Published On : Wed, Jan 15th, 2003
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The Bishop of Iquique, Monsegnor Juan Barros Madrid, declared on Monday that he is opposed to a recent city council proposal to open a nude beach in the Region I city. According to Barros, a nude beach is not the best way to promote the development of tourism in the region. He called the people of Iquique to “pray to the Virgin Carmen and San Lorenzo to see what is best for the population’s personal development and for the protection of the most important values”. He also explained that one must respect the human body like a temple, stressing that “the promotion of a nude beach doesn’t seem an appropriate initiative.”

Despite the Church’s opposition, the motion presented by Iquique city council member Juan Garces Perlik to open the nude beach, will go ahead and be submitted to the vote of the other members of the council in their next session.

Many community members are surprised that Garces, who in the past has backed some notably conservative measures, would push the nude beach issue. Garces previously introduced a “curfew for children of 15 years of age or less,” a very conservative measure to make sure teenagers stay home after midnight.

The Bishop’s statement follows similar reactions from Catholic Church authorities in Region VI last week against the creation of nude beaches in Pichilemu, when they said that they would work tirelessly to defeat any local or national legislation allowing such a thing. Pichilemu Mayor Jorge Vargas announced in December his plan to hold a community-wide plebiscite on the nudity issue (ST, Dec. 9, 2002).

Source: La Tercera

By Catherine Makereel

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