Asked about the current situation in Ireland Msgr Jacques Suaudeau, scientific director of the Pontifical Academy for Life at the Vatican said: “If the Prime Minister as a Catholic, doesn’t want to impose his belief and the time has come for a more moderate line on abortion, then he resigns.
“If you are faithful to your conviction, then you have to get out,” he said.
He also said that Catholic politicians who support abortion are pushing themselves out of the Church.
Referring to Catholics in political life, he said: “if a politician is being forced to be a formal co-operator with abortion, you leave the party, you get out.”
He warned that politicians cannot hide behind a claim that they are just doing their duty. He said many had forgotten the Nuremberg Defence, a reference to Nazi officers who said they were simply following orders. “If an act is evil and you receive an order to do it then you cannot do it.
“Sometimes people forget Nuremberg. You cannot cover yourself with the cover of party discipline,” Msgr Suaudeau said.
“Generally, if you are well-known and your party is proposing something that goes against your conscience you need to make it known, you need to speak. Maybe they will ask you to abstain, sometimes people understand that you have an objection of conscience’’ he added.
He warned that “Catholic politicians cannot live under two houses when it comes to abortion. You have to take a decision but not many do”.
On the issue of excommunication for pro-abortion Catholic politicians, Msgr Suaudeau said that the issue should be dealt with in private by senior Churchmen.
Bishops, he said, have to signify to politicians in private the wrong headedness of their actions. He added that the Vatican does not like excommunication or talking about it publicly and does this for the sake of the local Church.
However, he added, if you are agreeing to abortion and pushing it you are pushing yourself out of the Church. But you can change and come back.