Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $40,035 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith backs Brazilian archbishop in dispute over abortion excommunications

Catholic World News - July 13, 2009

In a remarkable “clarification” published in L'Osservatore Romano, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has reaffirmed that “the Church’s teaching on procured abortion has not changed, nor can it change,” adding that

the Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,” (Code of Canon Law, can. 1398), “by the very commission of the offense” (Code of Canon Law, can. 1314) and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law (cf. Code of Canon Law, can. 1323-1324). The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.

In issuing the clarification, the Congregation has lent support to retired Archbishop José Cardoso Sobrinho of Olinda and Recife, Brazil, who was criticized by Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, after he warned that those involved in procuring the abortion would incur automatic excommunication. Archbishop Fisichella had written in L'Osservatore Romano that Archbishop Cardoso Sobrinho’s reaction “in the eyes of many" seemed "insensitive, incomprehensible, and lacking in mercy”-- an article that prompted protests from local Brazilian clergy and the majority of the members of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($127,528 to go):
$150,000.00 $22,471.70
85% 15%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Cardinal Kasper's unsubtle threat 1 hours ago
When Catholics are less Catholic than non-Catholics 22 hours ago
Cardinal Kasper's nose is growing again October 18
Challenge Grant Begins as Synod Ends October 17
What's wrong with this Synod, IV: Unprepared for marriage October 17

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6