Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Cdl Lopez-Trujillo Makes Good Waves

Cdl. Lopez-Trujillo is by no means a fellow who engages in 'diplo-speak.' He says what he thinks, clearly and usually forcefully.

So when he remarked that 'Roman Catholic scientists who conduct human-embryonic-stem-cell research could face excommunication' last week, there was the usual crab-walking and cover-ducking done by the usual suspects:

The Rev. Charles L. Currie, president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, said on Friday that he had not yet seen the magazine article but that, by bringing up excommunication, the cardinal seemed to be taking a "hard stand on the preservation of life."

Doh. THIS is a surprise, Fr. Currie?

"The main thing is that it's not an authoritative source," said Lisa Cahill, a professor of theology at Boston College who studies bioethics. "It's a person speaking in an interview, not even a written statement."

Ms Cahill requires a handwritten letter from the Pope, with the usual formula for infallible pronouncements, preferably FedEx'ed to her attention at Boston College.

A competent Canon Law analyst reacted a bit differently from the Academic Wonk crowd:

So, one must ask: is the deliberate destruction of an embryonic human being outside the womb the canonical equivalent of an abortion procured within it?

Cardinal Lopez Trujillo believes that it is, and I think he's right.

On 23 May 1988, the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts addressed the following question: "Whether abortion, as treated in canon 1398, should be understood as only the expulsion of an immature fetus, or whether it is also the killing of a fetus accomplished in any manner and at any time from the moment of conception?"

The pontifical council ruled for the wider definition (AAS 80 [1988] 1818-1819), and eminent canonists such as Fr. Joseph Fox, op, explained then that the interpretation kept the canonical understanding of abortion medically up to date and morally consistent with the respect owed to innocent human beings regardless of the technique by which they were being killed during their first months of life.

But notice: nothing in the 1988 authentic interpretation limits the understanding of abortion to actions occurring in the womb; indeed, the interpretation clearly asserts that any killing of a fetus, accomplished in any manner at any time after conception, is canonically an abortion for purposes of Canon 1398.

Thus, involved actors are subject to latae sententiae excommunication.

4 comments:

St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse said...

As always, though, a latae sententiae excommunication requires enforcement on the local level. We've already heard from, and see, bishops and priests who avoid enforcing these excommunications, giving scandal to the faithful, and encouraging sacrilege by the excommunicated.

Dad29 said...

Yah. But sometimes just a little push is all it takes.

Anonymous said...

So, we can expect the hypocrites in the Vatican to issue a similar order concerning any Catholic who engages in the wicked sin of lusting for a child via in vitro fertilization?

Dad29 said...

Anony, I'll leave that comment for all to see--that way, those looking for the remnants of the Know-Nothing Party will be pleased to find you.