Archbishop: Can’t Be Pro-Abortion Catholic, No Communion for Abortion Backers
by Steven Ertelt
July 28, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The head of the Archdiocese of St. Louis says it is "clear and unambiguous" that Catholics who want to remain in good standing with the Church can’t support abortion. Archbishop Robert J. Carlson also says those who support legalized abortion should voluntarily opt out of receiving community.
In an opinion column he wrote for the St. Louis Review, Carlson says the Catholic Church takes very seriously violations of the Fifth Commandment, and that abortion is a violation of it.
"Since the first century, the Church has addressed the moral evil of abortion and the killing of a defenseless baby in the womb. People who are casual about the sin of abortion and who choose to view it as a political issue rather than the serious moral issue that it is are guilty of violating the Fifth Commandment," he says.
"You cannot be ‘pro-choice’ (pro-abortion) and remain a Catholic in good standing," he added. "That’s why the Church asks those who maintain this position not to receive holy Communion."
Carlson says that request of abortion backers to refrain from receiving the sacrament is not "mean or judgmental" but the Catholic Church is "simply acknowledging the fact that such a stance is objectively and seriously sinful and is radically inconsistent with the Christian way of life.
He also cited a statement from the Second Vatican Council: "God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and human life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: Abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes."
"That’s why formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life," he said.
The Missouri Catholic leader also said Catholics have an obligation to oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide as well.
He called "morally unacceptable" those practices of "deliberately taking of the life of someone who is sick, dying, disabled or mentally ill."
"The Church calls for the ordinary care owed to a sick person, but medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous or extraordinary are not necessary," he said.
Ultimately, Carlson wrote, "Human life is sacred because, from its beginning until its natural end, it involves the creative action of God. The Fifth Commandment forbids direct and intentional killing as gravely sinful. God alone is the Lord of life. No one has the right to end arbitrarily what God has begun, and sustained, through the gift of His love."
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