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It is Time to Excommunicate the Politicians
e3mil.com ^ | 11/22/03 | Pete Vere, JCL

Posted on 11/22/2003 6:47:18 PM PST by nickcarraway

To put it bluntly, I have a few reservations about canon 1398. “A person who actually procures an abortion incurs a latae sententiae (automatic) excommunication,” the canon states. Please do not mistake my reservations as support for abortion. In no way do I condone this intrinsically evil act.

A Traumatic Choice Made Under Duress

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that abortion “is gravely contrary to the moral law” as well as an “abominable crime” (2271). Yet my experience in ministry has taught me that most women who abort a child act under some sort of emotional, mental and/or psychological duress.

Despite what many feminists claim, I seldom come across an abortion that is freely chosen — that is, chosen without coercion from some outside individual or organization. Sometimes this pressure comes from a boyfriend who refuses any responsibility for the pregnancy. Other times, parents seek a quick fix for their teenaged daughters. “Get rid of it or get out of the house!” is, sadly, the execution decree of all-too-many grandchildren. But even more reprehensible, in my opinion, is the coercion a distraught pregnant mother finds among the very women’s organizations that claim to uphold her freedom of choice. As my friend Mark Shea often reminds me, abortion is the principle sacrament of initiation into the culture of death. Therefore, a woman often discovers when dealing with feminist pregnancy crisis centers that her "choices" do not include bringing the child within her womb to full term.

Thus abortion is a traumatic choice often made under duress. As the reality of the choice to end the life of one’s child sets in, the woman is left in need of the Church’s help and compassion. For once her child is dead, the woman will find neither help nor compassion from the abortion industry. Yet, alone and ashamed, her perception of canonical censures only further drives her away from the Church in many instances. This compounds the problem.

These women know abortion is wrong. They feel it in their soul every time they see a mother with a stroller pass by on the sidewalk. Their heart cries out with every advertisement for diapers that flashes across the television screen. What these women need is Christ’s healing touch in the confessional, as well as sustained pastoral support from pro-life organizations like Project Rachel. This is the approach Christ took with the woman caught in adultery: He did not excuse the sin, but He did not turn away the sinner. He invited her to repentance and forgiveness.

Well-Aimed Canonical Censures

Nevertheless, I feel no such compassion toward those who profit — whether financially or politically — from abortion. As a canonist, I firmly believe in the use of canonical censures to combat this intrinsic evil. Yet these canonical censures should be aimed where they are most deserved. Thus in reflecting upon the carnage wrought by the culture of death over the past thirty years, the Church must strengthen and enforce canonical censures against the so-called "Catholic" politicians, doctors, pregnancy counselors, nurses and lawyers who continue to support and protect an industry dedicated to the willful butchering of children in the womb.

Of course, there is no need to excommunicate the doctors, nurses and other medical staff directly involved in the abortion industry — the Code of Canon Law already provides for their automatic excommunication. As canon 1329 §2 states: “In the case of a latae sententiae penalty attached to an offence, accomplices, even though not mentioned in the law or precept, incur the same penalty if, without their assistance, the crime would not have been committed, and if the penalty is of such a nature as to be able to affect them.…" Since the abortion would be impossible without the direct assistance of the medical staff, this makes them direct accomplices to the abortion. So they are automatically excommunicated if they happen to be Catholic. No canonical trial is necessary. The competent ecclesiastical authority need only declare the penalty.

Unfortunately, the canonical situation is a little more complex when it comes to Catholic politicians who support abortion. For their participation in the scandal of abortion is more indirect. The politicians and lawyers draft, legislate and protect laws that permit this evil. Most do not, however, directly participate from the abortion chamber. Therefore the automatic excommunication envisioned by canons 1329 and 1398 would not apply to these lawyers and politicians since, in keeping with the principle of canon 18, “Laws which prescribe a penalty... are to be interpreted restrictively.”

Nevertheless, a competent Church authority may use other means to impose excommunication upon pro-abortion Catholic politicians. Moreover, there are other penalties the Church may impose. At the very minimum, the Church can and should prohibit pro-abortion lawyers and politicians from receiving Holy Communion. In fact, any bishop may invoke canon 1399 to do so. “Besides the cases prescribed in this or in other laws,” the canon states, “the external violation of divine or canon law can be punished, and with a just penalty, only when the special gravity of the violation requires it and necessity demands that scandals be prevented or repaired.”

Rights are not Absolute

Now some canonists will object to my interpretation of this canon, arguing that reception of Holy Communion is a right of Christ’s faithful. However, this right is in no way absolute. As canon 223 §2 states: “Ecclesiastical authority is entitled to regulate, in view of the common good, the exercise of rights which are proper to Christ’s faithful.” One is hard pressed to see how permitting pro-abortion Catholic politicians to go unchallenged contributes to the common good — either of the Church or of society as a whole. Rather, abortion destroys the common good in that it destroys the right to life. This is the right upon which all other rights, as well as the common good, are based.

Moreover, canon 912 states: “Any baptized person who is not forbidden by law may and must be admitted to Holy Communion.” In short, canon law provides an exception for to the right to receive Holy Communion, namely, for those who are forbidden by law. Canon 915 clarifies one such exception as follows: “Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”

In the end, there is no absence of canons that permit a competent ecclesiastical authority to deny Holy Communion to obstinate pro-abortion Catholic politicians. What the Church needs is the will to enforce this proposed course of action. Undoubtedly, some will denounce such refusal of the sacraments as too severe. Yet what is the alternative? For according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, through abortion “irreparable harm [is] done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society” (2272).

Pete Vere, JCL, earned his ecclesiastical licentiate in canon law from Saint Paul University in Ottawa, Canada. In his spare time, he volunteers as a Deputy Regional Director for the International Order of Alhambra — a Catholic family organization dedicated to serving the needs of the mentally and developmentally challenged.


TOPICS: Activism; Catholic; Current Events; General Discusssion; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: abortion; abortionlist; catholic; catholiclist; nhs; politics; prolife

1 posted on 11/22/2003 6:47:21 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway; Desdemona; Aunt Polgara; cpforlife.org; MHGinTN; Mr. Silverback; narses; Loyalist
ping
2 posted on 11/22/2003 6:49:38 PM PST by nickcarraway (www.terrisfight.org)
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To: Akron Al; Alberta's Child; Andrew65; AniGrrl; Antoninus; apologia_pro_vita_sua; Askel5; ...
Orc ping
3 posted on 11/22/2003 6:51:03 PM PST by Loyalist (Oldthinkers unbellyfeel Amchurch.)
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To: nickcarraway
BTTT!
4 posted on 11/22/2003 8:51:28 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: nickcarraway; All
The Deadly Dozen

Canadian Prime Minister Taunts Church: "I Am A Catholic And For Abortion"

Catholic Church asks Tom Daschle to stop calling himself a Catholic

On Catholic Politicians and Faith

Vatican Urges Catholic Politicians to Vote Along Church Lines

Senator Santorum on Being Catholic and a Politician

William E. Simon, Sr. and Jr. Devout Catholics, Philanthropists and Politicians

Deadly Dozen senator taken to task over claims of Catholicism

THE BISHOP AND THE SENATOR [author links to FR thread regarding Daschle in her online column]

Blood On Their Hands: Exposing Pro-abortion Catholic Politicians

MI Gov Granholm Proclaims June "Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month"

Colorado Governor To Media:'WE LOVE OUR CHURCH' [Gov. Bill Owens

U.S. Senator Brownback and Commentator Dick Morris Join Catholic Church

PRIEST REFUSES COMMUNION TO KNEELING PRO-LIFE POLITICIAN [Richard Black, Virginia]

Kerry [Catholic} says he'll filibuster Supreme Court nominees who do not support abortion rights

Pope to MPs: Stop gay marriage

Vatican - Considerations regarding ... homosexual persons

CONFUSIONS ABOUT POLITICAL JUDGMENT AND THE MORAL LAW

Prelate says politicians who back abortion shouldn't go to Communion

Bishop draws fire for targeting Chrétien

Kennedy likens Vatican stance on gay unions to 'bigotry' (oh, go get a job, you little creep)

Ignorance or Malicious Intent? "No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to..."

George Weigel on Authentic Catholic Citizenship, and the Duty of Catholic Politicians to Behave as Catholics

Conservative Catholics urge Church to challenge "dissenters"

[Robert F., Jr.] Kennedy to speak at Festival of Faiths (Environmentalism as religion)

Faithful Catholic Politicians

Catholic Bishops Eye Possible Crackdown of Pro-Abortion Pols

PETITION TO EX-COMMUNICATE PRO-ABORTION CATHOLIC ELECTED OFFICIALS

It is Time to Excommunicate the Politicians

5 posted on 11/22/2003 8:53:29 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: nickcarraway; Siobhan
BUMP
6 posted on 11/22/2003 10:58:36 PM PST by Maeve (Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy!)
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To: Salvation
Post # 5.......so many words.....and no respect for His Word.

May His judgment come swiftly to the heretics and blasphemers throughout The One True Church.

7 posted on 11/22/2003 11:36:53 PM PST by Robert Drobot (God, family, country. All else is meaningless.)
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To: nickcarraway
U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy has charged into the debate over same-sex marriage, criticizing the Vatican for its opposition to laws recognizing gay and lesbian couples.

A member of the country's most legendary Roman Catholic political family, representing the most Catholic state in the nation, Kennedy said he refuses to follow the Vatican's edict, issued last week, imploring Catholic lawmakers to oppose same-sex unions.

"I see the policy of opposing same-sex marriages or unions, whatever you call it, as bigotry or discrimination," Kennedy said yesterday in an interview.

I strongly disagree with the statement that the Kennedys represent a legendary Roman Catholic family. At best, this gaggle of misfits represent hedonism.

8 posted on 11/23/2003 5:47:38 AM PST by JesseHousman (Execute Mumia Abu-Jamal)
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To: 2nd amendment mama; A2J; Alouette; aposiopetic; attagirl; axel f; Balto_Boy; Blue Scourge; ...
ProLife Ping!

If anyone wants on or off my ProLife Ping List, please notify me here or by freepmail.

9 posted on 11/23/2003 8:57:52 AM PST by Mr. Silverback (Pre-empt the third murder attempt-- Pray for Terry Schiavo!)
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To: nickcarraway; cpforlife.org; american colleen; sinkspur; Lady In Blue; Salvation; Polycarp; ...
What these women need is Christ’s healing touch in the confessional, as well as sustained pastoral support from pro-life organizations like Project Rachel. This is the approach Christ took with the woman caught in adultery: He did not excuse the sin, but He did not turn away the sinner. He invited her to repentance and forgiveness.

Evidence of post-abortion trauma is increasingly attested to by psychologists, counselors and those involved in post-abortion ministry. We now know, for example, that women hurt by abortion may have some or many of the following symptoms:

Some, especially young girls, experience symptoms soon after the abortion. Counselors tell us, however, that it is more common for the symptoms to occur over the course of five to twelve years after the abortion before a woman seeks help.

Project Rachel is the name of the Catholic Church's healing ministry to those who have been involved in abortion. Its name comes from Scripture:

In Ramah is heard the sound of moaning,
of bitter weeping!
Rachel mourns her children,
she refuses to be consoled
because her children are no more.

Thus says the LORD:
Cease your cries of mourning,
wipe the tears from your eyes.
The sorrow you have shown shall have its reward...
There is hope for your future.

Jeremiah 31:15-1

Project Rachel operates as a network of professional counselors and priests, all trained to provide one-on-one spiritual and psychological care for those who are suffering because of an abortion. Although most dioceses use the name Project Rachel, some programs are named differently. In addition to individualized counseling, some programs include support groups and retreats. Founded in 1984 by Victoria Thorn in Milwaukee, today Project Rachel programs can be found in 140 Catholic dioceses in the United States, as well as in dioceses in other countries.

A single phone call to a Project Rachel program (see map--LINK) puts you in touch with those who can help. Also, the National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing (NOPARH) sponsors a nation-wide referral service for those seeking help after abortion. For a referral contact NOPARH at 800.5WE.CARE, or access its website at www.marquette.edu/rachel.

In addition, Rachel's Vineyard is a retreat program which helps those suffering after abortion in a group setting, usually over a weekend. Retreats often are sponsored by local Project Rachel offices, as well as counseling centers and retreat houses. For information or retreat schedules contact www.rachelsvineyard.org or call 1-877-HOPE-4-ME.

PROJECT RACHEL

Catholic Ping - let me know if you want on/off this list


10 posted on 11/23/2003 11:37:32 AM PST by NYer ("Close your ears to the whisperings of hell and bravely oppose its onslaughts." ---St Clare Assisi)
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To: All
American Life Leage to Bishops

Doctrinal Note on Some Questions
Regarding the Participation
of Catholics in Political Life
A Synopsis

CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH
on some questions regarding
The Participation of Catholics in Political Life

 
CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH
Importance and current validity of the document

CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH
CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING PROPOSALS
TO GIVE LEGAL RECOGNITION
TO UNIONS
BETWEEN HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS

 
 

Al Sharpton is not a Catholic priest

AMERICAN LIFE LEAGUE NEWSROOM

Abortion Stats of the US

An Old Testament, Litany of Life

11 posted on 11/23/2003 12:43:07 PM PST by Coleus (Only half the patients who go into an abortion clinic come out alive.)
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To: 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; american colleen; annalex; ...
`
12 posted on 11/23/2003 12:59:16 PM PST by Coleus (Only half the patients who go into an abortion clinic come out alive.)
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To: nickcarraway
"What the Church needs is the will to enforce this proposed course of action."

IMO--This is the problem at the core. The bishops have everything in place and the proper authority to act, but less than a handfull have the WILL TO ACT.

They are more afraid of offending men than God.

13 posted on 11/23/2003 1:34:12 PM PST by cpforlife.org (The Missing Key of the Pro-Life Movement is at www.CpForLife.org)
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To: NYer; All
**Evidence of post-abortion trauma is increasingly attested to by psychologists, counselors and those involved in post-abortion ministry.**

Post-abortion trauma is so very real, yet continues to be pooh-poohed by "experts" (such as Planned Parenthood and their supporters). I've worked with recovering alcoholic women and it's amazing how often a past abortion has strongly contributed to their addiction problems and also kept them so deep in guilt, sorrow and shame that they lost all sense of worth in the eyes of God. Good links to Project Rachel! Maybe someone is out there waiting to hear that.

14 posted on 11/23/2003 1:54:31 PM PST by trustandhope
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To: nickcarraway
Already posted here:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1001231/posts

And Vere's logic (or lack of same) already ripped to shreds on that thread.
15 posted on 11/23/2003 3:58:15 PM PST by Maximilian
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To: Robert Drobot
It's been interesting to collect these articles and see that most of them are negative about the politicians.

Not too many on the positive side.
16 posted on 11/23/2003 7:22:36 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: JesseHousman
**A member of the country's most legendary Roman Catholic political family,**

Sickening isn't it?
17 posted on 11/23/2003 7:26:02 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Mr. Silverback
Thanks for the ping to others, Mr. Silverback!
18 posted on 11/23/2003 7:26:44 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: cpforlife.org
**They are more afraid of offending men than God.**

I'm afraid that in some instances you speak the truth here!
19 posted on 11/23/2003 7:29:13 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: JesseHousman
Post 8....Amen.

The Kennedy tribe is representative of American Catholics, not American Roman Catholics, in my view.

20 posted on 11/24/2003 12:51:50 AM PST by Robert Drobot (God, family, country. All else is meaningless.)
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To: Salvation
"It's been interesting to collect these articles and see that most of them are negative about the politicians."

Words absent any consequence is akin to issuing critical commentary from the Seat of Peter absent any consequence. The leader is lacking the will to correct spiritual corruption in His Church. It should be expected his tail chasing will be copied by his lessers.

21 posted on 11/24/2003 1:04:00 AM PST by Robert Drobot (God, family, country. All else is meaningless.)
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