(CNSNews.com) - Planned Parenthood, a frequent critic of the "religious right," has hired a chaplain to "articulate the spiritual dimensions of sexuality and reproduction."
The Rev. Ignacio Castuera, a Methodist, will fill the newly created post, from which he will "act as a public spokesperson to promote Planned Parenthood's mission and vision," the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) announced earlier this week.
"Reverend Castuera will bring to the PPFA family his wealth of experience in ministry, especially his efforts over the last 24 years to address sexuality issues. His expertise in offering spiritual insight and guidance to the reproductive health movement is invaluable," said Planned Parenthood President Gloria Feldt.
At a recent pro-abortion rally in Texas, Feldt reportedly said that Planned Parenthood created the chaplain position to counter the perception that most Christians oppose abortion.
The Rev. Dr. Ignacio Castuera currently serves as Senior Pastor of St. John's United Methodist Church in the Watts community of Los Angeles. He holds degrees from Compton College; California State University, Long Beach; and a Doctor of Religion degree from the Claremont School of Theology, Planned Parenthood said.
Rev. Castuera is described as a "strong advocate for choice" and a "staunch supporter" of Planned Parenthood, who has participated in "clinic defense" and served on the PPFA board of directors. He has been a member of the PPFA Clergy Advisory Board since its inception in 1994.
Rev. Castuera is on record as saying that a fetus is not a child.
According to the Planned Parenthood press release, Castuera "will play a pivotal role in communicating the theological justification for choice, sexuality, and contraception to the Planned Parenthood community and the general public.
"He will also be available to provide advice to volunteer and staff leadership on moral and ethical issues around our mission. In addition, Dr. Castuera will work with affiliates to expand their relationships with religious leaders and organizations in their communities."