The Archdiocese of Barcelona in Spain confirmed April 18 that Father Manuel Pousa was not automatically excommunicated after admitting to paying for two abortions.
Investigators concluded “with due certitude” that Fr. Pousa did not incur excommunication established by canon 1398 of the Code of Canon Law, reported the archdiocese.
Canon 1398 of the Code of Canon Law states: “A person who actually procures an abortion incurs a latae sententiae excommunication.”
The archdiocesan statement explained that the priest was not excommunicated “because he did not concur in the intention of the offense and was not principally complicit in the abortions that had already been decided and carried out by two girls in a very precarious economic situation.”
Although the priest admitted to paying for the abortions years ago, a new book brought the incident to light again – as well as his blessings of same-sex civil unions, support of "voluntary” celibacy and the ordination of women.
Monday’s statement by the archdiocese quoted a declaration by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued on Oct. 15, 2009, which said, “(t)his dicastery, after having examined the answers that have been submitted, concludes that the Rev. Pousa does not seem to have incurred any canonical penalty.”
For this reason, the archdiocese said, Cardinal Martinez Sistach of Barcelona “has declared that the aforementioned priest has not incurred a latae sententiae censure.”
The archdiocese ended the statement by reiterating that Fr. Pousa’s work “in benefit of the poor and marginalized of society is carried out in accord with the teachings of the Church, with her social doctrine and with respect for every human life from conception to natural death.”