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A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion

10/11/2009 - 13:49 PST

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which has already been brought, in other words, a sentence or judgment which does not need a future additional judgment from someone in authority; it refers to a type of excommunication which is automatic. Such a sentence of excommunication is incurred “by the very commission of the offense,” (CCC 2272) and does not require the future particular judgment of a case by competent authority.

Apostasy, heresy, and schism are all offences which incur a sentence of excommunication automatically. Heresy is the obstinate denial of any truth of the Catholic faith, on a matter of faith or morals, which has been definitively taught by the Magisterium. The Magisterium has repeatedly and definitively taught that abortion is always gravely immoral. (CCC 2270 to 2275)

While no public statement has been found as forthcoming from the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Life with respect to Monaco’s liberalization of its abortion law, Catholic’s loyal to the Magisterium abhorring the revision of Monegasque penal and civil codes to now allow abortions in certain hard case instances, may take some refuge in the address made by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, on May 4, 2009 to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. The Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences was established by Pope John Paul II fifteen years ago, in 1994, for the explicit aim (according to its webpage: “…of promoting the study and progress of the social, economic, political and juridical sciences, and of thus offering the Church the elements which she can use in the study and development of her social doctrine” (art. 1).” Law is one of the domains of the Academy’s research with respect to Catholic Social Doctrine, it also, according to its Vatican website, “reflects on the application of that doctrine in contemporary society.” While Pope Benedict XVI does not specifically address the April 2009 vote by the National Council of Monaco to liberalize abortion in the Principality, he does take this timely opportunity— incidentally, making the speech the same day the UN’s Human Rights Council was conducting its May 4, 2009 Universal Periodic Review of Monaco-- to reaffirm the Church’s commitment to international and ecclesiastical human rights rules of law. The full text of the address may be found at:, In this address, Pope Benedict XVI affirms the “enduring pertinence of Catholic social teaching in a rapidly changing world.” He states,

Human rights became the reference point of a shared universal ethos – at least at the level of aspiration – for most of humankind. These rights have been ratified by almost every State in the world. The Second Vatican Council, in the Declaration Dignitatis Humanae, as well as my predecessors Paul VI and John Paul II, forcefully referred to the right to life and the right to freedom of conscience and religion as being at the centre of those rights that spring from human nature itself.

Thus, in light of the Catholic Church’s ecclesiastical human rights rule of law on abortion, the obligation of Catholic state legislatures to promote “a culture of life” by voting against any measure related to abortion, the incurring of the latae sententiae excommunication by persons or legislators subsequent to having, or executing votes for abortion, the silent voices of the Holy See’s apostolic nuncios, including those accredited to the United Nations in New York and Geneva, in this grave and egregious matter of Monaco’s Parliamentary vote to liberalize abortion, solemnly betrays all global Catholic public diplomatic rhetoric by papal diplomatic representatives who hold the rank of apostolic nuncio, on pontifical ecclesiastical diplomacy as a beacon and champion of human rights diplomacy of conscience. Papal diplomatic representatives have the highest moral, legal and diplomatic fiduciary obligation to speak out when states, most especially official Catholic states, move to promulgate laws on abortion since these laws contravene Catholic ecclesiastical human rights rules of law, and thereby divine law. The absence of public papal diplomatic statements protesting the move of Monaco to liberalize its strict laws on abortion sabotages the Holy See’s efforts to promote a global human rights diplomacy of conscience.

One certainly must ask, where, in this state of official Catholic immoral political and legal affairs, is the Holy See’s official diplomatic voice of moral human rights ethics and social justice as a champion of pontifical ecclesiastical human rights diplomacy of conscience with respect to the centuries-old official Catholic Principality of Monaco? On the occasion of such an egregious civil legislative derogation from centuries old Catholic ecclesiastical human rights rules of law and moral doctrine affirming the sanctity of human life, the official diplomatic voice of the Holy See should not be found wanting—yet and has been found in a state of gross dereliction of pontifical ecclesiastical diplomatic duty. One of the first primordial moral laws of each and every Roman Catholic, ecclesiastic or lay, is the preservation and protection of the dignity of the human person—including that of the enfant still resident in the womb— even in the three referenced hard case scenarios. This immoral, unconstitutional and illegal state of official Roman Catholic Monegasque legislative and Vatican pontifical ecclesiastical diplomatic human rights affairs remains a travesty of Roman Catholic ecclesiastical human rights diplomacy of conscience of historic ecclesiastical, legal, diplomatic and political proportion, but Monaco is only following the overtures of the Council of Europe of which it has been a member since 2004, calling for the decriminalization of abortion throughout Europe. In April of 2008, the Council of Europe’s Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men released a report titled, “Access to Safe and Legal Abortion in Europe,” located at: strongly advocating for Council of Europe member states to: -decriminalise abortion, if they have not already done so; - guarantee women's effective exercise of their right to abortion and lift restrictions which hinder, de jure or de facto, access to safe abortion; - adopt appropriate sexual and reproductive health strategies, including access of women and men to contraception at a reasonable cost and of a suitable nature for them as well as compulsory relationships and sex education for young people.

Notwithstanding the above, this highly controversial ecclesio-political moral state of affairs of liberalized abortion in Catholic Monaco, the Council of Europe’s 46th member state, yet one of the oldest original Catholic states to have a diplomatic legation accredited to the Holy See, appears to be a done deal without any hope of being overturned by the Catholic Prince of Monaco, since legislative powers in Monaco are shared by the Prince and the National Council, with the laws being initiated by the Prince himself. According to Article 66 of the Constitution of the Principality of Monaco, “The law requires the consent of the will of the Prince and the National Council. The legislative initiative belongs to the Prince. The deliberation and voting laws belong to the National Council. Enforcement of laws belongs to the Prince, who gives them strength by promulgation.” It would follow therefore, that if a law has been passed in Monaco, i.e., been approved by an official vote of the National Council, and published in the official bulletin of the state, it had to have been initiated and approved apriori by the Prince, and is then beyond any subsequent veto by the head of state, the Prince after official promulgation. Thus, the Principality of Monaco’s government-sanctioned moral turpitude continues to politically preempt the promotion of a Catholic faith-based human rights diplomacy of conscience in Monaco demanded in principle by its official Catholic state religion and its official status as a voting member of the United Nations. The Principality’s membership in the United Nations demands that it establish a national human rights institution and/or institutional human rights protection regime to enforce human rights rules of law within the Principality of Monaco in conformity with its Catholic ecclesiastical and moral laws, which are upheld foremost in Article 9 of the Constitution of the Principality of Monaco.

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The Monaco Institute  MA, US
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T. - diplomatic scholar, 202 679-1438



catholic monaco, abortion, catholic state religion

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1 - 2 of 2 Comments

  1. Tina Tan
    5 years ago

    I believe the Catholic church should be passionate in NOT OPPOSING family planning, including artificial birth control, as doing so have resulted to countless abortions. They are indirectly responsible for millions of abortions as a result of the anti-contraceptive stand.

  2. Joe
    5 years ago

    Thank you for keeping us informed about the Church in Monaco. As much as recent trends have pained me, I love Monaco and find its history fascinating but all to often the Catholic aspect is ignored. I am very appreciative of these important articles about Monaco's relation with the Catholic Church, be it bad news or good news I am glad it is being told.

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