Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pitting Embryos Against Children

I don't normally like to comment on the abortion wars.  Like most people, my thoughts and feelings on the subject are too mixed for the usual frothing shouting match between crazy people.

But this excommunication in Brazil is really horrific, and the Vatican's reasons for backing Cardinal Sobrinho are beyond the pale.

A 9 year old girl becomes pregnant with twins after being abused and raped repeatedly by her stepfather.  She probably could not have survived the pregnancy.  She only weighed 80 pounds.  Cardinal Sobrinho excommunicated all involved in the abortion that became necessary to save the girl's life.  The Vatican went so far as to say that the abortion was worse than the rape, and that the lives of the embryonic twins counted for more than the life of the 9 year old forced to be their mother.   While the doctors and hospital staff whose only motivation was to save the life of the 9 year old girl were all excommunicated, the raping step father got off scott free in the eyes of the Church hierarchy.  Hell, they might as well have given him a medal.

Saying that an embryo or a zygote has an equal claim with already born and living children is one thing.  Saying that little cell cluster has a superior claim, especially over the life of another child already born, is going several steps too far in my view.  Public opinion in Brazil is outraged.  President Lula of Brazil publicly criticized the Cardinal's decision.    This will probably lead to liberalizing Brazil's harsh anti-abortion laws.

But then, the Roman Catholic hierarchy has a long record of winking at child abuse and child rape.  The state legislature of New York is about to end the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse; and wouldn't you know, the Catholic hierarchy is fighting it tooth and nail, with help from orthodox Jewish rabbis and the Republican party.  They claim it would bankrupt the church.  Perhaps after so many decades of looking the other way or enabling crimes against children they SHOULD go bankrupt.  Lord knows enough prosecutors looked the other way for years rather than take on powerful local clergy.
That's the very last thing the Princes of the Church want, accountability, especially to their subjects.  I say, ecrasez l'infamie!

But then, we can always blame it on the gays!

Speaking of Christianity in decline...

Update...

Apparently, opinion within the Vatican is not unanimous on this case.

7 comments:

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Yes, it is heartless and horrible!

JCF said...

the Catholic hierarchy is fighting it tooth and nail, with help from orthodox Jewish rabbis

A month or two ago, NPR ran a horrific story on child sexual abuse among the Ultra-Orthodox in New York State (including a man who, as a boy, was raped in a mikvah bath >:-0<< (that's a vomitcon)).

These sort of stories always test my universalist soteriology to the max (as do the Popoids in this Brazilian case). I just hope there's a suitably uncomfortable place for 'em in the Purgatory I do believe may be necessary . . . of course, that means *I'll* probably go there too. ;-/

David G. said...

The people who most protest, ...are the SINNERS among the faithful bunch!!

Counterlight said...

I'm not surprised about the ultra orthodox rabbis. They enjoy absolute power over their congregations, and their followers are obliged to obey. It doesn't surprise me that such powers are abused, especially when it comes to women and children. As in the Roman hierarchy, no one is held accountable, least of all the perpetrator.

Criminal clergy remind me of the Marquis de Sade waxing nostalgic over life in the Ancien Regime before the French Revolution, declaring that the abuses were the best part.

I wonder sometimes if Purgatory is this life.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Child abuse is dirty, and it is mean, and it is now and ever was the HYPOCRISY of those in charge who enabled it and still enable it! And then to come down harshly on those who aided the unfortunate little girl is the epitome of heartlessness and lack of compassion and totally the opposite of the Gospel message of love.

Jesus was harsh with hypocrites.

Counterlight said...

Grandmere, you are right.

There is indeed one group whom our Lord singled out for special scorn...

hypocrites.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

It seems the Brazilian church is backpedalling...

A creeping to Canossa, of sorts...

So the end of this ghastly tragic case is perhaps Great, not to say Sensational!