Saturday, May 12, 2007

Excommunication Clarification


ROME, MAY 9, 2007 - The Vatican clarified that Benedict XVI has not excommunicated Mexican politicians who supported the legalization of abortion in the country's capital -- rather, they have excluded themselves from Communion.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, said this today in a statement he issued in wake of comments made by the Pope aboard his flight from Rome to São Paulo.

Reporters asked Benedict XVI if the Church had excommunicated the politicians of Mexico City who had voted to legalize abortion in the first trimester.

The Holy Father said that the excommunication for those promoting abortion is "nothing new, it's normal, it wasn't arbitrary. It is what is foreseen by the Church's doctrine."

The Pontiff also underlined that Christian politicians need to be consistent with their beliefs, and confirmed that the Church announces the Gospel of Life.

"The death of an innocent, of a newly born baby is inconceivable," the Pope added. "It is not something arbitrary and the Church expresses value for life and for the individual character of life from the moment of conception."

Father Lombardi, who was with Benedict XVI on the plane, clarified that neither the Pope nor the Mexican bishops had declared those politicians excommunicated.

The press office director explained that the Church teaches that the promotion of abortion is not compatible with the reception of Communion.

The journalists then asked the spokesman: "So, are they excommunicated"?

"No," Father Lombardi responded. "They excluded themselves from Communion."