Christ among the Doctors of the Law



Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Brazilian excommunication warning

LifeSite News reports that: "Brazilian Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho has condemned a plan by Recife city officials to distribute the morning-after pill during the upcoming Carnival festival and has warned that those who use the pill are subject to excommunication. 'This policy is wicked and immoral, and in this case, both those who use it and those who incite its use are committing a crime punishable by excommunication,' Archbishop Cardoso said."

The city policy is, in my opinion, unquestionably wicked and immoral (CCC 1910, 2273, 2377). But whether those who use, or incite the use of, this pill are committing an excommunicable offense depends on, among other things (e.g., 1983 CIC 1323-1324, 1329), whether an abortion is actually procured thereby (1983 CIC 1398).

If the 'morning after pill' works by preventing ovulation, it is contraceptive; if it works by preventing implantation, it is abortifacient. Only the latter, but certainly the latter, provides a basis in canon law for excommunication. See my blog post "Excommunication for deliberate embryo destruction" (29 June 2006). +++

See also my Excommunication Blotter, updated regularly.