More about excommunicating Catholic politicians

I posted on this issue some days back.  Now, canon lawyer Ed Peters adds more: 

A few weeks ago, it was Let’s excommunicate Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn for supporting ‘gay marriage’. Now, it’s Let’s excommunicate New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his latest push to expand abortion in what is perhaps the most pro-abortion state in the union. Sins, to be sure, these deeds, but canonical crimes? and ones punishable by excommunication at that? I suggest not, as many of us have discussed many times.

Some bloggers really should google a bit before they post. If they did so in the Cuomo case, they’d find out, among other things, that politicians are not subject to excommunication for abortion under Canon 1398 (the only canon remotely relevant to their situation), that Canon 915 is a much more appropriate response to the scandal of the prominent pro-abortion Catholic politico, and that Cuomo has already been the subject of an extensive discussion in regard to his eligibility for Communion; indeed, they’d probably find out that Cuomo is apparently refraining from approaching for holy Communion on his own.

Can the canonical ante be upped further? Sure, but not by blog-driven public pressure on Catholic bishops for politico-excommunications under a Code that at present does not punish activities such as Cuomo’s or Quinn’s with a penalty such as excommunication. So, those distressed, and rightly so, by Cuomo’s or Quinn’s politics and specifically desirous of seeing them excommunicated, have, as I see it, two options: either (a) petition the pope to rewrite one or more canons of Book VI of the Code to excommunicate them; or (b) petition the bishops of New York and Illinois to enact particular legislation leading to their governors’ excommunications. I think both ideas are, for several reasons, problematic, but they seem within the bounds of what a Catholic could suggest.

Read it all and visit the links. 


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