Saturday, May 12, 2007

Pope's Comment on the Mexican Situation in Context

John Allen hunts down the Mexican bishops....from John Allen:

Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City, the place where recent debates over communion for pro-choice Catholic politicians formed the background to Benedict XVI’s Wednesday comments aboard the papal plane, said today that the pope “only repeated what we bishops already had said.”

...Rivera told NCR that he did not know what impact the pope’s comments have had in Mexico City, because he’s been in Brazil since the story broke. He insisted, however, that Benedict’s statement did not amount to “anything new,” but was rather a repetition of the position taken in Mexico City.

On April 24, legislators in Mexico City voted to legalize abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy in the city’s public hospitals. The law does not require private hospitals or clinics to perform abortions.

At the time, the Archdiocese of Mexico City issued a statement indicating that doctors and nurses who perform abortions, as well as the lawmakers who support abortion, were to be considered excommunicated. Pressed by reporters at the time, Rivera said that he had not excommunicated anyone, nor did he plan to do so.

Sources said what Rivera meant is that by virtue of their involvement in abortion, the doctors, nurses and lawmakers had instead excommunicated themselves.

By way of inference, Rivera's response today seemed to mean that Benedict had affirmed this position.

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