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  #1  
Old Mar 20, '09, 5:05 am
Epistemes Epistemes is offline
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Default Excommunication: abortion, not murder?

Hello,

Why is abortion an excommunicable offense but not murder and physician assisted suicide?
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  #2  
Old Mar 20, '09, 6:26 am
StCsDavid StCsDavid is offline
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Default Re: Excommunication: abortion, not murder?

All three of these offenses are mortal sins that put the soul in peril of Hell. All three put one outside of communion with the Church. Because abortion is so heinous and so popular, (one abortion will have happened by the time you finish reading this) the Church wants to draw special attention to its gravity. It's not saying that murder or physician assisted suicide are any less grave. I suppose if doctors started killing adults who were sick at the rate doctors kill healthy babies in the womb, the Church might respond in a similar way.

As a side note...this video worth sharing.
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  #3  
Old Mar 20, '09, 8:46 am
jemfinch jemfinch is offline
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Default Re: Excommunication: abortion, not murder?

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Originally Posted by Epistemes View Post
Why is abortion an excommunicable offense but not murder and physician assisted suicide?
Technically, any offense is excommunicable, according to the discretion of the bishop, I believe.

Abortion, on the other hand, incurs a latae sententiae (by the act itself) excommunication, because it's an extremely private sin that may never come to light: the Church hopes that the additional weight of the excommunication incurred would deter some from ever taking that course of action.

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  #4  
Old Mar 20, '09, 10:17 am
Epistemes Epistemes is offline
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Default Re: Excommunication: abortion, not murder?

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Originally Posted by jemfinch View Post
Technically, any offense is excommunicable, according to the discretion of the bishop, I believe.

Abortion, on the other hand, incurs a latae sententiae (by the act itself) excommunication, because it's an extremely private sin that may never come to light: the Church hopes that the additional weight of the excommunication incurred would deter some from ever taking that course of action.
Canon 1323 (I think that's right) is seems to read like a provisional clause that states that the person is only truly automatically excommunicated when they are fully aware of that abortion is a grave matter. In other words, Canon 1323 reads with the legal distinction that separates mortal from venial sins. While it's fully possible to answer why this is a grave matter, I still don't know understand (so, therefore, how could any offending mother?) why it is an excommunicable offense. That a woman sins against herself and the unborn child is well-evident, but to be excommunicated?

Why aren't embryonic stem cell researchers being excommunicated? It's essentially the same crime, isn't it? Destroying unborn human life...

It all just seems far too arbitrary and political which is hardly the righteous hand of Truth.
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Old Mar 20, '09, 10:28 am
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Wowbagger Wowbagger is offline
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Default Re: Excommunication: abortion, not murder?

I have to run to lunch, so I don't have time to do the research, but it's always been my impression that murderers, embryo harvesters, and all their inhuman ilk are excommunicated latae sententiae. The Catechism calls special attention to the abortion excommunication because so many Catholics seem to think abortion is no big deal, but I would think that any murder--especially any murder of the unborn--would meet the criteria laid out for the automatic penalty.

I'll consult canon law when I get a chance, though, since I'm talking out of my hat. Anyone care to correct me in the meantime?
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Old Mar 20, '09, 4:07 pm
jemfinch jemfinch is offline
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Default Re: Excommunication: abortion, not murder?

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Originally Posted by Epistemes View Post
While it's fully possible to answer why this is a grave matter, I still don't know understand (so, therefore, how could any offending mother?) why it is an excommunicable offense.
For the canons you mentioned, it's not important that the violator know why the offense is excommunicable, simply that it is.

Quote:
That a woman sins against herself and the unborn child is well-evident, but to be excommunicated?
There is no more innocent victim of murder than an unborn child, so it stands to reason that the penalty for killing an unborn child should exceed the penalty for killing others.

Quote:
Why aren't embryonic stem cell researchers being excommunicated?
They may be, depending on whether the Church calls the death of fertilized ova an abortion.

Quote:
It all just seems far too arbitrary and political which is hardly the righteous hand of Truth.
I don't see how so. Abortion is a widespread grave offense; killing fertilized ova for embryonic stem cell research, though grave, is certainly not widespread. Clearly a latae sententiae excommunication for the former would have a greater effect and impact than for the latter.

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  #7  
Old Mar 22, '09, 1:54 pm
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Default Re: Excommunication: abortion, not murder?

Oddly enough, the code of canon law is quite explicit: a latae sententiae excommunication is incurred for procuring an abortion (which I assume includes all homicides against the unborn, but perhaps not), but not for other acts of homicide, which are merely mortal sins that bar the sinner from receiving communion.

On the other hand, since mortal sin prevents you from receiving communion and the whole point of excommunication is that you can't receive communion, it seems to me to be a distinction without an important difference, except insofar as excommunication is an appropriate additional measure to contain the separate danger of scandal.

Any other thoughts?

Oh, and link: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P57.HTM
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  #8  
Old Mar 22, '09, 2:36 pm
Quarles47 Quarles47 is offline
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Default Re: Excommunication: abortion, not murder?

[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epistemes;4965746
Why is abortion an excommunicable offense but not murder and physician assisted suicide?[/QUOTE
Any form of murder is an excommunicable offense I believe, abortion was singled out because so many try and argue that it isn't murder.

Last edited by Quarles47; Mar 22, '09 at 2:38 pm. Reason: dyslexis fingers
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  #9  
Old Mar 22, '09, 5:24 pm
AHapka AHapka is offline
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Default Re: Excommunication: abortion, not murder?

My take on this is that it is possible to kill an adult and have it not be murder.

Self defense. The death penalty.

Some forms murder, while mortal sins, may not be a mortal sin in particular cases. For example, a person who has been abused for many years killing their abuser out of sheer desperation may not have had full consent of the will.

So even though we know it is a sin to murder, there are cases where the person murdered may have not been completely innocent themselves. For example, let's say someone says he's going to murder me. And I say I'm not going to let you live long enough to, and murder him myself.

Did I sin. Yes. Did he sin. Yes. Both parties in this case sinned. Also, let's not forget that he could defend himself. Again, not excusing the sin, but an adult can take action that a fetus cannot.

The child could not 1) do anything to defend him/her self, 2) have committed any sin or taken any action to cause someone to commit the abortion, and 3) pose a real threat to anyone. It is because of these reasons that I believe abortion is more serious then murder, and consequently, needs more serious church censure to get the message across.
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  #10  
Old Mar 27, '09, 9:02 am
icknish icknish is offline
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Default Re: Excommunication: abortion, not murder?

Would you let a rabid dog sleep at your feet and think it would not bite you? The same applies to politicians like Nancy Pelosi, Barak Obama and many of our LAWMAKERS. They are pro abortion, about that there is no doubt. They are not making laws that are in line with Gods laws, they are making laws that are mans law. If a church is supposed to represent God here on Earth then it would be totally inapropriate for any church to accept as a member one that considers Gods laws as unacceptable. For example, Nancy Pelosi claims to be a Catholic, but she is not only in favor of abortion but continues to promote it. She therefore should be excommunicated as she does not have any intention of changing her commitment to her percieved self power and continuously rejects with fervor, Gods laws.
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Old Mar 27, '09, 11:16 am
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Danuska Danuska is offline
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Default Re: Excommunication: abortion, not murder?

One thing that is different - if you commite murder, you will be persecuted and put in jail if proved guilty. With abortion - you can committe it many times and no court will bother - not sure if that is the explanation but well, sadly we can kill the defenseless legally
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  #12  
Old Mar 27, '09, 11:52 am
mrmiiike mrmiiike is offline
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Default Re: Excommunication: abortion, not murder?

Why doesn't our Pope, Cardinals, Arch Bishops, Bishops, Priests, Deacons, Nuns, Call Abortion murder, for it is taking the LIFE of a human being?
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  #13  
Old Mar 27, '09, 7:53 pm
MarjannaS MarjannaS is offline
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Wink Re: Excommunication: abortion, not murder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Epistemes View Post
Hello,

Why is abortion an excommunicable offense but not murder and physician assisted suicide?
Hi. I wonder WHY we feel it is so necessary to define and categorize which sin is sin, and which is only 'mistake' or 'error' or some other pleasing euphemism? God has told us, Old Testament and New, that killing another person is a SIN. It should not happen, but it MAY be justified (in GOD'S EYES, NOT in our own) if it involves protecting the life of another, defending our families, or so on. He has NOT given us, in Old or in New Testament, the right to judge others in their sin. That is a responsibility He has kept for Himself, as only He knows the heart of the sinner. That said, shouldn't it really be enough for us to know that murder, abortion, physician-assisted suicide, suicide, and other sins may be classified by the Church as "excommunicable"?
Can we take that word in its literal sense? Ex is 'from' and communicable is 'the communion of the faithful'. It also has to do with Eucharist. In its literal sense, it means that the sinner who commits an 'excommunicable sin' is one who separates himself or herself FROM the church; i.e., from the communion of saints. It is the word for those who have made themselves unworthy -- on the basis of sin -- to receive the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ, by their choice of a heinous crime against God and Mankind. Any such person cannot freely and worthily receive the Eucharist because to do so incurs ANOTHER mortal sin on top of the sin they already carry. To be able to receive the Eucharist worthily, such a person MUST receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and repent of their sins before they can communicate again.
It seems kind of simple to me, but then, I truly believe God intended for it to be simple. He is the one who told us that we must 'become as these little ones' to enter the Kingdom.

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Old Mar 27, '09, 11:57 pm
mrspatin mrspatin is offline
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Default Re: Excommunication: abortion, not murder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danuska View Post
One thing that is different - if you commite murder, you will be persecuted and put in jail if proved guilty. With abortion - you can committe it many times and no court will bother - not sure if that is the explanation but well, sadly we can kill the defenseless legally
I believe the sin is that we are taking upon ourselves to end a life that God has created - for no reason other than we are choosing to deny life. As for the reason why abortion is excommunicable, I didn't realize that it was. I thought the sin of aborting an unborn life was forgiven just the same as any other - through confession, repenting, and due penance. It does seem as though if abortion is excommunicable, than so should be embryonic stem cell research and birth control.

Let us keep praying for an end to abortion and so forth.
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Old Mar 28, '09, 10:21 am
MarjannaS MarjannaS is offline
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Smile Re: Excommunication: abortion, not murder?

Dear Danushka,
Though SIN separates us from God and from the Church and from one another, it is vital to remember that SIN is forgivable -- Jesus says so! Even though we 'excommunicate' ourselves by committing grievous sins -- murder, abortion, in-vitro fertilization, euthanasia, and every terrible thing possible, we are ONLY excommunicated for as long as we allow ourselves to be excommunicated. Unless a proscription has been published by our bishop or higher Church Authority (which requires a more public atonement) ALL WE NEED to do to become BACK in communion with God and His Church, is to make a firm purpose of amendment,(resolve NOT to continue in sin) and confess our sins to the priest in the confessional, and make a sincere contrition. Jesus, through the person of the priest-confessor, raises His hand in blessing and welcomes us back with those most beautiful words, "I absolve you of your sins in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Go, and sin no more."
What is important for us as Catholics and as Christians to know, is that ANY MORTAL SIN excommunicates us from God and the Church. Initially, when we commit serious (mortal) sin, we are taking ourselves away from God and the Church. Our sin then, is what STOPS US from being in communion with Christ and the church. Atoning for that sin allows us to be 'taken back' into His presence. We are welcomed back with as much joy as He declared for the single lost sheep whom He searched for while the 99 were safely in the meadow.
The inescapable TRUTH to life, birth, hardship, suffering, even sin and death, is that God, in all His Might, His Power, and His Excellence, LOVES US -- poor, pitiable creatures who are so misled and misguided, so foolish and inept, simply because HE MADE US, and He wants us with Him, even to the point of forgiving us EVERY TIME we foolishly separate ourselves from Him through sin. How can we NOT respond to that love? How can we possibly allow ourselves to despair of His loving welcome if we are sincerely sorry for the wrongs we have committed? How can we prefer to remain in sin when He has such wonderful alternatives for us? After all, He promises eternal life with HIM, if we try to remain faithful in His care. He KNOWS (better than we do) that we are not perfect, because He IS perfect. But, there's that hook: -- He loves us anyway!
I hope this helps you. I send out a prayer for you with my Submit Key! God love you.
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