ARCHBISHOP Prospero Penados del Barrio of Guatemala City said this week the Vatican had ordered two Guatemalan priests to halt their campaigns for election to political office.
One of the priests is Fr Andres Giron, a first-time candidate of the Christian Democrat Party for a federal deputy seat from the coastal department of Escuintia. The other is Fr Jose Maria Ruis Furlan, who is running in the mayoral election in Guatemala City for the third time.
Archbishop Penados said the two priests were acting in "open rebellion" against church authorities by running for office and "in no way do they represent the thinking of the Catholic Church in Guatemala."
In 1968, Fr Giron worked as a lay Christian Brother in the civil rights movement in Memphis, Tennesse. Since the mid 1980s, he las lies.onie widely known in Guatemala for his outspoken defence of landless peasant farmers against wealthy landowners.
Fr Ruis Furlan is a parish priest in Guatemala City who has nicknamed his parish the "Church of the Third World."