Defending the 12th century since the 14th; blogging since the 21st.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007
What we have here is....

Eventually St. Blog's will unravel exactly what the Holy Father said and meant about excommunication and pro-abort pols. Here (thanks to John Allen, and a hat-tip as well to Whispers in the Loggia) is a transcript of the press conference aboard the plane to Brazil.

It seems clear that we actually have here (for better or worse) is no global campaign of formal excommunication, but merely an observation that when certain Mexican bishops said the e-word in connection with Catholic pols who voted for Mexico City's new pro-abort law, they were simply reflecting what's in Canon Law and not pulling something out of their -- berettas.

Also, we must keep in mind -- because the MSM certainly won't -- the distinction between being in mortal sin and being formally excommunicated. There's something I call the Santuzza Fallacy, after the heroine of Mascagni's ever-popular one-acter, CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA. Santuzza had it off with this guy Turiddu, see, and so she figures, correctly, that she can't take communion (pending confession). She also announces, quite incorrectly, that she is excommunicated ("scommunicata"), and therefore cannot enter the village church to witness the Easter Mass that's going on.

(Evidently, the Santuzza Fallacy also afflicts some whose job it is to narrate CAVALLERIA to others.)

As the Pope said on the plane, being complicit in abortion is inconsistent with receiving communion. So is any mortal sin. But (and this is me talking once again, not the Holy Father) being in mortal sin, without more, is not the same as being excommunicated, at least as I understand the matter. I entreat comments on whether I'm right about this, and about whether any special rules pertain to abortion.

Let's get our distinctions clear now, b/c I suspect we're going to hear more about this in our presidential race: it features several nominally Catholic pro-aborts, and this time, one of them is a Republican.