Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Cardinal to Politicians: Vote for Abortion? You're Excommunicated!

Catholic members of Congress who vote for the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) could face “automatic excommunication” if the act is determined to be “formal cooperation” in the evil of abortion.

-- From "Catholics Who Vote for Freedom of Choice Act Could Face Automatic Excommunication" by Matt Hadro, CNSNews.com 11/19/08

When asked last week whether a Catholic politician voting for the FOCA – which would impose nationwide abortion on demand and government funding of abortion – would incur automatic excommunication from the Catholic Church, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago said the question would need to be discussed once the actual language of the bill was known.

George is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

“The categories in moral theology about cooperating in evil, which make you complicit in the evil even though you don’t do it yourself, are material cooperation, which is usually remote and therefore doesn’t involve you in the moral action except in a very auxiliary and minor way, and formal cooperation, which would involve you even though you are not doing it, in the way that makes you culpable,” said George.

President-elect Barack Obama promised in his campaign to sign FOCA. As introduced in the current Congress, FOCA denies all federal, state and local governments the power to interfere with a woman’s “choice” to abort a baby, and prohibits “discriminating against the exercise of those rights in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information.”

Fr. Frank Pavone of the Priests for Life told CNSNews.com: “Any legislator who would vote for such an extreme piece of pro-abortion legislation [FOCA], and any executive who would sign it or judge who would uphold it, or even a citizen who would lobby in any way in favor of it, would be committing a serious sin, objectively speaking. It is cooperation with evil in a totally unjustified way.”

Dr. Mark Miravalle, a theology professor at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, said of a Catholic politician voting for FOCA, “I think you would have to conclude that it would be a formal act, a formal cooperation [in the act of abortion].”

The purpose of FOCA, he continued, “is to ensure the right of a woman to have an abortion.”

When asked about a pro-abortion Catholic politician seeking to receive Holy Communion, Dr. Mark Miravalle said, “Canonically, based on scandal, and based on proper protection of the Eucharist, no pro-abortion, pro-choice Catholic politician should be admitted to receive Holy Communion.”

To read the entire article, which includes interview comments with Cardinal George, CLICK HERE.