I hope our current Pope Benedict XVI can one day live down his reputation as Ratzinger I. But not if this kind of thing is going to characterize Church conduct during his reign: Magistrates Excommunicated for Partially Lifting Abortion Ban by Constanza Vieira Inter Press Service 05/11/06.
Twenty-seven years after Congresswoman Consuelo Lleras unsuccessfully submitted a bill to legalise abortion in Colombia, the country’s Constitutional Court has recognised the right to terminate a pregnancy in case of rape, a threat to the woman’s life or health, or if the foetus has a deformity that would prevent survival outside the womb. ...
But the response from Colombia’s Catholic Church was immediate. In a country where even the Marxist guerrillas fighting a civil war for the past four decades fear excommunication, Cardinal Pedro Rubiano, president of the Bishops’ Conference, announced that fate Thursday for the five Constitutional Court magistrates who voted in favour of the verdict, including the Court’s only female judge.
Three others voted against the ruling, while former ombudsman and the president of the Court, Jaime Córdoba, recused himself as he had taken part in drafting the current penal code.
"We are magistrates of a Court in a secular country," responded the vice president of the Court, Rodrigo Escobar, in an interview with a local radio station.
This is a disgraceful attempt by the Catholic Church hierarchy - unelected even by the members of the Church itself - to interfere in the legal processes of a democratic government. One that has been struggling to maintain democracy under terrible obstacles for years. It's just ridiculous.