonomy." Franco also said that most of the children would be protected by the existing laws against rape.

          The group opposed to the legalization of incest, led by the Catholic Church and the Office of the Attorney General, said: "Considering and punishing incest as a crime is a way to protect the family, protect minors, and provide legal support to a human principle based on common sense." Both the Church and the Attorney General oppose also the "intermediate" formula proposed by Presidential Counselor for Human Rights Affairs Argelia Londono, who has proposed legalizing incest between adults but keeping it a crime in the case of minors.

          "Even this formula would establish a divorce between morality and law, opening the door wide" to removing common sense from the law and making it arbitrary, said the statement from the Colombian bishops' conference.

Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

August 3, 1998       volume 9, no. 150


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