Vatican Prelate: Doctors who performed abortion on 9-year-old did not deserve excommunication
This is just another example of the mess that is automatic excommunications.
They have been confusing for years and do not work. They should be dropped from Canon Law.

It's about time the Church returns to the tradition where excommunications are given out formally for everything. It's time that the local ordinaries actually take some responsibility and give out every excommunication in writing and to stand by their decisions of discipline. 
Saint Rafael,

I think that is the wrong response.  The Church needs automatic excommunications precisely because in the alternative situation everyone who has not received a formal excommunication after a trial would claim they're in perfectly good standing with the Church.  Bishops can't be omnipresent. 
Comments I have seen in several different places indicate that a lot of people are upset because the excommunication did not include the rapist. Altho others explained about automatic excommunications, why they apply to abortion and not to those actions which are generally recognized as heinous, etc., there seemed to be an underlying sense that the fact that the man who committed child abuse against this child and her sister for 6 years was not excommunicated and the fact that the Church's abuse situation was allowed to go on for so long and still does not seem to have been resolved in the public mind are connected, like the Church does not condemn child abuse because so many of its members were involved in that--yes, I know this is all baloney, but that is the impression i have gotten by reading many comments written by many people.

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