To his credit, Archbishop Carlson has consistently defended and explained the Church’s teaching on the inviolability of human life. He has maintained this position, as a good Bishop should, publicly and without compromise.
I wanted to post on a recent column of the Archbishop for the St. Louis Review concerning the Fifth Commandment and in part dealing with certain aspects of the abortion issue. Lifesite News has highlighted this column, but I think it overstates the headline. What the Archbishop wrote is powerful enough.
In short, His Grace states that abortion supporters should not present themselves for Holy Communion, and he restates the canonical reality that those who formally cooperate in procured abortion incur excommunication latae sententiae.
From the full article:
Since the first century, the Church has addressed the moral evil of abortion and the killing of a defenseless baby in the womb. People who are casual about the sin of abortion and who choose to view it as a political issue rather than the serious moral issue that it is are guilty of violating the Fifth Commandment. You cannot be “pro-choice” (pro-abortion) and remain a Catholic in good standing. That’s why the Church asks those who maintain this position not to receive holy Communion. We are not being mean or judgmental, we are simply acknowledging the fact that such a stance is objectively and seriously sinful and is radically inconsistent with the Christian way of life.
The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council said, “God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and human life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: Abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes” (“Gaudium et Spes,” No. 51.3). That’s why formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life (see canons 1398,1314, and 1323-1324).