Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Benedict XVI vs. Pro-Abort Pols, UPDATED!

Not likely Dave Obey (Foulmouth-WI) will give a rip, but...

“Yes, this excommunication was not an arbitrary one but is allowed by Canon law which says that the killing of an innocent child is incompatible with receiving Communion, which is receiving the body of Christ.”

Or so says Benedict XVI, apparently thinking of Canon 915.

Bettnet has the story.

So does the Canonist, Ed Peters:

...there are most certainly immediate actions that the Church can take against pro-abortion politicians, and I'm happy to say that some bishops are doing that. I have in mind here, for example, the withholding of the Eucharist under Canon 915 from those whose conduct in government office is objectively gravely evil...

...which is not really "excommunication" per se, but a penalty, nonetheless.

...the Vatican press director, Father Federico Lombardi, enlarged on the Pope's remarks during his own conversation with reporters. Father Lombardi pointed out to reporters that the Code of Canon Law provides the penalty of excommunication for anyone directly involved in abortion. That penalty would apply to politicians who support the legalization of abortion, he said.

The Vatican spokesman added that the excommunication in these cases is applied latae sententiae-- that is, automatically-- and does not require any public announcement. In making the penalty public, then, the Mexican bishops were only underlining the provisions of canon law.

FUNDING such abortions (via Fed/State funding for Planned Parenthood) is an extension of same.

But are the pols who vote for this crap excommunicated?

The director of the Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi [who just happens also to be the director of Vatican Radio] commenting on some news flashes about the Pope’s response clarified that since no excommunication was declared on the part of the Mexican bishops neither did the Pope mean to declare one. The legislative action favoring abortion, Fr. Lombardi said, is not compatible with participation in the Eucharist. "So are they excommunicated?" he was asked: "No", Fr. Lombardi clarified, "they have excluded themselves from Communion."

"’Ma sono dunque scomunicati?’, gli e’ stato chiesto: "No – ha precisato padre Lombardi – si autoescludono dalla Comunione".

(Italian original and translation supplied by Fr. Z.)

The clarification from Fr. Lombardi is for the benefit of the Faithful, not the Press, which really wants more controversy than the Pope's comments supplied.


M.Z. Forrest said...

I do not think Pope Benedict is referring to Canon 915. Canon 915 is not a disciplinary Canon; it governs admissability to the Sacrament. The Canons are probably 1398 and 1329§2. He could just as easily be referring ot this:
Can. 1369 A person who in a public show or speech, in published writing, or in other uses of the instruments of social communication utters blasphemy, gravely injures good morals, expresses insults, or excites hatred or contempt against religion or the Church is to be punished with a just penalty.

Needless to say, there are a plethora of grounds one could choose.

Dad29 said...

Nope. It's 915, as made clear by the Press Secy's "clarification."

m.z. forrest said...

As you surmised correctly, I wrote before the clarification. Ed Peters updates his post, and he puts no stock in the Press Sec's statement.

The more I think about it, the more I think 1369 is applicable. The Mexican bishops declared beforehand that pols who supported this faced excommunication, and this makes the most sense to me. YMMV.