Thursday, March 12, 2009

Callous Catholic conservatism

The circumstances in this story are tragic. A nine-year-old Brazilian girl was raped by her step-father. Four months later, after going to the hospital with "stomach pains," it was discovered that the little girl was pregnant with twins. Doctors who treated her "fear(ed) that the 80-pound girl would not survive a full-term pregnancy" and performed an abortion, which the girl's mother authorized.

What was the response of the Catholic Church to the mother and doctors saving the girl's life? To compound the tragedy by excommunicating the mother and the medical team, a decision that was supported in Rome.
Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, head of the Roman Catholic Church’s Congregation for Bishops, told La Stampa, an Italian daily newspaper, that the case was sad, but that 'the real problem is that the twins conceived were two innocent persons, who had the right to live and could not be eliminated.'
Apparently, the Church's respect for life doesn't extend to nine-year-old rape victims. It also seems to have a bit of difficulty in identifying "real problems."

If you're wondering, the stepfather, who had been abusing the girl since she was 6, has not been excommunicated. The Brazilian bishop who made the decision helpfully explained the disparity in treatment between the mother and stepfather, "A graver act than (rape) is abortion, to eliminate an innocent life."