"Q. Do you agree with the Pope's statement that pro-choice Catholic politicians merit excommunication?
A. It is canon law that everyone who works for abortion is excommunicated. It's not something the Pope invented. If you favor abortion, you are outside the communion of the Church. And it was necessary to say that. There are people in Mexico saying I am Catholic and I support abortion rights. This is a contradiction in its very essence. As a teacher of the Church, the Pope has a responsibility of teaching when something happening is wrong.
Q. Do you agree with bishops who deny giving Holy Communion to the these politicians?
A. This is a different point. For who am I to deny Holy Communion to a person? I cannot. It's in the tradition of moral theology that even if I know a person is living in grave sin, I cannot take a public action against him. It would be giving scandal to the person. Yes, he should not seek [communion], but I cannot deny it from him...."
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Cardinal Rodriguez on Communion and Excommunication
Rocco Palmo links to an excellent interview with Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, archbishop of Tegucigalapa in Honduras, and possible future pope. He was asked about the recent furore over Benedict's reiteration of basic canon law concerning the eucharist, that was so misunderstood by the press. But Cardinal Rodriguez makes a brilliant distinction between the application of canon law, and the more crass political attempts by some on the American right to deny communion to certain politicians (see here for my take). Here's his distinction: