Pope Benedict, on his way to Brazil for a five day apostolic visit, reminded the journalists aboard the airplane bringing him to Brazil, that the Church "does not interfere into politics, we respect the non-religious character of the State, but the Church gives a framework in which social questions can beanswered adequatly."
Pope Benedict on Wednesday warned Catholic politicians they risked excommunication from the Church and should not receive communion if they support abortion.
Pope Benedict referred to such important issues happening on the continent regarding the respect to life, as abortion laws are being enacted in Mexico, and Colombia. It was the first time that the Pope, speaking to reporters aboard the plane taking him on a trip to Brazil, dealt in depth with a controversial topic that has come up in many countries, including the United States, Mexico, and Italy.
"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 about the stance of Church authorities to excommunicate the parliamentarians who supported the vote.
"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)."Under Church law, someone who knowingly does or backs something which the Church considers a grave sin, such as abortion, inflicts what is known as "automatic excommunication" on themselves, the Pope added. The Pope said parliamentarians who vote in favor of abortion 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 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 concluded.