Thank you Chris, for your response.
Although I grateful for your contribution, I must protest against your claim that I “do not know the doctrines of the Catholic Church.” There are very few Catholic priests who are unaware that God gave the fifth commandment and that abortion is therefore gravely sinful. That being said, I grant that I am forever and student and forever learning.
This discussion is not a controversy about what the Church teaches, but instead about the doctrinal weight of certain teachings as compared to others, how assent/dissent are treated in canon law, and the juridic state of a certain member of the Church.
I appreciate your sharing of the link to the profession of faith with accompanying resources. This may prove useful in my ministry.
Having considered this and having re-read what John Paul II says in Evangelium Vitae, I can indeed see a case to be made that denial of this teaching should be put on par with heresy. (Though, I would reserve ultimate judgment to the proper authorities.)
That being said, there are still some cautions that I think we should observe.
The first caution concerns the particular sins of Mr. Biden. In my mind, it seems hard to accuse him of heresy in particular unless he has explicitly denied that killing an innocent human being is sinful. Even if he commits mortal sin by supporting action in his deeds, it isn’t heresy unless he denies the truth. So - as unreasonable as such a position would be on his part - if he believes that abortion is a sin but nonetheless promotes abortion by his actions, he is not a heretic (though he is guilty of sin in other ways).
In the same way, a man may commit adultery even though he does not deny that it is a mortal sin. Such a man is a grave sinner, but not a heretic.
Whether Biden has outright denied that it is gravely immoral to directly kill innocent human beings, I don’t know. But it is a significant factor.
The second caution is that latae sententiae excommunications are tricky things, in large part because (so long as the penalty remains undeclared by the proper authority, but only “automatic”), it binds the person who has been excommunicated, but with regard to those who come in contact with him… not so much.
A better ground to refuse to give Biden (or others like him) Holy Communion is canon 915, which I cited above.
For those interested in more info on latae sententiae excommunications from a canon law who strongly believes in refusing Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians, please see the following: