Why are pro abortion politicians not excommunicated?


I ran across yet another story of a liberal politician (Nancy Pelosi - shocker, I know) who was confronted about her view on abortion and then she unashamedly invoked her Catholic faith

In my understanding, this is her vocally flaunting her opposition to Catholic teaching and rebellion against the authority of the Church. Her bishop should excommunicate her immediately, as should every Bishop throughout the world to all the pro abortion candidates in their diocese, right? Why is this not happening???

Grace always has a place in our lives, but this has gone on long enough. Yes, we as individuals can say she’s not really a Catholic, but until the Pope, Bishops, and Priests start putting some teeth behind this, the church and Jesus Himself are going to keep getting dragged through the mud. Enough is enough.



A very good question and I’ve wondered about it. I don’t have an answer except that as far as I understand all those who aid and abet in abortions are excommunicated latae sententiae. I think it seems less clearer when one is talking about politicians who happen to hold pro-life views. In saying women should have abortion access, she is not directly actually helping anyone get an abortion, as far as I can see (yes legitimating it but that’s not quite the same).

There might also be the practical political reason, which is that if the Church is to try and slowly bring about an end to it, it does actually have to work with political figures, and excommunication of e.g. at least 2/3rds of the 83 Catholic (or ‘Catholic’) members of the British House of Commons, and obviously a good proportion of both Houses of Congress, etc, probably isn’t going to achieve anything. Even if it brings one or two back into the fold of what the Church teaches on this issue, it’s not going to have a meaningful impact on a wider scale, so it’s I suppose a question of balance.

tl;dr - I’m waffling because I don’t know but I can think of some semi-legitimate answers!


Two words: spineless bishops.

They would rather allow publicly unrepentant sinners to deceive the faithful than excommunicate them, and in doing so risk a media counterattack.


I agree with this, Catholic politicians who are pro abortion should be excommunicated if they would use the faith to support their view. It is unacceptable for these people to continue on the way they are going without the Church doing anything. We must make an example of them by excommunication and then we will see whether if its their faith or politics that’s the most important to them. If they choose not to withdraw their support for abortion then that shows they never really cared about their faith and was just using it. If they do however change their mind and repent what they did then we made a positive change.


Just how exactly would excommunicating solve anything? Who would do the picking and choosing? So, if you are on that committee, would you also excommunicate those who have never had an abortion, and never would, but support abortion in cases of rape, incest and life of the mother? It’s a long and winding road and most likely, we should follow what Pope Francis advocates.



So there is a difference in the two situations you ate referring to.

Having an opinion contradictory to the church is not necessarily sinful, because having an opinion does not in itself make the sin of another more likely to happen. If you think that abortion should be acceptable in certain circumstances, that thought does not make it more likely that your neighbor will procure an abortion (unless you are urging her to seek one, which is gravely sinful).

BUT, if a politician advocates and consistently protects unfettered access to abortion, they are an accessory to any abortion that continues to happen within their country, they are an opponent to the church, and the church has a right, and some would say duty, to take action against those baptized persons who are under their authority.


God is the ultimate judge. And truthfully, these people will not change their ways.
They’ve already bought into secular thought. They’ve abandoned their faith. In short, they have separated themselves from the Catholic community.
God sees their hearts.


I agree with this wholeheartedly.



Yes, I agree. God is not mocked. Yet, it seems that the Church is being mocked. Therefore, it would be fitting for the authorities of the Church to recognize that fact and act accordingly.

As far as excommunication–that’s a tough one, given the way the penal law of the Church now reads. I suppose it might be possible (the offenders, it seems to me, would have to be declared heretics) but let’s just start with something more fitting: deny Communion (c. 915).



True, but they are misleading other Catholics who think it’s ok to pick and choose commandments. I actually know someone who said, “Why can’t I be prochoice? Nancy Pelosi is and she’s Catholic!”


I know. But you and I don’t call the shots.
Maybe some Bishop will get on his hind legs and handle these folks.
But for now, I’ll pray for conversion of hearts.
Peace friend.


Judge not…lest ye also be judged


If you’re going to invoke Scripture, please do it where it actually applies.


Exactly. We’re not talking about the average Catholic who may vote for a Democrat who is pro abortion (although I would personally prefer the Church take a hard stance on that, but it’s a whole other deal). We’re talking about the legislators and judges themselves who vote and make rulings which make abortion access more readily available while actively working against those standing up for life.

Are abortion doctors allowed to be Catholic in full communion with the Church? If so, and forgive me if this is crass but it’s the best way to put it, that is completely effed up. The legislators who enable those “doctors” to continue murdering children are just as culpable (and again I would argue that those who vote for those legislators are as well).

This is a major problem with the Church but seeing as I’m not even a confirmed Catholic yet, I don’t know what can be done to solve it.


This is where my ignorance comes in. I didn’t realize the Church could deny communion without excommunicating them (I thought they were the same thing).

I agree though. Denying them communion would sure send them a message, but it seems to me on something as important as this they could take the ultimate step. Frankly I don’t know how a priest could take the host and place it in the mouth of Nancy Pelosi or anyone like her who openly advocates for abortion and defends those murderers.



The law of the Church would view the doctor as one who would be liable to excommunication (canons 1398, 1329.2 of the Code of Canon Law). However, the activity of politicians is too remote to be put into the same category. They are not necessary cooperators in any particular crime of abortion.



So the Church excommunicates politicians for not being against abortion, even if they never have had one themselves our advocated for a girlfriend or wife to have one, who do we go after next? Should it be those who don’t believe artificial contraception is a sin or that refuse to think that we are morally superior to gay individuals? What those who wish to see politicians excommunicated need to remember is that, at least in the USA and Canada, the majority of lay Catholics also believe in most of those things. Please do not use the “scandal” argument, it just doesn’t fit anymore.:cool:



Let’s say that’s true. Is that a good thing?



Perhaps the thread would be better titled, “why are pro abortion politicians re elected”? In many cases areas with many Catholics choose to elect politicians they know are proabortion, whether Catholic or non Catholic. The laity are supposed to bring Catholic influence into the public square, and we are failing to do so. So we blame the bishops. It’s easier than the laity doing the laity’s job.

Whether a given politician should be denied communion, or excommunicated, is a difficult matter. The situation varies, depending on personal circumstances, and other matters we usually know nothing about. I can only trust the bishop does his job well.

My job is to defeat pro abortion politicians, and elect prolife ones.



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