From today’s New York Times (I’m reprinting it in its entirety because of its importance, and for those who may not be registered at the Times):
Vatican Backs Excommunications Stemming From an Abortion
By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE; Published: March 7, 2009
ROME (Agence France-Presse) – A senior Vatican cleric on Saturday defended the excommunication of the mother and doctors of a 9-year-old girl who had an abortion in Brazil after being raped. The child was pregnant with twins.
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.”
The regional archbishop, José Cardoso Sobrinho, excommunicated the mother for authorizing the operation. He also excommunicated the doctors, who carried out the operation for fear that the 80-pound girl would not survive a full-term pregnancy.
“God’s law is above any human law,” Archbishop Cardoso said Thursday.
The girl’s stepfather, whom she accused of sexual abuse, has been jailed.
The case has incited fierce debate in Brazil. Abortion is illegal there, but exceptions are allowed in cases of rape and when the mother’s life would be endangered by giving birth.
One of the doctors involved, Rivaldo Albuquerque, told Globo television that he would keep going to Mass, regardless of the archbishop’s order.
The girl, who was not identified because she is a minor, was found last week to be four months pregnant after being taken to the hospital for stomach pains.
Awhile ago, I promised to blog about why I had left the Roman Catholic Church, and I still intend to do so. But the above article says it better than I ever could. How kind of the merciful church not to excommunicate the child — I’m sure it’s a comfort to her.
I’m sure the actions taken are exactly what Jesus would have done.