Friday March 5, 2010

King of Spain Excommunicated Himself by Signing Abortion Law: Human Life International

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

ROME, March 5, 2010 ( – Human Life International, the largest international pro-life organization in the world, has condemned the signing of Spain’s new abortion law by king Juan Carlos I, and says that the monarch has excommunicated himself from the Catholic Church.

“We are very disappointed to hear of the Spanish Head of State’s signature of this terrible law,” said Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro, Executive Director of Human Life International’s Rome Office, in an email to LifeSiteNews. “Yet, because he has signed other legislation that undermines the moral law and Catholic teaching it does not come as a surprise.”

Barreiro noted that, in reality, no law can force the king to sign an evil law.

“Juan Carlos absolutely retains the right to follow his conscience. No positive law can remove this freedom for any citizen, much less a king,” wrote Barreiro.

“Other European royalty have recently demonstrated both the awareness of this basic moral precept and the courage to abstain from endorsing unjust laws,” he added. “So while Spanish positive law may require his endorsement, both natural and divine law require that he reject the endorsement of any immoral legislation, especially that which will result in the deaths of untold numbers of unborn human beings.”

“Further,” wrote Barreiro, “we believe that per Canon 915, Juan Carlos has incurred a latae sententiae excommunication, as his action directly resulted in the enactment of this gravely immoral expansion of abortion.”

A latae sententiae excommunication is an automatic penalty, contained in the Church’s law, severing a Catholic from communion with the Church for certain sins.

Canon 915 of the Catholic Church’s canon law restricts individuals who have participated in “manifest grave sin” from receiving the sacrament of holy communion.

Canon 1398 of the law applies an automatic excommunication to anyone who procures a completed abortion.

However, despite declaring in November of last year that those who voted for the law would receive the penalty contained in canon 915, the Spanish bishops were not willing to declare the same penalty for the king.

Previous LifeSiteNews coverage:

“The world is watching!” Pro-Life Leader Warns Spanish King

Catholic Theologians Say Spanish King Should Refuse to Sign Pro-Abortion Legislation

Proposed Abortion Law Strikes at Legitimacy of the Government: Spanish Catholic Bishops