6
   

Catholic Church excommunicates doctors and 9-year-old rape victim for abortion but not the rapist

 
 
Reply Mon 9 Mar, 2009 01:37 am
Vatican defends Brazil excommunication

Quote:
A senior Vatican cleric has defended the excommunication of the mother and doctors of a nine-year-old girl who had an abortion in Brazil after being raped.

The row was triggered by the termination on Wednesday of twin foetuses carried by a nine-year-old allegedly raped by her stepfather in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco.

The regional archbishop, Jose Cardoso Sobrinho, pronounced excommunication for the mother for authorising the operation and doctors who carried it out for fear that the slim girl would not survive carrying the foetuses to term.

"God's law is above any human law. So when a human law ... is contrary to God's law, this human law has no value," Cardoso had said.

He also said the accused stepfather would not be expelled from the church. Although the man allegedly committed "a heinous crime ... the abortion - the elimination of an innocent life - was more serious".
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Mar, 2009 02:02 am
@Robert Gentel,
I hate to sound burnt out and bitter....but you're surprised?

Poor little thing's lucky she didn't live in a country where she got murdered by her own family because she dishonoured them.

Isn't Brazil the country where, according to stats I read, complications from abortion (back yard) were the leading cause of death for young women (at least up until the law softened a couple of years ago?) and a surprisingly large number got sterilised, because abortion was illegal and contraception made difficult by the church?
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Mar, 2009 02:39 am
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
I hate to sound burnt out and bitter....but you're surprised?


I'm not surprised, but this may be a watershed moment in Brazil, and it's sparked a great deal of debate about abortion and the Catholic church.

The president and health minister of the largest Catholic population on earth are condemning the church's decision. This is an important development even if it's not surprising.

Quote:
Brazil attacks church opposition to girl's abortion

"I believe the position of the church is extreme, radical and inadequate," Health Minister Jose Gomes Temporao said on a government radio program.

"I am shocked by the radical position of this religion which, wrongly saying it is defending a life, puts another life in danger that is as important as any other."


Quote:
Isn't Brazil the country where, according to stats I read, complications from abortion (back yard) were the leading cause of death for young women (at least up until the law softened a couple of years ago?) and a surprisingly large number got sterilised, because abortion was illegal and contraception made difficult by the church?


This doesn't sound right to me. It's certainly high but I doubt that it is the leading cause of death for any demographic other than women who died from abortions.

And as to contraception, yes the Catholic church in Brazil objects to it (e.g. threatening excommunication to those who distribute "morning-after" pills) but no that hasn't had a significant impact on their availability and the Brazilian government has subsidized (and freely distributed during Carnaval) both condoms and those pills.

See here:

Quote:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,286914,00.html

Brazil already distributes 254 million free condoms a year, many as part of an anti-AIDS program that makes a special effort just before each year's Carnival celebrations. Brazil also has handed out the morning-after pill and regular contraceptives at government pharmacies for years.

The newly expanded program offers regular contraceptives at commercial drug stores for sale at just $2.40 for a year's supply. Temporao didn't say whether the morning-after pills would be subsidized or entirely free. Previously, the government said it would distribute 50 million packages of regular birth control pills, each with a month's supply, by year's end.


The plan to subsidize these contraceptives was announced right after the Pope visited Brazil and led his visit with an anti-abortion appeal. Brazil is not very influenced by the external Catholic church, and the reality is that the people themselves are very strongly opposed to abortion even while rejecting the church position on contraceptives (the majority of Brazilian women use contraceptives).

This excommunication may well be the Catholic church's greatest influence on the debate in Brazil. Right now they have a president who had to drop out of school to help support his large family, and the health minister called for a referendum on eliminating jail sentences for illegal abortions.

When the Pope made his appeal against abortion this is what the Brazilian president said days later:

"No one is in favor of abortion, but the question is: should a woman be imprisoned? Should she die? It’s necessary to look at the woman as a human being."

At that point he was still not willing to go much further than that, he'd been politically attacked as being in favor of abortion in the past, but the Catholic church is pushing Brazilians to debate this issue, and by taking such an unreasonable position they may be shooting themselves in the foot this time.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Mar, 2009 03:38 am
The Catholic Church has never been what one would call a "liberal" organization. Any comparisons between Roman Catholicism and more fundamental varieties of Protestantism only make the Catholic Church appear more "enlightened" by comparison, and usually result from intellectualism in the Roman church--the attitude toward a theory of evolution is an example.

With the current Pope, the Roman church is likely to become more apparently conservative than in the recent past. Given that authorities in various regions take their cue from the Vatican (they are as reluctant to be overruled as are trial judges who hate a successful appeal of their rulings), those who take conservative stances are presently very likely encouraged to take a hard (and nonsensical) line on many subjects. This particular incident carries one, however, from the sublime to the ridiculous.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Mar, 2009 05:18 am
@Robert Gentel,
I hope you are right and it is a watershed.

I looked for the article which gave those figures re deaths (which I made a thread about ages ago, I believe when Brazil's laws softened...but I think I deleted the thread when nobody posted...I would be very embarrassed to find I have mistaken Brazil for another country!)


But...I don't think there is anything new about the church's position. Have they not always preferred the baby over the mother? Eg, in favour of saving baby in a difficult birth, even if to do so kills mother? I had thought that used to be because they believed an unbaptised baby went to limbo, whereas the mother could have extreme unction and have her soul saved....plus the innocent life thing.

(Interestingly, I believe that historically the catholic church was not against abortion until the baby "quickened" in the womb? Doubtless Set will know!)


Anyway, if this poor girl and the people who cared for her have suffered via the church's behaviour, I hope you are right and something comes of it in terms of Brazilian's preparedness to allow the church influence in this.

Although...I note you are saying it is not really influence by the church as such...but the internalized values.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Mar, 2009 10:59 am
The Catholic church has always been opposed to any form of contraception, and although i can't speak authoritatively to the issue, i suspect the church has therefore always opposed any form of abortion.

Something which disturbs me about this is that "liberation theology" began with local Catholic priests in Latin America, and i suspect was a direct outgrowth of the second Vatican council. But that council was not as liberal as is usually assumed, and was mostly about bringing liturgical practice into the modern world--it didn't necessarily intend to make its priests activist. Increasingly, liberation theology is the province of Protestants, and largely in North America. The priests and bishops who were just rehabilitated by the Pope were members of a group which rebelled against the second Vatican council. This papacy is going to turn out to be very conservative, and this incident is just one example. The other is the rehabilitation of the ultramontane sect, which could properly be seen as having been schismatic. It took the Pope far too long to come out against the holocaust denial of that clown "Bishop" Williamson, one of those who was rehabilitated by Benedict.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  5  
Reply Mon 9 Mar, 2009 11:50 am
@Robert Gentel,
quote wrote:
He also said the accused stepfather would not be expelled from the church. Although the man allegedly committed "a heinous crime ... the abortion - the elimination of an innocent life - was more serious".

Too bad the bastard who raped that child didn't wear a condom. That probably would have gotten him on the hook for excommunication.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 05:10 pm
A Sequel to the Case of the Pregnant Nine-Year Old

Quote:
Monsignor Rino Fisichella, a solidly traditionalist Rome prelate considered close to Benedict, tried to soften the Church's approach on the Brazilian case by writing in the Vatican's official newspaper L'Osservatore Romano that the girl "should have been defended, hugged and held tenderly to help her feel that we were all on her side." Two weeks ago, the Vatican announced that Sobrinho, who had been serving past retirement, was stepping down. And that's where the Church stood. Until now.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 07:53 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Well, I could offer a cynical, and unfair, comment like: It's in the manual..."suffer the little children".

But it's possibly a bit more appropriate to just say "Jesus wept."

0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 08:20 pm
I certainly hope you are right, RG, and this is a watershed case.

But it deeply saddens me to think that such long overdue reconsideration comes at the expense of an already victimized 9-year-old child. And I cannot fathom the kind of thinking that places more blame on the victim than on the rapist/stepfather.

ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 08:26 pm
@Eva,
But as we all know this is routine. Whether it is all due to religion (varied) or entire culture, it's still a conundrum.

I think not everyone in a particular culture believes every bit of stuff. There are other reasons all this keeps going. I suppose that at the far end it comes down to economics.
0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 08:32 pm
Oh, sure. I know cultural differences account for some of this. But masking it as "religious truth" is still really repugnant to me.

Justice is a key component of my religious beliefs, and there seems to be little justice for the victim in this case.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 08:39 pm
@Eva,
I think a lot of parades/displays of religion have to do little to do with belief in a god or gods, or are at least quite mixed.

0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 08:41 pm
Oh, absolutely!
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 08:43 pm
@Eva,
Let's grant that you and I and most others talking here or are potentially talking here are for justice for the victim, though of course we can't count on that about posters.
0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  2  
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 08:54 pm
Maybe. Some (including the Catholic church in this case) would consider the aborted fetus the real victim, though.

As for me, I generally place much more importance on the born than the unborn. I've found that a person's own experiences usually determine their views on this subject. That's certainly true in my case. Whatever. I still don't believe anyone has the right to force a woman (or especially a little girl!) to have a child she doesn't want to bear.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 09:52 pm
@Eva,
Yes, I get that. Even if the 'fetus' was a day old embryo, or, never mind that, no implantation, or even any contraception. Yes, I've read about all that for decades.

We don't disagree generally.
ossobuco
 
  0  
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 09:54 pm
@ossobuco,
I've been following Ratzinger on this since the early sixties. I've no humor left for him.
ossobuco
 
  0  
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 10:08 pm
@ossobuco,
I haven't particularly been following Kung either, though I was on his side re Ratzinger.

At this point I don't give a hoot.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Küng


I know I just said I've followed Ratzinger, but that was an umbrella term.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  0  
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 10:17 pm
@Eva,
Perhaps you don't understand me, Eva.

I was last a catholic in, mmm, 1961. Or, to push that for bits, 1965.
 

Related Topics

Is the fetus in the womb a human being? - Question by kellirosej
Abortion - Discussion by Finn dAbuzz
Abortion. Right or Murder? - Question by lmac2017
Higher Learning? - Discussion by coldjoint
Motivation of Abortion Protesters - Question by gollum
People Wonder Why . . . - Question by plainoldme
God Damnit, Texas. - Discussion by DrewDad
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Catholic Church excommunicates doctors and 9-year-old rape victim for abortion but not the rapist
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.43 seconds on 08/18/2019 at 03:16:01