Christian Leaders Won’t Meet With Planned Parenthood "Chaplain"

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 11, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 11, 2005

Lexington, KY ( — In an attempt to overcome its pro-abortion, anti-family image within the Christian community, Planned Parenthood appointed a national "chaplain" to represent people of faith who support the nation’s largest abortion business. But, on a recent trip to Kentucky, few Christian leaders would meet with him.

Planned Parenthood’s Lexington affiliate brought Rev. Ignacio Castuera to town to speaker with area religious leaders during the coming week. David Bowman, board chairman for the pro-abortion group says few will meet with him.

"Most church organizations would not give me names and e-mail addresses for their clergy," he said. "There were many organizations, both denominational and ecumenical, that didn’t want to get involved."

Castuera, senior pastor of St. John’s United Methodist Church in the Watts community of Los Angeles, told the Herald Leader few would meet with him because he’s doing what Jesus would want him to do.

"The closer Jesus got to the cross, the smaller the crowds got," the chaplain said. "This is pretty close to the cross because [pro-abortion] people have to take derision, ostracism, all that."

Local Methodist leaders say they’re embarrassed by his visit and his agreeing in March 2004 to become a representative of a business that killed 244,628 unborn children in 2003.

"I think it does reflect poorly on the church," said James Heidinger, president of Good News, a Wilmore, Kentucky-based evangelical United Methodist group.

Bill Henard, pastor of Porter Memorial Baptist Church in Lexington, added that he thought the visit was "a little bit of a conflict of interest or even hypocrisy for them to say they’re not anti-Christian when they oppose basic Christian values of the family."

Church leaders who oppose abortion likely wouldn’t receive a warm welcome to the meeting if they participated.

Bowman, an elder in the Presbyterian USA church, told the Kentucky newspaper only "thoughtfully and cordially pro-life" preachers should come, not those who are "indignantly and self-righteously pro-life."

Raimundo Rojas, director of Hispanic outreach for the National Right to Life Committee, says Castuera has long been regarded a someone who has betrayed the pro-life and Catholic beliefs of most Hispanics.

"As is evident by his involvement with Planned Parenthood, a group that has long targeted Hispanics for annihilation through abortion, Rev. Castuera stands for all that is wrong in our community," Rojas said.

"From its inception, Planned Parenthood wanted the involvement of the clergy to promote its message that Hispanic women are better off by destroying their children," Rojas explained. "Castuera joins a long-list of misinformed Hispanics that buy into the message of death."