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No Church discipline if Spanish king signs abortion law

Catholic World News - February 26, 2010

Spain's King Juan Carlos will not incur any ecclesiastical penalty if he signs a new law allowing unrestricted abortion in the early stages of pregnancy, a spokesman for the Spanish episcopal conference has said. Although the Spanish bishops warned that any lawmaker who voted for the bill was placing himself outside the Catholic Church, the king's role is a "unique sitution," observed Bishop Juan Antonio Martinez Camino, the general secretary of the episcopal conference. The king is required to sign legislation passed by parliament.

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  • Posted by: kmbold - Feb. 26, 2010 9:19 PM ET USA

    The Spanish bishops must have relatives at the USCCB. No wonder that country has lost its faith. Time for another Teresa of Avila. Heck, I'd settle for Torquemada.

  • Posted by: St.John Neumann - Feb. 26, 2010 7:31 PM ET USA

    This makes no sense. Abortion is murder. This is not about the king, but about the logic of the bishop's argument. How does God law not apply to kings but only to the peasants? Not even Pope Alexander VI would have made that argument.

  • Posted by: Caritas - Feb. 26, 2010 6:02 PM ET USA

    Woody, thank you for your comment. I was about to say the same thing. King Juan Carlos has the moral responsibility to take a "Catholic stance" in such matters. In my opinion, he is both gutless and unprincipled.

  • Posted by: gerard9864 - Feb. 26, 2010 5:57 PM ET USA

    In what sense is the king "required" to sign the legislation? In the sense that if he doesn't, it doesn't become law? Or that if he doesn't, he'll be deposed? In either case, surely the "unique situation" he's said to be in only makes his obligation that much clearer. By the way, Thomas More was "required" to assent to the Act of Supremacy.

  • Posted by: niall - Feb. 26, 2010 5:56 PM ET USA

    I agree with Woody. If the King is Catholic, then he should have the courage of his convictions - lives are at stake for this skewed vision of political and social correctness. The Church must also have the courage of its convictions - it threatened sanctions a few weeks ago if the King signs the legislation. The Church must show that it is serious about its stance on abortion - and that it is binding on ALL Catholics.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 26, 2010 10:55 AM ET USA

    King Baudouin of the Belgians abdicated temporarily in 1990, rather than sign such a law. Pity King Juan Carlos doesn't have the same guts.

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