Pope Benedict XVI: Pro-Abortion Pols Excommunicated, No Communion

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 9, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pope Benedict XVI: Pro-Abortion Pols Excommunicated, No Communion

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 9
, 2007

The Vatican (LifeNews.com) — The Catholic Church has made it clear in the past that it strongly opposes abortion and wants pro-abortion politicians to rethink their views or consider refraining from taking communion. Pope Benedict XVI stepped up those warnings Wednesday saying pro-abortion politicians have excommunicated themselves.

He also said he elected officials who support abortion would be prevented from receiving communion.

The pontiff was asked about the topics in reference to a threat from the Catholic bishops in Mexico to excommunicate members of the Mexico City legislative assembly who recently voted to legalize abortion in the nation’s capital.

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

"They (Mexican Church leaders) did nothing new, surprising or arbitrary. They simply announced publicly what is contained in the law of the Church… which expresses our appreciation for life and that human individuality, human personality is present from the first moment (of life)," he added.

The pope talked about church doctrine known as "automatic excommunication” where someone who does something which the church considers a grave sin inflicts on themselves.

The Pope said the legislators who voted for abortion in Mexico City have “doubts about the value of life and the beauty of life and even a doubt about the future."
“Selfishness and fear are at the root of (pro-abortion) legislation,” he said.

“We in the Church have a great struggle to defend life…life is a gift not a threat," the Catholic leader said. “The Church says life is beautiful, it is not something to doubt but it is a gift even when it is lived in difficult circumstances. It is always a gift."

The pope made the comments in an interview with reporters about the topic aboard the plane carrying him to Brazil, where he is expected to address the issue of abortion and other topics in a series of speeches and events.

The trip is his first to Latin America, home of more than half of the world’s Catholics.

It’s important because abortion advocates in the Western Hemisphere have been working overtime to expand abortion in the region, where most countries are pro-life.

Among Central and South American nations, only Cuba, Guyana and US commonwealth Puerto Rico allow abortion on demand. Mexico City recently joined the list though abortion is still illegal in the rest of the country.

The rest of the nations in the region prohibit most or all abortions.