Peru Cardinal Threatens Excommunications

LIMA, Sep 5, 01 ( - Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani of Lima, the primate of Peru, has instructed pastors to deny Holy Communion to politicians and other public figures if they persist in public support for abortion.

Upon the request of Cardinal Cipriani, the archdiocesan Pastoral Commission has sent to all pastors a document entitled, "Moral and Legal Dimensions of Abortion," which is designed to set forth "a pastoral and sacramental response to the increasing culture of death, as well as consistent criteria to deal with this grave moral problem."

The document, written in a question-and-answer format, reminds pastors that the Church describes abortion as "a horrendous crime," because "it takes away the life of an innocent creature entitled to be loved by his parents, and who has been deprived of enjoying the goods of this life, in particular Baptism and the graces of Christianity."

The text also recalls that the penalty of excommunication "latae sententiae"-- automatically imposed-- is still applied to all those involved in an abortion, "including the assistant doctors, the nurse, whoever provides the money, etc." It also says that those who assume a favorable position regarding abortion "are committing a grave fault by supporting a crime."

"The pastor having a parish member in this condition can deny him Holy Communion in public, only after warning him or her in private," the text says.

Finally, the document call pastors to promote the culture of life through positive initiatives, including "praying for legislators," assisting women in crisis pregnancies, educating people about the development of life inside the womb, and encouraging the media to join in building a culture of life.

CWN - Catholic World News
05. september 2001