Montevideo, Uruguay, Oct 22, 2012 / 15:02 pm
Uruguay's bishops say that local lawmakers who recently voted to legalize abortion in the country are automatically excommunicated for separating themselves from the Church's teaching.
"Automatic excommunication is for those who collaborate in the execution of an abortion in a direct way," said Bishop Heriberto Bodeant, secretary for the Uruguayan bishops' conference.
"If a Catholic votes...with the manifest intention that he thinks the Church is wrong about this, he separates himself from the communion of the Church," Bishop Bodeant recently told reporters.
"Excommunication means you are not in communion with the ecclesial community to which you openly claim to belong by doing something that puts you outside communion, and therefore you cannot participate in the Eucharist," he explained.
The Catholic Church teaches – and canon law upholds – that life must be respected from the moment of conception, he said.
If the new law is signed by President Jose Mujica – who vowed support for the measure – the Church will strengthen its work in support of human life to "reinvigorate the law written in the heart of every person that says that a fundamental value exists, which is life."
This "is above all other" rights, the bishop said.