.- The Archdiocese of Barcelona announced it has opened an inquiry to âverifyâ whether Fr. Manel Pousa incurred automatic excommunication when he paid for an abortion.
In the book, âFather Manel: Closer to the Earth than to Heaven,â which was released on Feb. 28, Fr. Manel says he previously âblessedâ same-sex unions between prison inmates and that he supports âvoluntaryâ celibacy and women priests.
He also admits that he paid for an abortion. Until now, he adds, his actions were only met with a warning from the Archbishop of Barcelona, Cardinal Lluis Martinez Sistach.
On March 8, the cardinal issued a brief statement summoning the priest to âspeak personally with him about some of the content of this book and to make whatever decisions are appropriate.â
In the statement sent to CNA on March 15, the archdiocese said Cardinal Sistach, together with Barcelona's Auxiliary Bishop Sebastia Tatlavull and archdiocesan Chancellor Msgr. Sergi Gordo met with Fr. Manel on March 14 âconcerning statements about abortion made by this priest in the book about him.â
âSince according to the Code of Canon Law, cooperation in an abortion carries the penalty of latae sententiae (automatic) excommunication, the code directs that procedures must be followed to verify the facts, and therefore this administrative procedure has been initiated,â the statement said.
The archdiocese added that the canonical procedures are not intended to reflect negatively on âthe social work that this priest has carried out for many years in service to the neediest groups of our society.â