Heads up Pelosi, Dodd, Kennedy, Kerry, Kucinich, et al.
At a press conference at the fall meeting of the USCCB held in Baltimore last week, CNSNews.com asked Cardinal George if the language in the Catholic Catechism that says “formal cooperation” in abortion incurs the penalty of excommunication would apply to a Catholic member of Congress voting for FOCA.
“The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense and the church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life,” CNSNews.com asked.
“If openly Catholic politicians vote for this Freedom of Choice Act, which would pretty much allow unfettered access to abortion in the United States, would it be an automatic grounds for excommunication? But even if it’s not automatic … could you just explain the process of the excommunication?” CNSNews.com added.
“The excommunication is automatic if that act is in fact formal cooperation, and that is precisely what would have to be discussed once you would see the terms of the act itself,” responded George.
Of course the Catholic Church is always exceedingly careful in all its deliberations:
“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.
“So we would have to take a look at each case, and at each law, to determine whether or not the cooperation is material or formal. We’ve never done that,” he added.
I think it’s time to start.
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.”
See Deal Hudson for more arguments in favor of excommunication.
H/T: American Papist