In statements to journalists during his flight from Rome to Brazil, Pope Benedict XVI, in a reference to legislators in Mexico City who voted in favor of legalizing abortion in the Mexican capital, confirmed that the excommunication of those who procure an abortion “is nothing new” nor is it “arbitrary.”
According to various media reports, the Pontiff recalled that Canon Law stipulates the automatic excommunication for anyone who procures an abortion.
Several weeks ago, the Archdiocese of Mexico noted that doctors and nurses who participate in abortions, as well as lawmakers who support the legalization of abortion, incur latae sententiae excommunication.
The Holy Father explained, “This excommunication was not arbitrary, but rather it is permitted by canon law which says that putting the innocent to death is not compatible with receiving communion, which is to receive the body of Christ.”
In this sense, he reiterated that Catholic authorities “did not do anything new, surprising or arbitrary. They simply publicly announced that what is contained in the law of the Church (…) which expresses our appreciation of life and that human individuality, human personality, is present from the first moment of life.”
Likewise, he indicated that lawmakers throughout the world who vote in favor of abortion have “doubts about the value and beauty of life, and even doubt about the future.” “Selfishness and fear are at the root of (pro-abortion) legislation. We, in the Church, have a great struggle to defend life,” the pope added during the press conference that last some 25 minutes.
“The Church says that life is beautiful, it is not something to doubt but is a gift, even when one lives in difficult circumstances. It is always a gift,” he said.