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Weird Catholic abortion news

2011-08-19 14:22:05.117446+00 by Dan Lyke 5 comments

Catholic Church forgives abortion during the pope's visit to Madrid:

The "special" concession for a pregnancy-termination act normally deemed a sin punishable by excommunication is a result of an appeal by Madrid Archbishop Antonio Maria Rouco Varela for the Vatican to offer women who had abortions access to "the fruits of divine grace that will open the doors to a new life," Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said.

"Canon 1398 provides that...

... "a person who procures a successful abortion incurs an automatic (latae sententiae) excommunication." This means that at the very moment that the abortion is successfully accomplished, the woman and all formal conspirators are excommunicated.

I'm wondering if the Catholic Church has a tie-in promotional deal with airlines; if you're feeling bad about being automatically excommunicated you could fly to Madrid for forgiveness. Or if they're just losing enough membership in metropolitan Spain that they're having to make dispensations for that portion of the population.

Via this MeFi thread in which it is pointed out that:

Presumably you could shoot a newborn in the head, though, and not be automatically excommunicated and still eligible for sacramental absolution.

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comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2011-08-20 12:22:13.511478+00 by: meuon

I think they were called "Indulgences" or often "Papal Indulgences". at one time there were "door to door indulgence sales people" with semi-mobile (town to town) printing presses were used to sell them en-mass. History shows them mostly being sold "post-sin", but as I understand it, they could be bought "pre-sin" as well.

According to: http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indulgence Martin Luther protested against them because they were sold. This was the starting point for the Protestant Reformation (1517).

Larry says it well, but left out the next line:

The very basis of Christian theology is forgiveness. The very basis of Christian religion is power and money.

They are simply trying to retain membership, at the cost of (their) principles.

#Comment Re: made: 2011-08-19 18:05:04.298888+00 by: Larry Burton [edit history]

No, Petronius, I fully understand that excommunication is only intended to last until the offender has repented and fulfilled penance. It's the immediate excommunication without any consideration to the circumstances that is troubling to me. But I'm a Protestant and always have been one, I know there are going to be things about Catholicism that I'll never understand unless I convert.

Dan, it's a wonder this topic never came up at lunch years ago. I would have loved to have heard tom's take on it.

#Comment Re: made: 2011-08-19 17:14:33.932874+00 by: Dan Lyke

Interesting that searches about revoking excommunication are leading me to a game called "Heir To The Throne" in which you not only have to improve your nation's relationship with the papal state, but your leader has to die...

But I have now learned things about excommunication that I never thought I'd know: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05678a.htm and, yep, excommunication apparently cannot only be revoked, it is intended to be revoked. Interesting.

#Comment Re: made: 2011-08-19 16:37:59.542266+00 by: petronius

You make it sound like excommunication cannot be revoked. Where does it say that?

#Comment Re: made: 2011-08-19 15:37:04.111153+00 by: Larry Burton

I've never understood this. The very basis of Christian theology is forgiveness. That is the only purpose of the Cross. Excommunication is supposedly only for those who are unrepentant in their sins because Christians are suppose to forgive all who repent (actually, repentance is only required to accept the forgiveness, the Christian is suppose to forgive unconditionally). I don't see how automatic excommunication for abortion can be reconciled with the basis of their theology.