Pope Benedict XVI said Wednesday he supports excommunication for politicians who backed Mexico City's decision to legalize abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Church doctrine calls for automatic excommunication for anyone procuring an abortion. "It's nothing new, it's normal,'' Benedict said during an airborne news conference aboard the plane carrying him to Brazil on his first pilgrimage to Latin America.
Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi later told reporters that the politicians who voted for abortion had automatically excommunicated themselves by their actions.
Mexican church officials have said that doctors and nurses who performed abortions as well as lawmakers who supported the legalization would be excommunicated. Church teaching also says any woman who get an abortion faces automatic excommunication, meaning the Vatican doesn't have to issue a formal excommunication order.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen.