Declaring that “life must always be protected”, a senior Vatican cleric has defended the Catholic Church’s decision to excommunicate the mother and doctors of a nine-year-old rape victim who had a life-saving abortion in Brazil.
Cardinal Giovanni Batista Re, who heads the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, told reporters that although the girl fell pregnant after apparently being abused by her stepfather, her twins had, “the right to live, and could not be eliminated”.
In an interview with the Italian newspaper, La Stampa, the cardinal added: “It is a sad case but the real problem is that the twins conceived were two innocent persons. Life must always be protected.”
Police believe the girl was sexually assaulted for years by her stepfather, possibly since she was six. That she was four months pregnant with twins emerged only after she was taken to hospital complaining of severe stomach pains.
The controversy represents a PR nightmare for the Vatican. The unnamed girl’s mother and doctors were excommunicated for agreeing to Wednesday’s emergency abortion yet the Church has not taken formal steps against the stepfather, who is in custody. Jose Cardoso Sobrinho, the conservative regional archbishop for Pernambuco where the girl was rushed to hospital, has said that the man would not be thrown out of the Church, because although he had allegedly committed “a heinous crime”, the Church took the view that “the abortion, the elimination of an innocent life, was more serious”.
The case has set off fierce debate in Brazil, where abortion is permitted only in cases of rape or a medical emergency. Brazil is one of the most populous Catholic countries, but conservative attitudes in rural areas are strongly at odds with the relatively progressive public view of abortion in major cities.
Even the President, Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva, has waded into the row. “As a Christian and a Catholic, I deeply regret that a bishop of the Catholic Church has such a conservative attitude,” he said “The doctors did what had to be done: save the life of a girl of nine years old. In this case, the medical profession was more right than the Church.”
One of the doctors involved in the abortion, Rivaldo Albuquerque, has raised the prospect of public clashes at his local church, telling Globo, the nation’s main TV network, that he would keep going to mass there, regardless of the archbishop’s order. The young girl at the centre of the case escaped excommunication only because she is still a child in the eyes of Church authorities. The stepfather, who is 23, was arrested last week, apparently trying to escape to another region of the country. Police say he is also suspected of abusing the girl’s handicapped 14-year-old sister. He is in protective custody, and if convicted faces up to 15 years in prison.
The Catholic Church & Strident Marriage Policy.
If anyone should understand what the potential fallout could be from being too inflexible on the rules and regulations of marriage, it should be the Holy Roman Catholic Church, right?
The very existence the Church of England ought to be an “in your face” daily reminder of what happens when you start believing your own bullshit. And talk about bad timing—getting the boot from not just any ol’ country but one of the principle players in the Age of Discovery just before it kicked into overdrive, the period of time when the entire World became a European colonial playground.
There is no denying the fact that that little faux pas had huge long term consequences. The Church ended up having to settle for Middle and South America when they could have had the entire globe, more or less. But no, they had to get stupid and play “chicken” with that ego-maniacal and very desperate reigning monarch, Henry VIII King of England.
For Christ’s sake, what’s wrong with you bitches? Did you not notice that Salic law and primogeniture had a few problems and that it was not a perfectly smooth running system?
Those hats and smoking purses really must have a big effect on your mental faculties because you seem utterly blind to what the potential fallout for your strident anti-gay marriage stance could easily be. European lawyers want to try the Papacy for directly instigating hate crimes. Hello! Seriously, you dumb assholes really need to open some windows in the Vatican and let in some fresh air because you can’t seem to read the writing on the wall.
Frankly, I hope you don’t wake up and smell the espresso con leche. Not only can’t I stand formal religion, but it’s high time all that artwork work, rare historic artifacts and documentation you’ve got tucked away in your vaults be made available to the world-at-large. If you can’t adapt, then you really are just a vestige and an out-dated anachronism of a by-gone era.
Per evangelica dicta deleantur nostra delicta.