Loading
Vatican cardinal clarifies stories, says abortion doctors excommunicated themselves
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, offered clarifications yesterday on a string of stories claiming that he had “officially excommunicated” the doctors who performed the first legal abortion in Colombia on an 11 year-old girl.  Trujillo told Colombian network CARACOL, that neither he nor the Holy See has issued any formal declaration of excommunication, but that the Vatican has been clear that those who perform the horrible act excommunicate themselves.

Several media sources had picked up on statements Trujillo made in an interview on Colombian radio network RCN, in which he said doctors who performed the first legal abortion in Colombia on an 11 year-old girl have incurred excommunication.  Stories began to fly that Trujillo had “officially” excommunicated the doctors and the media juggernaut began to roll.

What Trujillo said, via telephone, was that the girl who had undergone the abortion “fell into a web of evildoers.”  The penalty of excommunication for such an act is automatic, he stated, noting that abortion “is a death sentence against a human being,” and therefore it carries a proportionate penalty.

Immediately the secular press, misunderstanding the Cardinal’s comments and the Church’s teaching, began contacting those involved in the abortion.  

The director of the Simon Bolivar Hospital, Hector Lemus, who authorized the abortion, responded to the reports on Trujillo’s comments saying, “I am a public official who obeyed a norm of the Court.  The procedure was carried out by the hospital, not by a person.  As head of this medical center, I assume responsibility, and thus I ask that my employees not be excommunicated.”

Stevenson Marulanda, president of the Colombian Medical College, speaking for himself, called the excommunication “exaggerated and radical.”  

However, Dr. Sandra Rocha, one of the experts who led opposition to the legalization of abortion, understood Trujillo’s comments and said, “The only thing the cardinal has done is reiterate what is spelled out in canon 1398 of the Code of Canon Law of the Church.  An act of moral gravity took place and was punished for the purpose of bringing about repentance.  He has every right to proclaim that,” she stated.

Dr. Rocha refers to the fact that the Catholic Church considers excommunication a serious ecclesiastical penalty resulting from a grave sin.  Excommunication, according to the Church, can only happen after a willful decision on the part of an individual, to remove themselves from communion with the Church by committing an act which is seriously at odds with Catholic teaching.  In other words, excommunication occurs automatically, based on the choice of the individual.  

While the Church hierarchy sometimes issues statements acknowledging that someone has excommunicated themselves, statements which always draw tremendous public attention, the decision of excommunication has already been made by the individual.  

Trujillo said his remarks merely acknowledged that performing an abortion is such a grave sin and that his comments were not an official Church announcement of the excommunication.

But, that is not to say a formal statement will not follow from the Church.  Last May Cardinal Pedro Rubian Saenz, Archbishop of Bogota, announced the excommunication of the justices of the Constitutional Court who voted in favor of legalizing abortion, as well as of those who promoted it.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Nov
26

Liturgical Calendar

November 26, 2014

Wednesday of the Thirty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 21:5-11

Gospel
Date
11/25/14
11/24/14
11/23/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Rev 15: 1-4
Gospel:: Lk 21: 12-19

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
11/25/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 21:5-11

Homily
Date
11/25/14
11/24/14
11/21/14