Paraguay president Federico Franco recently interrupted the homily of Misiones Bishop, Mario Melanio Medina, in a parish church in Villa Florida.
The president did not agree with the bishop’s comments on genetically modified crops.
In his homily, Bishop Medina criticised the Paraguay government for allowing the importation of genetically altered corn and cotton seeds.
Bishop Medina said the crops are “dangerous to human life and to the environment”.
They “can lead to death”.
Objecting to the bishop’s homily, President Franco stood up, approached the pulpit and asked if he might explain.
Taking the microphone from the bishop, Franco challenged the bishop to give him documentation from science or an expert that shows genetically modified crops are harmful.
The President spoke for seven minutes and gave the congregation an undertaking that with the right evidence, he would be prepared to review his position.
Upon having the microphone returned to him, Bishop Medina suggested the topic be dropped for now, but concluded saying, “the use of genetically-altered seeds ought to be reconsidered.”
Speaking to reporters after the Mass, Bishop Medina said he was not upset about the interruption by President Franco.
“Dialogue Masses in which the people participate are normal here in Villa Florida. That is something completely valid and doesn’t bother me. We even invite people to make comments.”
The bishop however noted it was the first time he had been interrupted by a president.
News category: World.