Father François Schneider is prohibited from celebrating public Masses for four weeks. His crime? He has declared that abortion has killed more human beings than the First World War.

There seems to be no place here for the exceptio veritatis, that is, the absolving fact that what he has said is true: Father François Schneider, the priest  responsible for 17 parishes in eastern France, has to pay for his boldness.

Father François Schneider made the controversial statement in his homily at the Armistice Day Mass on November 11 in the small town of Bertrimoutier (pop. 307), near Epinal in the Vosges mountains. “Abortion has killed more people around the world than the Great War,” he said, adding that French politicians would be well inspired to “follow the example” of Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban, who promotes a policy in favor of birth and “takes courageous measures.”

Schneider’s statements coincide with the attempt to make abortion a constitutional “right” in France, a measure that has been presented by President Macron’s party and is being debated in the Assembly. Another bill with the same objective but using more “inclusive” language – it does not refer to women to defend the rights of transgender people – was also presented last week by the far-left party La Francia Insumisa. Both texts will go through the legislative process. Macron himself suggested that the “right” to abortion be included in the European charter of human rights.

Schneider’s graphic condemnation of abortion was quoted in the local press and on social media by people who had heard his sermon, creating “commotion.” Vosges deputy for Macron’s party David Valence called the priest’s comments “shameful” on Twitter, adding that they were “evidence of a complete aberration” on his part.

Three days ago, a statement condemning Schneider was published on the website of the diocese (currently headed by Bishop Didier Berthet, who has serious health problems, and administered by Bishop Denis Jachiet, who presides over the neighboring diocese of Belfort-Montbéliard).

The above comes from a Nov. 24 posting on InfoVaticana (Spanish).