Pope causes stir on abortion in first news conference

It took two years for Pope Benedict XVI to give his first full-fledged news conference. And when he finally held one on Wednesday, he caused a stir with his comments on abortion.


When an Italian reporter pressed him on whether he agreed that Catholic legislators who voted to legalize

abortion in Mexico City

should rightfully be considered excommunicated, he caused a furor that led his spokesman to try to downplay his response. "Yes," Benedict replied. "The excommunication was not

something arbitrary. It is part of the (canon law) code. It is based simply on the principle that the killing of an innocent human child is incompatible with going in Communion with the body of Christ. Thus, they (the bishops) didn't do anything new or anything surprising. Or arbitrary."  (AP)