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Vatican Says Argentina's Firing of Bishop Could be Violation of Religious Freedom

The Vatican is warning that Argentina's decision to remove a bishop from his military post could be a violation of religious freedom.

Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls says the church is awaiting official communication from the Argentine government about the decision against Bishop Antonio Baseotto.

Argentine President Nestor Kirchner Friday removed Bishop Baseotto from his post, canceling both his salary and government funds for his military diocese.

He took the action after the bishop suggested that Argentine Health Minister Gines Gonzalez should be cast into the sea -- a Biblical reference -- for his support of abortion.

Pope John Paul had appointed Bishop Baseotto to serve in Argentina to minister to members of the military.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.