Recent Posts

Friday, 13 July 2012

On Abortion and Automatic Excommunication

I would like to write about the sin of abortion being confessed in the Confessional. A reminder for women that not all priests have this power to release the woman from the automatic excommunication which results.

Some priests, and I know two, have the power to release an excommunication in the Confessional, but only when this is specifically written out in their FACULTIES.

Some bishops want to see each woman who has had an abortion personally to relieve the excommunication. There is one bishop in Ireland who does that. Some bishops give this special faculty to priests in their dioceses, but NOT all priests have this written out in their faculties.

I have seen such, and I know that it must be specifically in the faculties, as a good priest explained and showed me when I inquired about this. The wording is very specific.

Remember, that a person who is in mortal sin, or one who is excommunicated, receives no sanctifying grace through any of the sacraments, until she confesses in the proper manner and in the case of excommunication, returns to the Church.

The bishop of each diocese has the power to give or withhold the special faculties given to a priest who can remove the excommunication.
Here is the Canon Law: 1398: A person who procures a completed abortion incurs a latae sententiae excommunication.

Think, pray, repent, return. God loves you. We are so fortunate to have the sacrament of Confession and absolute, as well as the chance to return to the Church after excommunication.

By the way, as an aside, in June, many pro-life posters were vandalized. One can read the article here and look at photos and a video. I warn you, the site is an anarchist's site.

Update: this post is to help women who have had abortions and not to scare them away. If one understands the process, it makes it easier. These are not my rules, but those of the Church. There is wisdom is looking at the seriousness of the sin and what that sin has done to the person as well. The Church is considering the woman's welfare.


Piers D'arcy said...

I'm not so sure that they are automatically excommunicated. After all, one doesn't incur any canonical penalty unless one is in a state of subjective mortal sin. Which is to say that one commits a mortal sin in the full knowledge that it is a mortal sin. In addition, one can only incur a penalty if one is aware that a particular act has a canonical penalty attached to it. Do women, who have abortions, know what a mortal sin is and have they heard of Canon Law? There is no strict liability in Canon Law.

MuMu said...

Oh, good, good, good for you supertradmum, for pointing out abortion incurs automatic excommunication.
There is a worrying trend in prolife thought to exculpate abortion and proffer a range of "reasons" why women get abortions, which gives the impression that these proponents are (a) judging aborting women and finding them not guilty and (b)giving the impression that these mothers had no choice but to kill their children.
This kind of thinking is a form of despair and also of judgement.
I say leave off making excuses for women who abort and instead emphasise the grave evil of killing one's own child and the need for serio0us repentance.