By James Tillman

MADRID, November 27, 2009 (—Today the Plenary Assembly of the Spanish Episcopal Conference issued a statement saying that politicians who vote for a proposed law liberalizing abortion in Spain place themselves in an “objective state of sin and, while the situation lasts, may not be admitted to Holy Communion.”

The announcement from the Spanish bishops comes as the Spanish parliament is considering a law that would make it easier to get an abortion in Spain by allowing 16-year olds to get an abortion without parental consent, among other measures.

In their statement, the bishops endorse the June 17th declaration of the bishops’ Permanent Commission, entitled: “On the Proposed Abortion Law: An Assault against the Unborn Transformed into a ‘Right.'”

The document states that this transformation of abortion into a right is the “poisoned source of immorality and injustice that corrupts the entire text [of the proposed law].”

The document goes on to question the logic by which the new law would regulate abortion. Under the new law, abortion would be permitted on demand for up to fourteen weeks after conception, but in cases of grave and incurable fetal conditions it would be permitted at any time.

Yet such regulation is artificial, the document points out: “Why not, then, [allow abortion] at the moment of birth, or a minute later?” The only reasonable moment to mark the beginning of life, they continue, is at conception: “Where there is a living human body, there is a person and therefore inviolable human dignity.”

Thus, the bishops said that politicians who vote for a bill so contrary to the “requirements of right reason” publicly place themselves in a state of sin and ought not to receive Communion.

In support of this position, the Spanish bishops cite a memorandum from then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to Cardinal McCarrick. This document states that after precautionary and private measures have been exhausted, ministers ought to refuse Communion to politicians that promote abortion because of the “person’s public unworthiness to receive Holy Communion due to an objective situation of sin.”

The Socialist government under Prime Minister Luis Zapatero has worked tirelessly to undermine the traditionally Catholic culture of Spain. In 2005 same-sex “marriage” and adoption by such couples was legalized by his government; the same year the government announced that homosexualist “diversity” training would be mandatory in schools.

The government’s current push to liberalize abortion laws has been resisted by many of Spain’s Catholic citizens. Approximately half a million citizens protested the proposed legislation in cities across Spain last March. A similar event in October attracted as many as a million participants.

Abortion in Spain is currently permitted at up to 12 weeks in cases of rape and up to 22 weeks in cases of a malformed infant. It is also permitted if the pregnancy is judged to endanger the physical or mental health of the mother. In practice a supposed threat to the mental health of the mother has allowed abortions to proceed nearly unrestricted, with some abortionists having arrangements with psychologists who sign off on their abortions.

The Spanish bishops end their statement on the law by asking people to work tirelessly for the lives of unborn babies and not to cease in their prayers.

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