Bishop Gracida explains why pro-abortion Catholics must be excommunicated


Bishop Rene Henry Gracida,  Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas, in an article sent to Catholic News Agency, has followed up on his recent essay "Denying Holy Communion, A Case Study" responding to criticisms that the procedure he followed to issue an interdiction against a pro-abortion Catholic politician receiving Communion is “outdated,” and he has drawn up a “12-step program” to help bishops discern a course of action.

“Now we have candidates for the Presidency and Congress publicly professing to be practicing Catholics who, although supportive of many of the Church's teachings on social issues, on the most important issue - the inalienable right to life - are diametrically opposed to our Holy Catholic Faith,” writes Bishop Gracida.

“The most important issue facing the world today is the assault on the sanctity of human life,” he says and points out that the Magisterium, especially during this pontificate, “have taught repeatedly that the right to life is the foundation of all other rights in civil society.  The denial of this basic right leads eventually to the denial of all others rights.”

“All other grave social issues,” he points out, “such as war, poverty, health, economic justice, immigration, etc. are of secondary importance and indeed pale in comparison to innocent human life under systematic annihilation.”

Bishop Gracida issued the interdiction in 1994 forbidding a politician from receiving Communion, yet he “felt that limiting Interdiction in the internal forum was important not only for the spiritual well being of the person being interdicted, but also for the spiritual good of the community.”

But, he says  “in 1995 Pope John Paul II concluded that it was urgent to promulgate the Encyclical Evangelium Vitae.  Some 12,000,000 abortions later, it has become crystal clear that the politician who actively engages his political skills to maintain abortion-on-demand and who protects the ongoing genocide by voting for legislation in favor of abortion formally cooperates in the evil of abortion itself.” 

“In reality,” says the bishop, “the distinction between the abortionist and the politician is almost nominal:  One, a murderer, is guilty of directly procuring abortions; the politician, makes it legally possible for the genocide to continue unabated.”

Recognizing the complexity of the situation in the Church and in our society at the present time I should like to help my brother bishops find their way through the thicket of conflicting opinions and proposals for action.  After substantial reflection, I propose a twelve-step program for my brother bishops to help them decisively deal with the grave crisis facing our Church and our Nation.

He recommends twelve steps to help bishops to deal with the complex and grave crisis facing the Church and Nation and to “effectively remedy the crisis in all transparency yet resolute firmness.

The program outlines a specific course of action to be taken by bishops in dealing with publicly pro-abortion Catholics and includes recourse to fraternal and canonical correction and ultimately, if the individual obstinately refuses to recant, excommunication. 

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