By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

MADRID, November 13, 2009 ( – The secretary general of the Spanish bishops' conference, Auxiliary Bishop Juan Antonio Martinez Camino of Madrid, warned that Spanish Catholic legislators who vote in favor of a bill to liberalize abortion which is currently before parliament would publicly place themselves in an “objective state of sin” and therefore may not receive Communion.

“Excommunication is provided in the Code of Canon Law for those who cooperate actively in the practice of abortion,” Bishop Martinez Camino stated in an AFP report.

He said Catholics cannot support the legalization of abortion and if they do “they will objectively find themselves in a public state of sin and may not be admitted to Holy Communion.”

While “the Church cannot judge their subjectivity,” he added, those who “directly collaborate” in or promote abortion incur excommunication.

At the same time, Bishop Martinez Camino said the Church reaches out to women who have had an abortion or who are tempted to abort.

Encouraging those who have aborted to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, he said, “Those who have not gone to confession are encouraged to do so because God wants to offer them a solution and deep peace.”

The Church “is not merciless towards those who fall into sin,” he continued, and while she “defends the rights of the innocents,” she is “conscious of the problem that [abortion] entails.”

The bishop then praised doctors and health care workers who promote the cause of life and conscientiously object “with civic and moral courage” to participate in abortion. Warning against the “grave manipulation” of portraying abortion as a medical procedure, he said “abortion is never a cure because pregnancy is not a disease.”