Church Should Be SO Ashamed

A feminist theologian comments on the case of a nine-year old Brazilian girl impregnated by her stepfather.  The Roman Catholic Church publicly excommunicated her family and those involved in procuring and performing an abortion:

It is hard to find words sufficient to convey the moral indignation elicited by the Roman Catholic Church’s actions. As a Catholic feminist theologian who is pro-choice, I have dealt with abortion for decades. I thought I was inured to its callousness. Maybe it’s because I have an 8-year-old daughter that I find the Church’s actions in this case violent beyond defense.

By any measure, the family involved is in big trouble. The father is gone, the mother has at least two children, one of whom is handicapped, and the stepfather is a sexual predator. It is a recipe for a disaster. The pregnancy happened because an adult male assaulted a girl child; an oft-told story, tragic every time. The mother endeavored to do the best she could in a bad situation. Medical personnel handled it according to the law. But the Roman Catholic Church used the tragedy to make a theo-political point. Have they no shame? Are they so heartless as to kick this family while it is down?

Whatever their relationship to the institutional church, the archbishop’s claim that those who help procure an abortion are automatically excommunicated tells this family that the mother is unwelcome, unworthy to receive the sacraments. One churchman had the gall to note that the church in its infinite wisdom does not excommunicate minors, so the nine-year-old is still in full communion. Small comfort. What he failed to mention was that the perpetrator, the stepfather, never even made it to the ecclesial radar screen. I am not suggesting the man be excommunicated; no one should be. But it is sickening and morally repugnant to realize that abortion, in this case the most humane solution to a terrible problem, is the cause of excommunication while sexual abuse is not. Something is seriously wrong with this picture, and it is the Roman Catholic Church.  [more]

Right on.

UPDATEFetus and Pope-ish fetishism

2 thoughts on “Church Should Be SO Ashamed

  1. Pingback: Church Should Be SO Ashamed | Pelican Project Pro-Life

  2. This is a disgusting story. In Brazil abortion is illegal — except in cases of rape and when the mother’s life is in danger. In this case, both conditions existed. Yet the Catholic Church didn’t care if the 9-year-old girl was raped. Too bad. Nor did it care if the girl would die. Yes, it’s sad, but too bad. The Church excommunicated the distraught mother and doctors who performed the emergency abortion to save the girl. However, the rapist will not be excommunicated.

    Why are Catholics leaving the rapist alone and allowing him to stay in good-stnding with the church? Ethic Soup blog has a theory that “the many, many pedophile priests in the Catholic Church must feel a bond with the rapist.” You can read the article at:

    http://www.ethicsoup.com/2009/03/abortion-saves-raped-9yearold-girls-life-vatican-excommunicates-furor-among-brazils-catholics.html

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