A nine-year-old Brazilian girl who was raped has had an abortion. The Catholic Church have excommunicated her family and the doctor as a result. Is the Church right to remove them from the faith or is the Church out of touch?
The Catholic Church has to move with times. Its being hard on many issues, especially abortion in special circumstances like rape, will puts it out of touch with many who seek comfort from religion and not to continue to bear one’s cross in the name of religion.
Morality is fundamental for humanity as without it, it will fall into anarchy. However drastic morality can lead just to religious hypocrisy or even atheism. The Catholic Church wouldn’t have been, for example, the scene of horrendous sexual scandals if Catholic priests had been allowed to get married.
The fact there are many religious denominations, the latest of which is Scientology, shows that no religious section has a definite answer for all questions. The Catholic Church still has to keep in competition against other religions and mounting irreligiosity.
If the Catholic Church remains out oft touch with reality, its teachings will be seen by many as relics of the past and a material for surreal movies aimed at entertaining rather than teaching . Its ceremonies and buildings, especially its outstanding cathedrals, will be just a tourist attraction for entertainment and sightseeing.
I think maybe the church might want to reconsider abortion when it comes to rape, but at least the church is consistent. To them it’s wrong in all cases. Though I think this case is clearly different than a case of a woman using abortion as birth control. But to the church, all life is sacred, hence why they excommunicated. I don’t think people view religion correctly. Since at least in the west, a religion is a choice, you either follow the rules, or leave. Don’t expect it to change to accomodate you.
I think that the Catholic Church is completely OUT of touch on this issue (Abortion)…
This story has so many things wrong with it I don’t even know where to begin. The only thing right is that the family got the child… the CHILD, people… an abortion. There is no way a NINE year old should have to carry out a pregnancy, not to mention the health and safety factors. I can’t imagine a little NINE YEAR OLD body could handle such a thing as carrying a baby for 9 months. And from what I understand, in Brasil abortion is legal in cases of rape, incest and if the mother’s life is in danger. Well it appears this case more or less hits all 3 and so what the family did was right. If the catholic church wants to condemn the family for it, then I say the family is better off being without the catholic church. Maybe they are out of touch with the 21st century, but they are definately out of touch with reality. No offense to any Catholics out there, this is just my personal opinion, but I hold it strongly, loudly and permanently.
Man, WHYS is on a roll this week. This is like asking, “is the BOY scouts out of touch with their exclusion of GIRLS in their ranks?” Is the KKK out of touch with race issues? Is the NAACP out of touch with the new reality?
Sanctity of life which includes the unborn is a core issue for the Catholic Church. The life of their savior, Jesus Christ, was followed from the time of conception. He was considered the savior from the moment he was conceived. Asking them to give up that belief is equivalent to asking the boy scouts to sell Girl Scout cookies and make their own skirts.
Isn’t it funny that the Church did not excommunicate the raping stepfather? They probably think that he was just simply ‘creating new life’!
No, I don’t think that the Church is out of touch, because that would be a lot closer than the position where it actually is at the moment! The day will come when only the citizens of the Vatican will consider themselves Catholics. The sane rest of us will be called Christians. Big difference!
In particular @ DWight in Cleveland:
I would have to disagree on two counts in terms of the what appears to be the Catholic Church’s teachings on abortion and whether that is evidence of it being out of touch with reality in the 21st century. One of the first things I learned, while becoming a Catholic, was that even inasmuch as the abortion issue is one about which the Church feels strongly, especially given the issue of the birth of Christ, there are rare exceptions to this rule.
Now, I certainly am not proposing to be theologian or even to defend the Church and its practises, especially insofar as the priest sex abuse scandal, etc. However, I will say this much the Church, as I was exposed to it at the time, also accepts that it is entirely possible for it to make mistakes and, therefore, is not by, itself, a perfect institution even while the message is about attaining some level of same in the pursuit of a kind a spirituality founded in what the Church teaches as the perfect being of Christ.
My view is that, where people are excommunicated by the Church, that if they feel strongly enough about the issue they should challenge such authority. It is not enough to just sit back and accept these decisions without also questioning them. I feel little investment, now, in challenging some of these ideas. However, it is not to say that I would not myself, if pushed. The reality is that the fundamental issue that Christ focussed on was love! Plain and simple! So that, if we feel that that is being acheived through upholding dogma, at all costs, but if not my view is to challenge such positions and. As far as I am aware, some allowances are made for such!
I think the church is out of touch in a lot of cases, espacially when it somes to this. The funny thing is, the majority of aborted babies would have been brought up in horrible circumstanmces, and would most likely turn into messed up, horrible people (like the gang members in my home town), and end up living a life style that would send them to “Hell”, so you could say they are supporting the creation of lives going to “Hell”.
-Anthony, LA, CA
catholic church less said the better of them ..just looking through this example of what happened in our home state kerala 16years ago will expose they have no ethical right to take action that poor raped women in brazil ..16years ago in a catholic church in kottayam a nun was hacked to death by two bishops and a sister superior as this 17 year old nun by the name of abaya saw this 3 in compromising positions in the wee hours when she came down the stairs of the church convent to drink water .and her body was dumped in the same church well ..and recently all 3 priests were arrested and what support they got from the catholic church in bailing them out .still the case is raging on ..so no wonder that this poor brazlian woman is chucked out of the church at least she has her life intact due to gods grace ?
I think the church is out of touch on polygamy. That show Big Love makes polygamy seem cool, so since it’s hip, the church should change to accomodate me!
The catholic church maybe out of touch with a lot of things but not abortion. At that time of wanting an abortion to the time a woman discovers she has a bond with the aborted child ,the trauma she have go through will be unthinkable. I know a lot of women who suffered such fate.
Cases like this show why, when dealing with moral issues, it is dangerous to use words like “always” and “never”. The Catholic Church views life as sacred, so they forbid abortion…but what about a case like this, where carrying the fetus to term could well threaten the lives of both mother and child?
To start with, I dont even know if the church offered any assistance to the girl and maybe she went against their advice.
The girl’s family should carry on with their lives in some other church.
The priests who excommunicated them are not out of touch, I think they are modern scribes and pharises trying to prove something to the world.
This is the time the girl and her family need the church most.
‘Out of touch’? With what? The Catholic Church is a divine institution, it will tell you, and its dogmas and teachings reflect eternal truths about man and his redemption deriving from the incarnation and resurrection of Christ. Whenever it deviates from those eternal verities it is ‘out of touch.’ But not otherwise.
You cannot be a Catholic while repudiating in your conduct Catholic doctrine. Only the Church is competent to decide who should be excommunicated. Anyone who has a problem with that ought to take the only course of action available to them, viz. leave the Church.
The shrieks of leftists and liberals, however justified from their moral perspective, just don’t apply here. Catholic doctrine is not subject to fashion, or a matter of what’s popular, or intended to please the enemies of the Church. Only the will of God matters.
That, I think, is a fair summary of the Catholic position.
While I agree that abortion should not be used as a birth control, this case is obviously one of the Church refusing to see the right in the abortion. The child would most likely have died if she was forced to carry these twins. The health, both physical and mental, of the child would have been in great risk and this way, the child might, with counseling have a more normal life than she would have being forced to have twins.
The mother and doctor were doing what was best for the child in question and tried to save a life that is already on the earth. The catholic church should acknowledge the act as one of trying to focus on the best interests of a child rather than a sin.
The people in Brazil who were excommunicated over the abortion given to a nine year-old rape victim should be glad they are quit of such a backward organization.
As for the rest, it’s fine with me if Catholics are against abortion, homosexuality and assisted suicides of terminally ill people. Let CATHOLICS not engage in any of these practice.
I resist any attempt by believers of whatever persuasion to impose their beliefs upon non-believers such a myself.
For me I would say no big deal – go ahead make my day, excomunicate me. I can always go and join the happy-clappers they would be glad to have me along.
Unfortunately in some societies, excomunication brings with it serious social ramifications. I would have to ask does every catholic woman that has an abortion get excomunicated , or does this only happen in some countries ? I think it depends on the local culture.
So I would say the extent to which the catholic church enforces such rules is not geographically consistent.
Abortion is one of things that you think you know all about until an unwanted pregnancy in your 17 year-old foolish and irresponsible daughter is looking you right in the face.
Thank God for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc.
What do a bunch of celibate guys in flowing robes and fancy bejeweled hats know about pregnancy?
Maybe excommunication was the second best thing that happened to that family. First was clearly the abortion.
I was born a Catholic and married a real deep knee believer and our boy is also very devought. I’m sort of a skeptic, but go to make my boy believe that there is a chance that he will see me in heavan, that is his worst nightmare, that I’ll be down there in hell with all my friends.
I think abortion is wrong, it is murder and genocide, but when a nine year old girl gets raped and well there must be some sort of threat to her well being to go through a birth at her age?
All those pedophile wierdo priests…..seems the church ought to go through some sort of exorcism that clips off their gonads and in some way tortures the devil out of them. When they are done with the exorcism they should be handed over to the cops, and expelled from the church.
Then in prison the prison community will sort of perform an exorcism of their own to ensure that the devil did sort of get squeezed out of them.
It is a tough food chain out there and deviates really ought to be dealt with the way animals deal with their odd balls.
troop on the Oregon Coast
The Anglican Church illustrates what happens when an institution ‘moves with the times’ and takes on board every faddish call to embrace change, from female priests to gay bishops: institutional and doctrinal collapse.
People who’ve left the liberal Anglican Church to join Rome have often explained in terms of being drawn to the firmness, the certainty, the authority of Catholic doctrine, after years of liberal theological incoherence and vacillating.
Everyone knows the Catholic Church’s stance on abortion; I’ve no idea what the Church of England’s view is, or if it even has a view. But it’s the Anglican Church -which makes desperate efforts to be ‘up-to-date’, to be ‘in touch’, to be ‘relevant’ – which for some generations in England has been an institution at death’s door, while the Catholic Church, with its certainty, confidence, and illiberalism has grown in numbers and authority to the point where it’s now generally treated as the spiritual, if not institutional, equal of the Anglican Church. And globally-speaking I think the same applies: an ‘out of touch church’ that deals in unfashionable certainties will eclipse a ‘with it’ church that runs behind every passing fad.
The Catholic message on abortion is intended for the spiritually minded, not fashionistas.
Not just the Catholic church, all the churches are out of touch. They all look for legalistic solutions to this problem, and none of them look for dharmic cause effect solutions.
What is the cause of rising abortion rates? What are the causes for disintegration of families?
Do Christians clerics bother to look at the power structures in place in governments and businesses, capital that promote that breakdown because it serves them well to have weak dependent publics and workforces, mobile and subservient?
They all refuse to look at the economic pressures placed on young people today
1. who live in economic insecurity and cannot afford to start their own families,
2. have to leave their own extended family support networks to take low paying jobs in distant cities or slums,
3. as well as all the consumerist propaganda messaging out there that tells them what is important, what mediocre values they should have,
4. and promote machismo stances of young deracinated and emasculated, disempowered young men, who then act out in scapegoating violence against women in thought and deed that is common in every Western Judeo-Christian or Islamic culture, and I am sure many others.
The church needs a post-modernist update
They are way, way, out of touch on this subject. Even among all the Catholics I know.
While I’ll admit that I’m hardly well-educated on Catholacism, based on the media it is given, it does seem that the church should allow for extenuating circumstances, such as those outlined here.
However, the church will do what it will… and to take everything with extreme technicalities, I see why the church holds it’s current position. Abortion is the taking of a life (according to the church – there are groups that hold other beliefs regarding when life starts and ends) and the taking of a life is ‘illegal’ under all circumstances, including rape.
My PERSONAL beliefs are that abortion is unacceptable except in two instances: the first is rape (I would consider it punishment and a constant reminder of a horrific act if I had to carry the child of a man who raped me) and if physically giving birth to a child could mean the death of the parent. While some could argue that both are selfish reasons, I would respond that humans are selfish in nature and in the most general of generalizations, we will always put ourselves first.
Religions overall should learn to separate religious beleifs from rational thinking..As a father I have seen the effects that a child will have on its parents, and it is not a job for the faint hearted, not to mention a nine year old.
This blog takes an extreme example while raising no criticism of the 500 unwanted children who are aborted every day in the UK. Or of the fact that we have babies of over thirty weeks aborted in this country purely on the basis of their disability. I am sure worldwide the death toll is hundred of times this figure. On the issue of termination of pregnancy the Catholic Church is out of step with the times, but these are dark and bloody times, and it is to the Church’s credit that it will not keep step with them.
The Catholic Church’s conundrum whether to make exceptions to church doctrine is a pithy one. While protestant churches cut their teeth on change and adaptation to the real world, the Catholic Church presented itself to be constant (and therefore supposedly more reliable as representative of the Christian God). Given, Church doctrine has adjusted over time, but in the process, it has also isolated particular aspects of its doctrine to be uncompromisable, if one wishes to call oneself Roman Catholic.
The conundrum is “do we hold fast to doctrine and ignore real world circumstances, or do we make exceptions and thereby compromise our claim to legitimacy?” They have painted themselves in a corner, which modern communication is now narrowing around them on an unprecedented scale. Rather than limiting the issue of the Brazilian child and her family and doctor to their local parish, as would have been the case 30 or 40 years ago, same-time communication educates Catholics around the world as to the facts of an issue that otherwise would not touch them personally. In addition, communication permits Catholics of a like mind to share their revulsion against the Church’s judgment, which they had been raised to respect… this revulsion in regard to the Brazilian family’s excommunication being added to that against the molestation of children by priests, etc. Just as Protestants separated from the Church 500 years ago, the stage is being set by the Church itself for those members with common sense to demand change or invoke change themselves.
Should the Church condone abortion in certain circumstances? It would not be The Church if it did … and it might not remain the Church as it is now, if it does not.
Instead of providing relief to an emotionally and physically wounded soul, the Church puts priority in distancing itself from her, regardless of her situation.
If there really is a God, would he/she behave like this?
If no, why is the Church doing this?
If yes, is he/she a God worth worshipping?
All other aspects of human life, be it economics, technology, psychology, etc, has long since stepped out of the Dark Ages. It’s time to realise that the religious beliefs of one generation serves only as a joke for the next generation.
As we say in Dallas, DUH!
Among other things. Happy to see that the issue of child abusers in the Church is at last being faced up to openly. This has been such a problem for especially all the Canadian and American Native children who were forced to attend Catholic boarding schools. And so many others.
To err is human, to admit one’s mistakes takes a lot longer…especially for institutions.
And I was one of those people who hoped for a South American Pope and still do. The Catholic church needs to project being in touch with the place where most of its members live. America del Sur and Africa. Maybe next time!
For those who want to familiarise themselves with Catholic teaching on this
There are absolutely no circumstances in which the Catholic Church will accept any action that directly leads to the termination of foetal life. Where medical treatment to save the life of a pregnant woman indirectly, but unintentionally, leads to the death of the foetus, the Church accepts that as a necessary action with unintended evil consequences. Otherwise there is no room for debate.
The Church is, of course, perfectly consistent in also opposing the death penalty (do the left want it to be more ‘in touch’ with popular vindictiveness on that point too, I wonder?) and only supporting ‘just war’ (which is why the Pope condemned the Iraq intervention). All of these things are connected: the Catholic Church’s undeviating regard for the sanctity of human life.
Yo Dwight in Cleveland: Right on, 100%!
The Catholic Church is indeed out of touch on such matters as abortion, divorce and homosexuality. The Paternalistic Catholic Church behaves as if it is in loco parentis. Catholics are bound to obedience, told what to believe, assured that the Pope is God’s Representative on earth and that he’s Infallible.
Perhaps it’s time its children grew up.
When you reflect that the money you put in the plate at Mass has funded millions in compensation to the victims of paedophile priests, that the only irreversible ex communication is not for terrorists or serial killers, it’s for anyone who makes an attempt on the life of the Pope; that divorce is not acceptable even in a dysfunctional marriage, that in an overpopulated world, contraception is not allowed; that even abortion for a nine year old victim of her stepfather’s abuse results in excommunication for her mother and doctors; that homosexuality is a bigger threat in their eyes than global warming, and that a mother’s survival is secondary to her baby’s even when she is responsible for several children at home, ask yourself: Would you take your children home to meet parents like that?
There are some good aspects to the Catholic Church and for many it would be like throwing the baby out with the bathwater to leave the Church on these issues. But your morality is your own responsibility. You are the one accountable for your own behaviour. Ideally should’nt every child at least learn to challenge repressive parents when they grow up?
If you think about it, it is actually surprising that you can have a religion dating back to the Middle Ages that still has supporters today.
The question should therefore be how on Earth it is possible that the Catholic Church still exists and is seen to be relevant regarding at least a few issues.
@ Dwight & Luci:
The Catholic Church has changed a lot from the past, so why not now? Back in the day, you could marry and have sex with a 10 year old, you could kill “witches”, and even recently OK’ed condom use. I mean, even the Catholic Bible has added and taken away books over the years. If they can change these things, which include the MURDER of people, then why wouldn’t they change their views on abortion?
They are exactly right, abortion is wrong!
@anthony . Personally I know of a lot of unplanned babies grew up to be upright people in society and those grew up in a proper environment becoming Bernard Madoft.
Might as well we genetically engineer our babies to produce a world of designers babies. A baby conceived from a rape is still a baby that will grow into human.
For better or for worse.
The antiquated ideologies of Catholic Church are so out of touch with modern understanding that it is hard to quantify. If the Catholics want to give up something for Lent, maybe it should be, holding on to outdated dogma that stunts the growth of all who choose to believe……….
The church is wrong, but, it is good that they have created one more voice against them by excommunicating that family.
Maybe the Church chould change and no longer think Jesus is Divine? Again, people want the church to change to suit their particular wants and needs. You either accept it, or leave it. You don’t have to be a member.
@ Count Iblis: correction – the Catholic Church is some 2000 years old; it existed before modern Europe; it was a seminal force in the growth of Western civilisation. To try to marginalise it or pretend it shouldn’t exist today is absurd.
@Eileen: the Catholic Church can only be understood on its own terms: a divinely ordained institution that teaches eternal truths. Such a body doesn’t adapt itself to passing fashions about divorce, abortion and homosexuality. As I understand it the the Pope is only infallible on matters of Catholic doctrine not, as you hint, on everything. How could it be otherwise for an institution that holds itself to be guided by the Holy Spirit?
@Anthony: so, what – let’s abort the foetuses of the poor in order to spare them hardship, or of racial minorities to spare them discrimination and prejudice? Pioneers of eugenics like Marie Stopes were all for aborting ‘inferior’ races out of existence. Thank God (!) for the Catholic Church, a staunch enemy of eugenics and champion of the poor, given such modern, in-touch, and anti-human attitudes.
I think out of touch is an understatement – I can’t imagine anybody expecting a nine year old girl to carry a child to term after being raped. Excommunication from a group that has so little feeling for the well being of the living as opposed to the unborn is really a blessing in disguise.
@ In singapore
I never said unplanned. I said the babies who have already been aborted. My son was unplanned and he is having a great life. I’m talking about those cholas (female hispanic gang members) around my place who smoke meth all day who get the abortions.
I honestly wish some of these low lives had been aborted. We had some Subway Sandwich employees shot to death a while ago in Whittier (which isn’t even that bad) by some low life cholos. And the thing is, you know their parents are the same…and then they recruit more people and thats why it’s been getting worse and worse. It’s a cancer. You’re comparing apples with rotton corroded oranges.
My semi-solution is forced contraceptive shots for women on welfare/state assistance.
I would like to add on the subject regarding leftists and liberals vis-a-vis the remark about only the Church gets to decide who should be excommunicated, otherwise leave. I am not sure who is being defined as the Church here, but I do recall that upon becoming a member of the Catholic church, I was reminded both by the Bishop and the Pastor (priest) that it is we who make up the Church. We are, therefore, well within our right to question Church teachings/ dogmas, etc.
Indeed, the very nature of questioning provides answers the basis for answers. The notion that somehow there is a mystical conversion into a state of complete acceptance, without also challenging/ questioning Church dogma will happen miraculously, is as false as the labelling of those who should seek to level such questions at the institution itself.
As I was also taught, Christ does not require sacrifice but worship. That, I believe, means not blind faith but a healthy dose of doubt, as perhaps in the case of Thomas the disciple who, notwithstanding his closeness to Christ felt moved to question some of what was said. In this same way, therefore, it is within the purview of those thus excommunicated to also question the Church, as well as those who are not and are still part of the institution. I am not sure what this intolerance towards doubt is about, but as a human being, Christian and Catholic I would have to disagree wholeheartedly with any such efforts to mischaracterise those within the Church who feel this way.
Being excommunicated is probably the best thing that could happen to anybody. Religion is an evil that should be removed from civilized societies. The banning of abortion has nothing to do with morality and everything to do with the control and enslavement of women.
In growing up in the catholic church, through the different events, youth groups, and even eventually the marriage process I had many occasions to discuss abortion with priests and church member. I never once heard “exceptions” mentioned. They defiantly existed, but were treated like covert missions. They were done, nobody asked about it, nobody talked about it even though many people were suspicious.
So is this considered “acceptance” and “in touch”. If so, the US military is in full acceptance of homosexual lifestyles.
Disgraceful Religion has to be put into perspective!
The Modern Scientific Theory of Evolution shows/proves that the religions based on the bible could not and do not exist – Full stop. Adam & Eve who committed the sin do not exist It can be proved absolutely!
No original sin NO Roman Catholic Church!
(see YouTube Darwin v Adam & Eve)
and yet we have a Pope who allows a nine year old child to suffer and her mother be excommunicated. To a believing RC this is a dreadful punishment! It is disgraceful and it must stop!
Wish I could join in but living in NZ I do not get to listen in real time.
I do not understand the hostility to life that is being expressed here even in rape as horrible as it might be to the victim ,the child so fathered is an innocent and has done nothing wrong why should it pay the ultimate price for a crime commited by another? All of us who are alive now would not like to be convicted of something you had no role in.
Come on people do we need social reform and awareness of course but why are we asking the unborn to pay the ultimate price for soemthing that is not of thier doing at all.
this sounds like the easy way out .
Having a baby at nine years old could physically rip the girl apart. Crippled or dead is an inhumane alternative for the child. Two less parishioners for the Church will not bankrupt the Dioceses.
donor is the wrong term. Surrogate, I’d meant to say.
Someone more religious than myself will have to explain to me the tragedy of being excommunicated from a church that would force children to give birth.
I am shocked and disgusted by the self-righteous regard for the unborn at the expense of the already born. Good riddance to such “religion”, I say.
“David” sounds like another brainwashed fundamentalist.
They’re almost always men and entirely self-focused in their
approach to this issue. A raped nine year-old girl should under no
circumstances be forced to carry the offspring of such a horrific
I guess for any institution that used to burn midwives as witches, they have come a long way.
The changes in the past came as a result of an overwhelming change in society. Their change was slow and deliberate. In most of the world as well as here in the US the societies and cultures still have a 50% opposition rating. As long as they have a constituency that will support and believe their point of view, they are “in touch”. That is the question of the day.
I personally think this is all hogwash from a faith based opinion. While I believe abortion is a travesty and murder, the reason are much more from scientific and social reasons. Even though we end at the same conclusion, I had to leave because the core reasoning made me “not Catholic”. They may be out of touch with me, but not with society.
As an atheist, I accept any religious entity has the right to make rules for its members. What is unacceptable is for its beliefs, regarding abortion or any other matter, to be imposed by law. That is not the issue in this case.
I’m from Spain, I’m a young father of an incredible girl (she’s 3 years old) and I’m catholic.
But before a Catholic, I’m a human being, and as a human being – and obviously talking only about this case – I see no other option for the girl that the abortion.
I am not Catholic and actually find its teachings heretical but I don’t think that God’s teachings should change for us. I think that if we want and chose to follow his path we should change ourselves, not him. In this following case I don’t think excommunication was right. The church should provide support and prayers for those in need. Abortion is not right in any circumstance. I could write a whole argument defending this topic but there is limited space. I am just sick of people blaming everyhting on religion and not on themselves. We have freewill which GOD gave to us. Let us not blame him rather ourselves for our disgusting and horrible actions.
Was the rapist excommunicated? Or is the Church OK with that?
The American gentleman who is monopolizing your air time has not addressed the question of why he got two women pregnant. Maybe he should have considered that before he thought about abortion as birth control?
One of the biggest problems facing this planet is overpopulation. We have water shortages, food shortages, and plenty of other problems that could be reduced by reducing the planet’s human population by one half. Yet we have the church keeps insisting that we produce MORE people. Out of touch? Absolutely.
I am not a Catholic. I hope that this case shows Catholics how cruel and backwards their religion is. Adaptability is a critical factor in survivorship of a species. This church must adapt to modern society or it will die out. Personally, I’m hoping for the latter.
Did the catholic church stop her from having the abortion? No. It did not. But she broke the rules of the church. I’m a member of NEXUS, and if I violate the rules, I get kicked out of the program. That’s what happens when you violate the rules. They can’t stop me from violating them, but if I do, I get penalized. Had the church intervened and prevented the abortion, then it would be a different story.
The Church should be condemning the horrible stepfather and leaving the poor girl and the adults responsible for helping her alone. In fact they should be holding these adults up as an example of how to protect our children. A 9-year-old in danger of dying because of incest-induced pregnancy? It’s incredible that ANYONE could defend the Church in this case. It’s an abomination.
Is the question “True Catholic or normal human being?” Why does nobody speak about the step father who committed a crime, or rape isn’t a crime to the Catholic Church? What about him ? Putting God above everything and above normal human compassion is arrogance and is disgusting. Who are these people believing to speak in Gods name and being so cruel?
It would be absolutely heartless to force a nine year old to have a baby (let alone twins). Abortion is not an easy issue. But, even worse is a 10 year old mother raising her rapist’s babies.
What heart-warming compassion from the Catholic Church. Yuck.
A nine-year old girl is hardly physically capable of birthing a child, so in this instance, the girl’s life is at stake. Religious laws should make ammendments for such instances where the victim’s life and health are the main issue, rather than whether she aborts a fetus.
Since abortion is considered murder and the punishment is excommunication, then what about normal run-of-the-mill murderers whom you might easilly find in the jails ? Should they be excomunicated also ? are they ?
If the Catholic church is consistant it should identify all of the convicted murderers and excommunicate them also.
While we are at it – lets round up the adulters, the covet’ers of neighbours goods & wives, liars , cheats and theives and excommunicate them also… every one of them.
Uncompromising men are usually easy to admire, especially where faith is concerned. But even God makes compromises. If he didn’t we would all still be subject to Hebrew Law and Christ would never have been sent.
In the name of WHAT “law” does this man dare to judge the girl and excommunicate her relatives? I think we are in the presence, with this story, of pure evil. And it’s him.
I think that abortion is as killing a person so the Catholic Church has right to stop killing that person and enter the issue
I am the mother of 4 children, my youngest are twins so I KNOW what it’s like to be pregnant with twins. My youngest daughter is 9 years old. NEVER in my wildest imagination would I let her go through a twin pregnancy even if it meant I was excommunicated. If you have faith in GD as a kind and loving being, then no matter what the MEN in the church do, your faith in Gd will not desert you, only your faith in the church.
Unfortunately Brazil is a very catholic country so both the mother and doctors will now find out who their true friends are!
What about the boy and his father? Have they been ex-communicated? Why should the girlbe punished and not the source of all her problems?
I wish we all had evolved to become enligthened beings capable of loving all creatures, no matter the circumstances, but, not being so, unless the Catholic Church starts to excommunicate every murderer, including soldiers in battlefields, excommunicating this girl’s mother and doctor will sound very hypocritical, at least to my ears.
Who are we kidding? Gods law does not change? I have never seen a document signed by God. God’s law is written by humans and has changed many times over the centuries to accommodate political agendas.
Should we accept that women be stoned to death for going out in the street without a husband in Muslim countries? It would be their God’s law! A few centuries ago, God’s law in Europe consisted of burning red-hair women and jews. Should we live by this law?
I am very sad that so many continue to have such regressive blind adherence to a church still clearly with roots in medieval times. Rules that would force a 9 year girl old to bear twins resulting from a rape even if this might threaten her life ? What about excommunicating the rapist ? And these men on air slavishly expounding their support of same. How dare the last speaker talk about lack of compassion if the 9 year IS allowed to abort ?! Obscene.
This guy right now is making me NEVER want to even take a step into the Catholic Church, let alone become a member! It’s funny how people make a HUGE deal about this….yet the Bible says that ALL SINS ARE EQUAL, so if this little girl would have stolen a peice of gum, should she have had been excommunicated too?
She is 9 years old for God’s shake, why should she give birth to 2 children and go through such a dangerous procedure? Just because someone decided to rape her?
I think we have lost our sense of seriousness here.
Has anybody thought of the life those two twins would have? The answer when they ask about their father? “You know, honey, your father was a criminal and you are the result of the crime.” Has anybody thought about the amount of motherly love the 9-year-old girl could bestow on her offspring?
I firmly believe that those two children are already with our Saviour, as they are innocent human beings and our God is benevolent.
What if someone started a movement supporting “Rapo Rights”? The manifesto would read something like this:
As a man, I have the right for my sacred seed to grow whereever I plant it. If I rape a woman, she must be forced to bear my child, whether she wants to or not.
From the viewpoint of the rapist, this issue is a question of whether or not a man has the right to force a woman to bear his children against her will.
Is the Catholic Church out of touch? I think the question should be is the Catholic Church insane? Here in the United States we elected a president who was against abortion. His name is George Bush the world might know him he’s responsible for the global economic downturn and two wars. He didn’t believe in contraceptives and as a result his absistence only programs caused teen pregnancy in the U.S. to explode and HIV in Africa to run rampant. If these are the identical policies of the Catholic Church than the Catholic Church has already burned in hell. I’ve listened to these lunatics demand this 9 year old girl die while giving birth to twins, her step father’s kids, who by the way raped her. I’d like to ask every Catholic in the world what would he or she do if somone raped his or her daughter and impregnanted her.
The point to any of the Churches rules on abortion should be to promote LIFE. This case is one of a life at risk. (the girl that is). However it is unavoidable that she will be mentally harmed – the mental damage caused by abortions is horrible but she is already suffering from a sick family and the assault on her body. Those excommunicated for this are in the right and I think the Church will come into line if they look at the fact of her LIFE being saved.
This current situation goes to show the church has no role in this modern society…
What is this “out of touch” nonsense? The Church also believes in the creation story, not evolution. Twitter and Facebook are really popular, and I don’t see the church using them. Is the church supposed to follow every social trend? Perhaps the Pope will start using meth, post on twitter, and drive a Prius, to be in “touch.” If you don’t like the teachings of the church, then LEAVE.
I find it odd that this conversation has consisted of so many men with very strong opinions. Shouldn’t this issue be discussed by women since it is their bodies we are talking about? No matter what their opinion on the subject, no man can fully understand what women feel when faced with the thought of an abortion especially after the brutal circumstance of rape.
Chad , Portland OR
I have had an abortion myself and let me say that I had anesthesia and did not experience any discomfort or trauma from it. – So for a man or anyone to say that an abortion itself rather than the act of being raped by a step father is “the worst assault to a woman’s body” is a lunatic and has no business making such a statement.
As a woman who has had a child I find it out of place for men to comment on a woman’s reproductive choices. I also find it odd that there are so many mens voices bemoaing the fate of the unborn but these same men will chastize poor women for having children and will in some countries such as the US actually work against poor women and children having access to housing food and healthcare.
Let me get this straight. A man rapes his nine year old step daughter, she gets pregnant and to save her life needs an abortion. Somehow this is construed as a grave sin against GOD and the poor girl and everyone helping her is threatened with excommunication. Is that about right? I have an idea. Why not ex communicate the degenerate who raped the poor child, and counsel and support the rape victim
All I have to say is I am glad I am not Catholic.
Let’s remember that the Catholic Church is nothing more than a MANMADE institution. We should wonder what GOD really think about this!! It is highly doubt that a loving God would condemn a 9 year old girl who had been raped. Condemnation should go to the priests who MISinterpret his laws.
I was raised a Catholic and still consider myself one, but I am afraid the leaders of my church have become as out of touch as the ritualistic priests of the temple had become during the time that Christ lived.
They have forgotten the meaning. message and moral of the “Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” and how this applies to all of God’s laws. They were made for humankind, rather than humankind being made to adhere strictly and rigidly to them. There are always exceptions, and Christ himself pointed this out.
The one silver lining here is that this will turn more people against Religion.
And that is a very good thing.
Of course the Catholic Church is out of touch. Instead of showing compassion and support for this young girl and her family, they CHOOSE to excommunicate the mother and doctor PUBLICLY. Perhaps they reserve their forgiveness and understanding for the pedophile priests who continue to work in the Catholic Church – even the men convincted in these cases haven’t been excommunicated. The men who run the Catholic Church are completely out of touch.
A perfect example of the reason why so many people including myself are running at a rapid rate from the Catholic Church and seeking solace in alternative teachings. The antiquated, narrow minded and closed views of SOME catholics make them nothing more than bigots!!! In Brisbane Australia, we have just had a catcholic priest SACKED for expanding his teachings to align in the 21st century. His sessions were some of the most patronised I have ever witnessed and include people from all walks of life including openly gay couples, homeless people and those who are wishing to remain in the faith but need some breathing space.
Remember folks we are taking about a 9 YEAR OLD CHILD!!!
I sincerely hope that in addition to excommunicating the mother and doctors for having aborted the little girl’s fetuses, the Archbishop excommunicated the stepfather for raping and impregnating her in the first place.
If abortion is a sin, then it seems logical to me that forcing a child to conceive is a far worse one.
Has the Catholic Church condemned the stepfather’s role in this sorry tale? If not, then the Church is out of touch with reality.
Let’s note that the only time that Conservatives value life is when it is unborn or brain-dead.
Conservatives just use actual living human beings as Cheap-Labor, to be used up and then tossed aside like garbage when the work is done.
Right, men shouldn’t have any say in reproductive decisions, but he should pay child support. Want to have your cake and eat it too?
Abortion is such a personal topic and needs to be discussed on each individual basis. Especially men should be careful with generalising comments! How do they really know how much of an assault an abortion is on a woman’s body! You cannot compare the case of a woman who had two abortions with the case of 9-year-old that was raped by her stepfather as someone on the programme did. The reason that woman needed 20 years of therapy may have little to do with the two abortions. And a 9-year-old is not a teenager! Please focus on the facts!
She’s NINE !!!!!!!!
Many of the comments above completely miss the point that the abortion directly killed two human persons. Either this killing is morally acceptable or it isn’t. Clearly if it isn’t, then the surrounding circumstances, no matter how distressing, are irrelevant. If it is acceptable to directly kill innocent human beings to save another (or to save the extreme distress of the violated mother) then there seems to be no compelling reason to oppose killing the mother in order to save the two children. But, if you object to that then you must object to aborting the twins.
Finally, if someone argues that young human beings have less value than older human beings you are basing human rights NOT on the inherent value of human beings, recognition of which is basic to any form of justice. You are (or appear to) be basing your notion of “human rights” on the the particular capacities of a human person. This makes all rights arbitrary.
Unless these issues are directly addressed there isn’t much else to say – other than emoting, moral blackmail, ignorant utterances about religion – none of which helps anyone, least of all the 9 year old girl and her mother.
There has been so much outrage about the decision to choose abortion. Why aren’t we hearing the Church speak out as loudly about the crime that was perpetrated by the step-father. How is rape more acceptable than abortion?
i think this whole discussion is ridiculous! the church is already for a very long time out of touch with its time (galileo is among others one of its victims), this is something that even should NOT be talked about = savng a 9 yo child’s life! what’s the fuss about the unborn life anyhow? let’s just try to get on with it’s already there= a 9 yo kid who’s been missused by her father, like so many others in the wortd (also the catholic world!)
I am tired of everyone saying two children were killed,
The bottom line is they were not children they were unborn fetus,
and fetuses are parasites by their nature, they are not children,
because children can live on without a host. unborn fetuses cannot.
this is tragic what happened to this little girl.
and unsympathetic assaults by the supposed compassionate
christians on this on this show is horrific.
I know, it’s much easier to kill something when you dehumanize it. The nazis did that with the Jews. They taught German soldiers and the SS that jews were not fully human, and so they felt less bad about killing them. Last I checked, a fetus doesn’t grow to be a duck or a chicken, but into a baby human. It’s just a less developed human. To say it’s not a human is to make killing it easier on you.
I am concerned about the frequent reference to “God’s Law” in this show. I am a Catholic, but I’ll be the first to admit that historically speaking, “Catholic Church Law” does not always equal “God’s Law”, and much of “God’s Law” is open to much interpretation. The command to “be fruitful and multiply” does not have to be interpreted as forcing a 9 year old girl to wait and see if she or the unborn twins live or die from this pregnancy. By the way, does her stepfather face communication?
Another quick comment: The Unitarian woman who talked about the bible/church advocating “letting children suffer”–that’s not actually what it says. “Suffer” is a King James English era term that means something different now. And that text actually says to “suffer the children”, meaning to be patient with them, pay attention to them, treat them as people of value. It does NOT mean make them suffer!
The Church’s stance has nothing to do with compassion. Excommunication denies to human beings access to the soul-saving grace offered by the Church. In other words, excommunication is a weapon not a mode of compassion.
Did anyone ask if the 9 year old actually wanted to have these babies?
She’s nine years old! She can barely comprehend being raped, much less being pregnant and having an abortion. What is the likelihood that she will consider suicide because she was raped? I suspect that the correlation between suicide and rape is a major component that contributes to suicide among women who have had abortions. If they hadn’t been raped they would not have gotten pregnant, would not have had the seed of a rapist in their womb, would not have to deal with THAT at all.
Your guests are COMPLETELY incapable of saying “YES, I would make her carry the babies to term.” This moral and intellectual cowardice undermines their own case.
You should declare that Helen Watt from the Linacre Bioethics Center is not a independent ethicist. Linacre is church-based. Helen is not going to give you the unbiased views that we should expect from an ethicist.
Each skin cell has all 46 chromosomes. Adult stem cells have 46 chromosomes and the capacity to reproduce more cells. Are we going to excommunicate anyone who “kills” these cells? Other animals have 46 chromosomes too. The idea expressed by the male guest is uninformed.
Wil in Oregon
If indeed, the bishop did excommiante The mother and child, he is wrong. Antiaborationist need to get a real life. This child had no choice about getting preganent. Stop worrying about this girl and lets do something to the stepfather, so that he can never do this again. We have no right to judge anyone in this life— leave it to God.
The catholic church has a documented history of protecting pedophiles and a demonstrated reluctance to make amends for the injustices of it’s members. Why would we ever expect them to show any compassion for anything as fragile and vulnerable as a nine year old girl.
Re: post abortion suicide
About 7 in 100,000 teens (age 10-24) commit suicide in the US. less than half are female. That 6 times (which is really 4 times as much) likey to kill themselves doesn’t seem like a huge deal and silly to even bring up. Another useless fact if you ask me.
Has it occurred to the catholic church that these babies may be born with disabilities that the mother and daughter may not have resources to deal with?
“What is this “out of touch” nonsense? The Church also believes in the creation story, not evolution. ‘
That is the church’s BIG problem. Evolution show/proves that the creation story especially Adam & Eve never existed. They do not show up in all of our DNA and they should!
The inference being no DNA no Adam & Eve therfore NO Original Sin!
The whole thing is based on a myth which can be proved to be a myth and this poor girl and her mother are being tortured for a myth.
Prove me wrong!
First I want to say that this is a terrible thing to happen to any person, regardless of age, country of residence, or religious affiliation. I would question the decision to excommunicate the child, her mother and her doctors, but not the awful man who is responsible for this situation.
In a case like this, what is best for the girl clearly needs to be the priority. Abortion appears to have been the right decision for her, and for her right to continue living. Now she needs the love and support of her community during her recovery from this extremely traumatic ordeal. Am I wrong in asserting that her church IS her community? Should a nine year old girl be rejected from the community she grew up with, especially when she needs its support the most?
I am a priest and I am sure that I can speak for many and say that there are other values clashing in this case such as compassion and love and dignity that the Catholic Church holds as dear as life. I do not think that we can or ought to so easily dismiss these other values in favor of excommuncation
The talk show host asks if the Church is out of touch with modern life on this issue. I would suggest it is out of touch with LIFE and humanity in general – abortion is not a modern phenomenon, it is simply easier and safer these days. Rules of religion are meant to help people live better lives – whatever religion we are talking about. If the rules cannot be bent for humanity’s sake then they do more harm than good and people will abandon them anyway.
p.s. – regarding this stuff about women suffering mental/moral consequences from abortion: I personally believe that this idea is bogus for the majority of women – and we can never know if the ones who have suffered would not have also suffered after having the baby instead.
Where has this girl’s mother been for the past 3 years while her daughter has been abused? She has permitted her husband to rape her daughter. Maybe she should be punished.
I am a devout catholic but i think that the catholic church has been unreasonable in many ways than this.we have been having a debate in Kenya about condoms in the face of HIV/AIDS. I totally agree with the medical team that did the abortion.From what i gather,it was near impossible for the girl to survive.The catholic church must issue a rider on its rule to allow abortion on sound medical grounds.
Please remember this is a 9 year old child! How would you feel if you nine year old girl was walking around pregnant?! The argument that an abortion could make her suicidal is ridiculous. How do you think she will feel growing up knowing that at 9 years old she gave birth to twins (from a rape by her stepfather) and that they are out in the world somewhere. No matter what happens this girl with have serious issues but an abortion will not make them any worse. If anything, an abortion will help her move on from this.
She is 9 years old for GOD’s sake, no way does religion play a part in deciding this poor girl should be spared of either dying during the pregnancy or having to be a child herself with having two children! She is so young this will not mentally effect her as people are saying!
It’s all absurd, as is religion, just absurd.
All these men should get raped at 9 years of age and then get pregnant and see how their opinions change.
If her mom would not have given her consent for the abortion, what would of happened to the girl then?
What if we think of this horrible situation had she not had the abortion. What would we all be saying if she wouldn’t have had the abortion and she and the babies died because her body couldn’t bear the trauma? I’m sure we would all be blaming the mother for putting her religious beliefs first and the Catholic Church from discouraging the abortion. Parents here are held accountable when their children die because the parents don’t seek medical attention in a life or death situation, even if it’s because of religious beliefs. My prayers and thoughts are with the little girl and her mother and I hope they can find something other than the Church to get them through this.
it is interesting to note that not all religions view fetus’ as alive. The guests you have had on so far have made a point of sharing their view that fetus’ are alive. Fetus’ cannot survive on their own at 15 weeks, how can we treat them as a living entity? Shouldn’t the life of a young girl be valued more then these fetus who might not have survived anyway?
Steve: right. exactly. Lets be serious: here. You are obviously a prolife man yet how many abused and abandoned children have you taken into your home? I have taken in an unwanted child and I can tell you the effect on him and on those who care about him is life changing. How many poor single moms do you help out? How many?
This is shocking ignorance. Rea any human embryology textbook.
Parasites are different species from their hosts (that’s basic).
So, killing an unborn child is killing a young human being – a being of human type. That hukman has an identity that is coninuous and he/she as interests in his./her own human future. Young children cannot live without a great deal of support – doesn’t make them any less human.
I have to take exception to Bejamin’s (from port or) description of an unborn fetus as a “parasite”. Do you have children of your own? Although I do not at all condone the Church and support a woman’s right to choose, I think your argument is weakened by your analogy.
Wait, so let me get this straight. A 9 year old girl is raped by her step-father, has an abortion which will save her life, and the Catholic church ex-communicates her and her family?
The Catholic church is acting, again, like an abusive father—perhaps being ex-communicated from such a barbaric institution is actually blessing for the daughter and mother—because who in their right mind would want to be connected to an organization making such idiotic pronouncements.
And I find it interesting that in the past so many children have been molested by Catholic priests, but those priests were not themselves ex-communicated, but rather just shipped off to other parishes to afflict new sets of children.
Portland, Oregon, USA
Until the Catholic Church recognizes women as spiritual persons and worthy of having a say in the church, you can continue to expect that the decisions will always favour the men. Is this possibly a case of choosing to sacrificing a mere girl for the possible additon of male souls? It’s time to recognize this is a religion for men by men, and all women should be enthusiastically supporting the mother of the nine year old and joining her by self ex-communicating themselves and abolishing this male dominated power control they call Catholicism.
I don’t know why this woman whom I believe was introduced as a doctor, is arguing that this young girl is pregnant with “babies” and insists that the welfare of the “babies” is the most important element of this issue.
The young girl doesn’t have “babies”. She has growing fetuses in her womb and she is going to have to nurture and expect her young body to support and develop those young, dependent creatures who are not self-sufficent. Trying to nurture and give birth may likely kill her. I wouldn’t want to find out in the future that my mother was not only raped by a family member, but died in the process of giving birth to me because of some political and ideological tug-of-war.
I haven’t heard how far along the fetuses are, but there are many other elements that need to be taken into account and to solely look at the “unborn children” as if they are not a vital part of the mother is absurd.
The situation of the whole family, the mother who didn’t seem to realize her own daughter was being abused, the step father who needs to be jailed, and the girl who is going to be traumatized for life all need to be considered. Certain elements can’t be picked out for attention while ignoring others.
This also affects future cases, so all this needs to be taken into account (hopefully without the ideology of the church steping in with it’s dogma).
@ Dwight in Cleveland,
I do not wish to comment on issues related to “acceptance” in the Catholic Church, as noted in your post above, or for that matter the question of homosexuality in the US army. Indeed, let me remind that I am not defending the Church, as I am sure it can do that very well on its own. Istead, I would like to refocus attention on the matter of whether the Church is out of touch with reality, as asked in the original post, given the response of the Brazilian bishop (?) to this incident. My contention is that the Church is very much in touch with reality, however, it is not a reality that is beyond being questioned. And, also that the Church is much more than the clergy which governs it.
Now, whether priests appear to give their blessings to abortion, which as one guest pointed out earlier that there are exceptions, it is also worth recalling that those who administer laws – whether those of man or, in this case God, are not beyond being influeneced into making questionable decisions. Does this mean that they are right for doing what they believe to be in the best interests of the faith? I am not sure.
What I do know however, is that that mercy and compassion need to be at the forefront of what we do, regardless of who we are, but especially as those who profess to embody the enduring message of love that Christ left us. So, yes, there are exceptions, even as it regards the abortion issue, as I learned it. And, this does not preclude us from questioning the Church to ensure its currency even within the modern age.
I am a Catholic myself. Not active – exactly because I can’t stand some discrepancies practiced by this church.
– For starters, the real causer of this mess is under protection – and what is more, on account of my money – my taxes paid!
– If somebody sins purposefully, like this stupid guy, the church will say, “Oh, let’s forgive him.”
– If somebody does something to defend themselves, then comes the church posing the owner of the the truth and say, “You are excommunicated.”
That’s irritating, irritating.
the question is:
Is the Church right to remove them from the faith or is the Church out of touch?
We are not asking whether abortion is right.
Is the Church right to remove them from the faith or is the Church out of touch?
I am not sure that one choice opposes the other.
(IE) the church could still be “out of touch” and keep her and her mother as members and visaversa.
Rules of the faith say that one shall not commit murder and abortion is seen as murder.
Many catholic churches (and churches in general) respond differently to those who they feel have commited a sin.
Some churches are more forgiving than others Maybe she just needs to find a more understanding catholic church.
…. a catholic church that says: “We know that you did something wrong, we understand your position, it was wrong, but repent and move on.”
To me, it sounds like a desire for the media was a motive.
Whether the church sees abortion as “wrong” is actually irrelevant.
What is important is “how” they react when they believe that someone has commited a “sin.”
fMaybe we think that their response should be different.
But, in all honesty, many churches’ responses are different.
I guess you can choose the church that best suits you.
I did get to listen in real time. It seems on Saturdays we are allowed to!
I was shocked at the number of callers and experts who were for the child giving birth. I suppose WHYS has to have balance and it must be hard to actually come up with somebody in favour!
Incredible that in this day and age this is still happening. As I said watch Darwin v Adam & Eve on YouTube as I do not have the characters here to show what all the fuss is about.
It is over for the biblical religions. It is only that the vast mass of the indoctrinated have not been given the information. Darwin knew this. The Pope knows this!
Evolution theory (MSTE) just shows/proves the bible could never have happened and for the religions to work it must! Put a stop to these unthinking old men and smell the roses. Life is good!
no one’s forcing anyone to accept this fundamental right of the Catholic church ..more so if you are not Catholic. Why is it that people are making such a big deal about issues within the Church when you are not even part of it? If you are part of the Church and cannot comprehend why this is being done ..then you really do not understand your religion that well. Oh yeah, the Church also has this thing called reconciliation ..where even those excommunicated are forgiven and allowed to come back to the Church.
@ renata de andrade,
You make a valid point in relation to the question of Galileo vis-a-vis this debate of this nine year old. What interests me, however, is whether the matter of her excommunication will have adversely impacted her in such a way as to warrant this kind of urgent discussion here? My recollection of faith matters, at nine years old, were especially dim given what appears to be the complexities and nuances inherrent some of these discusions.
It is deeply unfortunate that we are even having this conversation, but it is clearly one which the Church, as an institution needs to engage with – whether in Brazil, or elsewhere. Having all the facts before we assume these very final positions in what are clearly very emotive and, potentially, hurtful matters is the best course of action. So, I agree, in part, that the execution of Church teachings have, during different periods, been especially questionable.
However, I do feel that, that also needs to be said. Is that to say that we wish for the Church leaders to amend their positions further to such discussions? Perhaps. Whether it is this possible, though is a whole other matter by itself. Still, what is certain is that the Church is an especially political institution in that regard and must, by necessity, be critiqued in this regard. So, I am not so sure the discussion is as pointless as you say. Problematic? Yes. But pointless? Maybe not so much.
I am a practicing Catholic, and also am for a woman’s right to choose. The Catholic Church has no business preaching this issue when you consider how they have handle their own issues with the priests. I continue to be torn by the religion I have grown up with. The Church’s hypocrisy is overwhelming. The abortion issue has no business in politics or religion. We as a people have to stop becoming fanatic about both moral and political issues it distorts reality and polarizes any reasonable conclusions.
The Church is entirely consistent in its position and the pro-abortionists true to form are trying to exploit the latest unfortunate incident in hope of weakening the Church’s position. The entire debate is a waste of time as nothing new will be said and no one will change their mind. Its all been said before.
When we talk about churches “being in touch,” we mean, meeting the needs of their congregation, but if they must change their teachings, then, they are seen as too accommodating and not stable enough to provide what people are looking for in a religion – security, comfort and a set of values/regulations to follow that are given by God.
And, God does not change.
So, either this value “is” or “is not” acceptable.
Being in touch might include: programs to serve the homeless,
ng ways to address the unemployed in their congregation
making their services accessible to those who are disabled.
When a Religion is controlled by Males who are forced to remain Celibate, we should not be surprised to discover that they apparently see Females as no more than Vessels to produce more followers of the Faith. How these followers are Conceived, seems to be of no concern to the Church.
In My opinion. this is Women’s business, and any Rapist should be tried in a Court, consisting of a Female Judge, all Female Jury, and any sentence should be served in a Female Prison. I doubt that if and when they were released they would ever offend against Women again.
Colin Hooper. Brisbene Australia.
IF this nine year old child continued with the pregnancy and IF she died, who would be charged with lack of care and her death-the doctors who did not do all they could to save her? Her mother who ‘allowed’ this to happen? The man who raped her and had no concern for the rights of the child in his care? And would the church express concern for her death, pray for her, hold her funeral, discuss the incident of rape inflicted on females unable to protect themselves, tell the mother her child of nine was now with the grace of God and time would heal the pain of grief? Should we be discussing abortion or capitol punishment for rapists?
I was keen to speak on today’s programme, but no luck.
Since this is about the sanctity of human life, men have as much of a right to speak on abortion as women. It’s not just a woman’s body: it’s the child’s too.
Many people don’t understand the nature of excommunication. It’s a ‘medicinal’ act, intended to be a spiritual corrective to the person who suffers it, and may last for a stated period only or until the excommunicated has received absolution from the Church and is fit to be received back into its society. It is a matter of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, for ecclesiastical offences (against the doctrine and representatives of the Church). As such the excommunicated must usually seek the Church’s pardon and once again submit himself to its authority. The Church is not in the business of ‘absolving’ people for rape, which is certainly a sin but one that falls under criminal, not canon law. The appropriate response for rape is therefore punishment by the civil authority.
@Rawpolitics: your congregation sounds heretical. The Roman Church is not a democracy; its doctrine is derived from Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, as interpreted by the Magisterium of the Church. The role of the laity is to obey God’s will as taught by the Church, not to challenge it (and be excommunicated).
Many children are born with defects that would kill them if they were not treated with some medical procedure. Machines that help them breath and digest food that work very much like the internal systems. Should we be aloud to cut their heds off and suck out their brains because they can not survive with out a “host”? Show me a baby that can survive without a “host”.
It has been done where a child was raised outside the womb well after the period in which abortion is still legal. If that is the criteria, then there are millions of murders every year.
I am not saying that it was or wasn’t the right thing to do to have this 9 yr old have an abortion. That is a personal perspective that we all could argue over “until the cows come home.” What I am saying is that the act violated the doctrine of the Catholic Church. If you want to be a member of an organization, you must follow the doctrine.
An analogy. In this country in recent years, it has become more and more common for companies to prohibit their employees from smoking. Not just at work, but smoking at all. Smoking is not illegal in this country. It is certainly not considered immoral. But, if you want to remain a member of their staff, you must follow the companies doctrine. If you do certain things you are going to Hell. They can’t change that. That is their “faith belief”.
IF people who are pro baby killing and want to leave the catholic church, they should do so. nothing stops them. Create their own church, just like the catholic church, only theirs advocates abortion. In this case, you have a 9 yr old. There are a bazillion consequences to her situation no matter what the decision is made. The least of her worries should be whether she is allowed to take communion when she is old enough.
This is how horrible and horrific crimes began in this world, i.e rape murder. The disregard for a life that begins in the womb. I bet at least 99.9% of the people on this posting would be horrifid if I took pregnant dog and literally ripped her pups inside of her out and layed them out for all to see, you would all call me a monster.
Abortion , whether you like it or not is stopping a heart beat. I am not judging the 9 year old girl she is an innocent victim to all of this as well. But she wouldn’t have been victimized as well as so many other millions of women and men if we just had a little more compassion for human life, including the unborn. I am disgusted that someone would even refer to an unborn child as a parasite.
To be fair, this article omits one clear distinction: the Catholic Church does not issue decrees of excommunication for abortion-seekers or abortionists. The act itself of performing or receiving an abortion excommunicates the participants. It’s called “latae sententiae” in the canon law of the Church. What removes such an excommunication? A trip to the local bishop and confession does. To make it easier, the local bishop may even delegate to a parish priest for reasons of distance or hardship.
It may not matter much to many, but it is an important omission in the article. It makes one wonder what other details were omitted by the BBC in order to make a worthy headline.
People are out of touch with God and that is the reason abortion is allowed. The church isn’t out of touch when it proclaims Gods’ Word. You will know that first hand someday when you meet your Maker, and you will……
I’m Catholic and prolife. I do believe that abortion is murder. But I know that the excommunication that happened in this case was wrong. This girl was raped and the resulting pregnancy could have taken her life. I don’t believe that a just and loving God would want a child who had already suffered so much to lose her life. I know that the Catholic church would say that these babies no matter how they got here, were given by God. But if life is so important to the church then what about the life of the child already here? And no matter what the church says about the abortion, it was not right to excommunicate the child! She’s nine! As a minor she didn’t decide on getting the abortion herself so why should she be punished with excommunication? Right now the villains in this story are the stepfather, the priests, and the church. The church should have offered comfort and support and in the end forgiveness for this girl and her family and instead turned their face against her.
Abortion is simply a horrible crime. There is no just one reason that justifies to murder an innocent. A lot of young couples are willing to adopt children and waiting for a kid for years. Why don’t we help women to deliver their babies and if they decide not to keep them, just make tha adoptions easier? Benjamin, who decides where a children starts and where a fetus ends? Let them live!!!
OK..so I was not home when the show came on today. I COULD be wrong here (and if I am, please someone correct me..lol) But how come it SEEMED that a couple of the guests today avoided the question whether or not the little girl should have still gone ahead giving birth, even though her life would be in jeopardy? But even if she DID….doesn’t the church have something against…I don’t know…INCEST?!?!
And let us not forget HER feelings…Kinda ironic that all the adults that that are going after her and the doctors are making decisions FOR her….even though she did nothing…this whole issue of morals and ethics have nothing to do with THIS..period..if I had a daughter of 9 who was raped…there is no guilt here…I’d be with her from start to finish…and make sure I spoke with her…and make sure she would be healthy enough so she could have children in the future…when she CAN make a rational decision.
And for them to say God’s Law is above all..well exCUUUSE….ME! (sorry…my inner Steve Martin..hehe). That’s like the single-most ignorant statement I personally have ever heard. I have nothing against religion, and I have friends of all faiths and walks of life…but this what I call common sense..a NINE year old girl, raped by her stepfather…and SHE is being excommunicated?!
It is quite an unfortunate situation, especially since this child has no responsible parent. The step-father is unconscionably wicked and the mother must protect all life. So the best doctor should have been sought to protect the child and the twins. Eventually, the doctors operate (cut) to deliver the twins.
The laws of Catholic god of what is now known as Bethlehem also asserted the earth was flat, the sun moved around the earth.
My heart goes out to this little girl for the trauma she experienced. I do not think that placing the burdon of abortion on top of rape is fair to her nor is it acceptable. A unborn child IS NOT a problem to be solved. How will this little girl feel in 5,10, and 20 years about this decision? Did she even make it or was it made for her by those around her?
I am pleased with the fact that the Church has stood up against fare-weather catholics. Either you believe in God and the teachings of HIS Church or you do not. If you don’t, please leave the Church.
Any religion who accepts that it was OK for God to tell Abraham to kill his son doesn’t give a toss if a nine year old girl dies in child birth. It’s time for all Catholics to question their beliefs and not accept the words of men who hide paedephiliacs in their midst. To the many who think this child should not have had an abortion, I think you may well end up in the hell you believe in.
It is not a matter of whether those unborn fetuses are classified as human lives or just embryos. The fact of the matter is science and medicine proved that the not only the Mother’s/Childs life was in danger but also the lives of her babies/fetuses. If this pregnancy went to fusion the Catholic Church will have the burden of begin responsible for the deaths of three lives rather than two. They will be responsible for explaining to this Mothers/Child’s family why all thee innocent lives had to be taken away in the name of God and a religious law.
At times like these when horrendous acts have taken place in the life of this very young girl. The church should focus more on supporting her and her family through this horrendous ordeal not stigmatize her and her family as outcasts. What faith or belief is this 9 year old girl supposes to grow up with? She was not only let down but the very guardian who was suppose to be her father but she has also been let down by the very support group which is suppose to help her believe there is a better world out there and to have faith and believe that she can put this ordeal behind her and move forward with her life and move forward as a Catholic.
I think the Church should reconsider there stance on these issues. With the number of church goers going down this response is not going to help enlighten people’s opinion in having faith at all.
Let’s not forget this child has done nothing wrong the wrong was done by the individuals who made this happen. They should be the ones excommunicated.
I’m a Catholic and I do not approve the archbishop’s comments. I’m not sure if he asked for the Vatican’s approval before commenting on the issue.
It is horrendous to excommunicate the victims and not say anything about the rapist.
A living child has more rights than an unborn one. Hopefully he will say something pretty soon and condemn the step-father or it will send the wrong message to the rapists of the World.
I can only empathise with the mother and daughter and hope that the local priest will welcome them in his parish with open arms.
So the Catholic Church knows more about compassion and humanity than the mums and dads of this world? I think not. This little girl needs all the help she can get from her Church. Jesus said “come unto me all who are heavily burdened”. Not “get out of here”. Does it mean that the step father who abused this nine year old is still a member of this Church, because he committed no sin?
How can a Catholicism be in touch with this issue when it is a religion:
governed by men,
*with decisions made by men
*with no seeming allowance for womens rights (lets look at the structure of their *own organization here),
*with no evidence of ever having been in touch with womens needs- (especially as
humanity and society have evolved in the last 2000 plus years that Christianity has been around- and we now have female emancipation outside of Christian religion).
I note the archbishops comments in the recent case of the 9 year old pregnant by rape and had the pregnancy aborted-
“”The law of God is higher than any human laws,” he said. “When a human law — that is, a law enacted by human legislators — is against the law of God, that law has no value. The adults who approved, who carried out this abortion have incurred excommunication.”
As I understand, God exists only as faith- there is no proof of His existence- the law of God has only ever been said to be interpreted by men- so I fail to see how we know what the law of God really is- as man has invented the faith of God and His laws and therefore these are the laws of man.
Religion exists because we- as human beings choose it so- therefore it follows that if the church want to claim their ideas are the law of God and punish those not following those laws- they are commiting the same perceived wrong as those in these terrible situations
abortion- against law of god-no proof of god existence therefore it is mans ideas out of touch as these are old ideas (about 2000 years plus)rs)– emancipation- therfore out of touch
because i even dont plan of being a catholic,i just wanna know which types of sins are there with the catholics that Christ didnt die for.and is this girls sin not legible for a confession and forgiveness…..but back at the ranch,were centurions notified about the fathers beastly act?and to those saying the girl was also not fit to give birth,does the upgrading of the womb also affect the upgrade of the uterus?and were would the aborted foetus pass through if not through the girls uterus as if she was just giving birth?or is abortion like making juice from fruits?anyway,i would like to see the fruit of my pregnancy.
I was brought up as a Catholic, but I couldn’t remain part of an organisation which is fundamentally hypocritical. Their stance on many problem issues of the modern world is farcical. Where to begin: the Catholic Church tells is strictly against the use of contraception, which leads to the rampant spread of STDs and underage pregnancy. Is every person who uses a condom going to be excommunicated? The Catholic Church tells us that Homosexuality is wrong, but when the priests and bishops, representing this organisation, sexually abuse children they turn a blind eye. When it becomes public the church just sends the offending person to another parish. Shouldn’t these priests and bishops be excommunicated, and sent to prison like all other sex offenders? Are they put on the sex offenders register? The Pope makes decisions without the full information: e.g. lifting the excommunication of a Bishop who denies the Holocaust. As far as I remember Holocaust denial is a crime.
Every organisation needs to evolve with the times and the traumas they face. The Catholic Church needs to look at itself and if it wants to regain and retain the respect of its flock, it needs to lead by example. Start with those representatives who betray your teachings, no more sex scandals, no more money scandals, no more child abuse, and maybe a hint of proper morality instead of translations of 2000 year old ideas of conduct.
According to The Holy Bible, Jesus Christ said that the greatest sin was to blaspheme against The Holy Ghost. If you did that you would not be forgiven on Earth or in Heaven. Blasphemy against God and his Son would be forgiven. The fact that the Catholic Church is obsessed with such comparitively minor issues as abortion shows exactly where its priorities have lost touch with the scriptures it professes to uphold.
sometimes i wonder when we speak..what essentially are we saying..the church should inform itself by the way of the world, adapt to the fluid moral standards in the world. the sad and unfortunate of this poor girl is now being siezed upon by all manners of people ranging for genuine people driven by compassion to libertarians who dream of a world where abortion is available in self-dispensing devices like sodas.
well the church’s view is guided by divine instruction. everyone is at liberty to deny the existence or primacy of that divinity or accept him but choose some other way of acknowledging him. but whosoever choses to acknowledge and worship him in the particular way that catholics prescribe can not then decide on what portions they like and which they don’t.
the church’s action in this sad case simply frees the parents from the conundrum of believing in what they don’t believe in. they should actually have done it themselves. the church has not condoned the rape or excommunicated the girl. the outrage regarding her age is therefore baseless.
In my opinion the Pope is not only out of touch but he is irrelevant.
I’m sure that most ordinary practicing catholics are both compassionate and forgiving when the question of abortion comes up even though it is a sin.
I’m glad to read the comments of Jennifer, Chad and JB. I think that men should stop moralising and start listening to those immediately concerned.
Who has the right to decide who is to be saved and who is to die…?
We must all remember that we all have been “parasites” (as Benjamin puts it) and we would not be here chatting here if we had been aborted.
Ask a mother the difference between a baby one week before and oneday after his birth…I don’t think she’ll call him a “parasit”!
I can’t comment on the rape , or the circumstances that led to the abortion and excommunication.
But I would not be surprised if people might be unhappy to live in a world where killing babies (unborn or otherwise), assisting elderly people to “abort” their lives early, and college shootings are normal and maybe “no big deal”.
The catholic church maybe “out of touch” about abortion – but I know I would rather be labelled “out of touch” then accept abortion as an acceptable first solution when reality happens.
I don’t know alot of things. But dying or being killed when I didn’t need to, just doesn’t feel right … to me anyway.
As to whether the Catholic Church is right to remove ANYONE from their faith–unless human rights were suddenly repealed, of course it is.
It’s their faith/church, and they have the right to associate or disassociate themselves from whoever they want for whatever reason they want, Simply because we don’t like their reasons doesn’t mean the Catholic Faith suddenly loses its human rights (freedom of religion, freedom of association, freedom of speech specifically here).
The REAL question is whether individuals wish to join/remain with them.
As for the abortion question, I think the church is ahead of the curve in its stance for respecting the rights of a developing human being. The 20th Century justifications for Gestational Human Rights abuses have been thoroughly debunked by 21st Century science. Only the casual indifference to the suffering of innocent, voiceless people keeps this cruel barbarism going.
As for this specific case, while I sympathize with what has happened to this poor girl, her suffering doesn’t justify hurting–let alone killing–innocent third parties.
I support the Catholic church’s position on abortion. Abortion is murder in some degree. On the other side of the coin, in situations of rape and incest, the woman should be allowed to make the choice on abortion. All the same I think abortion is sin in the sight of our creator.
I just dont understand why any modern people would be catholics anyway.
They are against gays,divorce,abortion,even condoms,
I just thank god(no pun intended) that they still dont run countries .What a backward bunch of biggots we all would be!
Soundly based doctrine is timeless. However, in addressing abortion, the Church today takes its cue from the papal encyclical, Humanae Vitae, which I find sadly lacking and by no means comprehensive.
The encyclical states that man has no right to interfere with the process of creating life set in motion by God, and proceeds to concern itself with the religious responsibilities of married catholics.
It is a huge leap from there to agitating for the denial of abortion to those whom God has not reached, whose hearts and minds the church has not won, and those who have been forced into pregnancy by an act of rape.
God is not a rapist, and His people need to include consent in the process of creating life, and allow rape victims to reject the offspring of rapists, for all our sakes.
Aside from my utter disgust at any institution that would prefer the life-long destruction of a little girl’s internal organs and her ability to someday bare children, should she wish to, or alternately, to suffer a hideously painful death that would also result in the deaths of both fetuses, rather than to question its own policies, I am deeply disappointed in the BBC for the imbalance of the panel members who took part in this conversation.
Did it occur to none of you that all the speakers were men, and that out of all the phone calls, only one was from a woman? Surely somewhere in the English-speaking world you could have found, for example, a woman MD who could explain, in graphic detail please, what would have happened to this child had she been forced by a Medieval mentality to suffer the results of a sinful crime perpetrated on her by a male member (no pun intended) of her family. Did he get off scott free, or only have to say a few prayers of contrition? And what is this “alleged” comment about (“her stepfather is the alleged rapist”? For about $100 and a tiny sample of fetal DNA, there would be no more “alleged” about it. This man is already a criminal for his heinous treatment in sexually abusing the little girl’s older sister; now he’s going for younger victims. Surely it would be easy to prove these fetuses were his offspring, and he could be locked away where he could never damage another child.
As for the man who publishes a Catholic newsletter, he lost any credibility when he trotted out the fact that he had, not once, but twice, carelessly impregnated his girlfriends. Now he’s all righteous about being against abortion. Clearly he hadn’t any sense about birth control. What’s more, he never answered a single question asked by the moderator, but kept beating his anti-choice drum and spouting doctrine.
And then there was the well-intentioned Brazilian gentleman who spoke so movingly about how much the people of Brazil cherish their children. Well, that may be true in many cases, but it doesn’t seem to apply when it comes to the street children of Rio who are rounded up and shot by the cops when their population begins to annoy the tourists and the merchants complain. Where is the Catholic church when this is going on?
Could the BBC seriously not have found some intelligent, medically-trained, well-informed women to serve on this panel? Haven’t we spent enough millennia listening to men tell women what they must or must not do with their bodies?
As far as I am concerned, the difficult decision to have an abortion is one that can only be made by the woman involved. When men are capable of carrying a baby to term, giving birth to it, nurturing and raising it, then they may have a say in this. Why not make it a sin to get a woman pregnant and then leave them? Half of all marriages these days dissolve into divorce, and after divorce approximately 80% of fathers cease to have regular contact with their non-custodial children after 5 years.
But I am veering away from the initial fact: this was more than a rape; it was a slow-motion murder that was prevented by medical intervention. Anyone, or any organization, that interfered with that procedure should be held complicitous in the murder of an innocent child.
Absolutes may work well on paper, but they can be dismal failures in the real, very complicated world. To quote an old American saying: “Use the sense God gave a goose.”
From what i understand; a nine year old girl was raped repeatedly by her step-father, got pregnant..had the unborn child aborted by doctors and was subsequently excommunicated from the church – with the doctors too.
i mean we are talking about a nine year old child here, who not only went through the trauma of losing her innocence to her step-father and going through an abortion but been sent to “eternal” damnation by the church – who should be offering her support and guidance at this time of need..
by the way, what is the church saying about the abusive step-father?
Catholic Church is COMPLETELY RIGHT in this issue.
Here there are once again the same lies and smokescreens, and I’m amazed we dont’t learn…
While we are here discussing on a brazilian 9-year old raped child, I’ll tell you the last year numbers in Spain: 112.000 abortions, 97.5% of them justified by mental risk of the mother, 2.5% justified by problems in the baby (e.g., Down’s syndrome..!!) and the cases by rape are less than 0.01% (that amounts to saying that were less than 11 cases). These numbers are official (http://www.msc.es/profesionales/saludPublica/prevPromocion/docs/publicacionIVE_2007.pdf ).
This happened in Spain 20 years ago: the same extreme cases in the news, and a completely different real problem…
Maybe it’s more confortable for us being able to fix those “bed-mistakes” we could all have… maybe it also a little of business (112.000 abortions, with an average cost of more than 400 pounds, makes more than 44.000.000 pounds a year, all in private clinics)…
But we keep losing sleep over situations no one has ever met…
It is appropriate only for the woman or girl, and her medical provider, to determine what to do in the case of an unintended or problem pregnancy. The men of the catholic church, or anywhere, have no say in the matter as it is neither their body nor their business. (That’s right, Steve, you don’t get to make the call. What’s more, fathers have the legal responsibility of paying child support through college, so better keep it zipped up if you’re on a budget.)
The hypocrisy of the catholic church corporation is sickening and stuck in the middle ages. They embrace the rapist step-father, while the child victim of the sex crime committed by the rapist was excommunicated. Message received. They make it very clear that they would prefer women and girls die rather than to abort a parasitic blastocyst or fetus, and to reward men who commit violent sex crimes against *already-born* actual children. No thanks. The world is already too full of hate, especially against women and girls. And they wonder why the church is losing members.
Religious nuts need to get some therapy and get over their hatred of women and girls. The church is just a fancy, wealthy corporation headed by men obsessed with sex, hiding their misogyny behind their religion.
The girl, her mother and medical care providers are better off being free of that oppressive institution. They can now express their faith in any way *they* choose for themselves.
Many bloggers and even Ros made as though excommunication is a death sentence. A person who is part of a community must support what the community stand for. If they disagree the community has the right to expel him. In the case of the catholic church he is merely deprive of the administration of the sacraments. Sins does not warrant excommunication unless the person is not repentant and advocate it is not a sin. By right President Lula Da Silva and those who enact the law should have been excommunicated.
A girl can reached puberty even at the age of seven and may not be in puberty even at the age of 19.
RE “” Is the Church right to remove them from the faith “”
———– Ain’t about if the Church is right, it’s about the Church being within their rights to remove those it deems unfaithful.
The Church is way out of touch to modern culture bursting out at the earth’s seams with staggering population growth. No need for them to condone abortion to curry favor, but they would be giving the world’s both believers and nonbelievers a priceless gift if they started advocating birth control. Abortions would almost certainly go down and the Church would be seen in a more humane and caring light than the cold, distant patricians looking down their noses at the world they give the appearance of being.
The youngest mother in the world was only five years-old and she continued to live a perfectly healthy life after that.
Of course it is incredibly dangerous and not at all recommended for a nine year-old to become a mother, but it is perhaps not as impossible as many have been suggesting.
The pope isn’t neither woman nor mother. He doesn’t know what is to be woman in Brazil. It’s so disappointing to be Catholic and see that our church doesn’t care about us. He should support women and children. He should punish the priests envolved in sex abuse not let this girl under the risk of death after suffering a violence like this… or it would be better to let all us women out of the Catholic church. These are the things that makes me rethink my religious choice. Shame on you, Pope!😦
What seems to be the important part of this tragedy is that the 9 year old child was sexually abused by her stepfather for years before she became pregnant. As a non Catholic it is totally beyond my understanding to put the welfare of a foetus before the welfare of the girl herself. The question if the girl will be allowed into heaven or not when her time comes is irrelevant – surely her God is a compassionate entity – more compassionate than her bishop and Pope.
the chuch has forgotte about the teachings of Christ. their actions is cruel and rude to the family. THEY ARE OUT OF TOUCH there is no two ways about it,
The Catholic Church, in an increasingly secular time ,is slow to make changes in serious doctrinal matters ,however mercy seasons justice . In the case at issue greater harm would result if the victim was forced to carry the foetus to term.The trauma suffered by this child is pain enough for any family to bear.If doctine is not tempered by compassion it is a rigid oppression which offends the best instincts of the faithful and damages the concept of the Church as an instrument of a merciful God
The stance of catholic on abortion issues is far from reality. It is easier to speak against it especially if it does not affect you directly. The catholic position on abortion is a double standard. This is because on one hand, they are against people preventing pregnancy with the use of contraception and on the other, they are preventing abortion. Unfortunately, less attention is paid to preach against premarital sex and which is rampant in the catholic community. The solution to abortion is abstinence from sex except within marriage and it should be between man and woman.
Listen up Vatican. When you Catholics begin paying for the food, medical, housing, and education for these children then I may change my mind about abortion. Your dogma provides NOTHING to these children and many die of neglect. Where is your compassion for a child who doesn’t know their mother or father and who has never known LOVE because they were cast aside?
I counsel children everyday who become victims of abuse and poverty. Wouldn’t the Pope like to adopt a couple of children with drug related birth defects or were given life because of incest or rape? The children could call him daddy, but they wouldn’t have a mommy to hold them.
I think the Catholic church is out of touch – full stop. They still seem to be in the nineteenth century.
Have they no compassion or empathy for the plight of this poor child. She must have been traumatised enough without having to go through the pregnancy and child birth when she was far too young to cope with it all.
I agree with Carolyn – it’s about time the Catholic church spoke out about the abuse of children – especially by some of their own priests who have preyed on young lives and damaged children emotionally for life.
if the church understands that the battle is Gods and not theirs to fight then there absolutely would have been no need for the girl and her family to be ostracized. the church cannot change things they have only to preach and pray. I would have loved to
see the pope reinstate this family.
Did you know that in Ireland, there are two familly names: the first is MacIntaggart (which has, over the years has become Taggart), and the second in MacInEaspie/McInaspie. The first name means son of the PRIEST, the second means son of the BISHOP.
What we have here, in the institution of the Church/Vatican, is the hypocritical ideal of “do what we cay, don’t do what we do”.
Every few week or months there is another controversy involving the Catholic Church (or should I say ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH). When will they stop.
This was a 9 year old CHILD. She should have been allowed to be a child and grow up. Her happiness has been stolen. Instead she was violated, put through an ordeal that no CHILD should have to go through. To rub salt into the wounds the Catholic Church (who talk about forgiveness), excommunicate her, her family, the doctors.
How can I get excommunicated from this Institution, or can I excommunicate myself? If yes, then consider me EXCOMMUNICATED.
from M Orr sent this comment below into the Your Story page – http://worldserviceyourstory.wordpress.com/
What a sad state of affairs…abortion is something I disagree with. It is a life, people call it a fetus because it eases their explanation of terminating a life. This family needs support for a difficult situation.
Where did the idea that life begins at conception originate? It is not found in many religions. According to the Jewish Bible, If anyone kills any human being, he shall be put to death.” However, if a man injures a pregnant woman and she miscarries, he has to pay a fine. That seems pretty clear that a fetus is not a human life.
My catholic priest taught me that “the highest authority of a christian is his own conscience”.
He may have been “out of touch” with some clerics in South America or the Vatican, but to all those who use this sad, misguided Bishop’s decision plus the Vatican’s speaker’s endorsement for branding “the catholic faith”, this should make clear that – as in any religion, group or nation – there is always diversity and change and never one uniformly kept and interpreted law through the ages. Most catholics in Germany are appalled, just as the majority of intelligent or simplistic comments on this site.
Religion is always human interpretation in the light of current society (granted, the vatican is roughly 40 years behind times and more rigid than some other religious lawmakers) and therefore prone to errors and mistakes.
I am catholic because the fundamental message of christianity is “love thy neighbour” and that all of us are children of god, i.e. equal.
Yes I think the excommunication was wrong, another trauma for an already traumatized family, and as cruel and unloving as any mindless dogmatism always threatens to be.
I can only hope that the family lives in an environment where excommunication does not lead to social isolation.
P.S. Abortion rates in Germany have decreased 2% last year
P.P.S. Abortion rates directly relate to society’s support for parents bringing up children.
The question can only be well answered considering two points:
Firstly, Not only the Catholic Church is pro-right to life and against abortion in any case, the Ortodox and many christian comunities are too.
Secondly, the church can’t change about this point, no bishop or Pope can change a doctrinal point (ask to any bishop) as happens in the Orthodoxes Churches.
So, the question doen’t make sense because the Church will never change about this issue. I think the question should be: “is the Catholic Church right when She says that everyman has right to live?”
This issue is an illustration of the bankruptcy of all religions and in particular the Catholic Church. In their “moral” world the rape of a 9 year old girl is the lesser of two evils. What could be more evil that condemning this child to carry to full term and possible die in childbirth, then kicking those who perpetrated the evil deed out of their club?
This perverse moral stance comes from people who claim to be the only ones allowed to set the moral standards for mankind, people who believe that I as an atheist cannot possible know the difference between right and wrong. I do good things in my life because I want to not because I live in fear of hell and damnation and am motivated to help others just to save myself.
This is just another example of a bunch of “religious” people trying desperately to hold onto the power they have over others by any means available.
I am with Katharina in Ghent! Why wasn’t the rapist excommunicated. Why aren’t the raping, groping, abusing priest excommunicated? Because it is a patriarchy of an ancient order where men were allowed to get away with murder.
Having been raised a Catholic, I have personally seen the devastation that comes when a chancery does not allow a woman, who is being raped and beaten by her husband, a separation and annullment because she has too many children. It doesn’t matter if they are the result of rape – it just matters that the woman did her duty in the eyes of a Church with the blood of many women on their hands. Out of touch – they are positively insane when it comes to the subject of women!
The catholic church, like most religious organizations, is run by people who pander to notions of a self-conceived set of high morals which have no bearing on reality or have had no bearing on reality in the past. I think that organized religion is not only detrimental to social and cultural and intellectual progress, but also actively encourages religious and communal violence. All the countries of the world that face violence from communal groups are essentially plagued by religious people. I wish people would grow up on issues like abortion. Bottom line in these cases is that if Man is capable of something (abortion of a child thereby saving the mother and preventing a social backlash because of rape, or providing the mother a choice), it will continue to be done regardless of what the people in the Catholic church of all places think. I hope the church can first address its stand on sexual harassment in the church before it starts to preach to the people about what is right.
Please check the accuracy of your news source. To the best of my knowledge, excommunication is not that easily done and even when it does happen, it is not for cases of mere violation of a church law, but only for delibrate and defiant opposition of church law. In this particular case it is too hard to believe if it really happened and even more unbelievable to hear that the family too was excommunicated. This news sounds more like a delibrate vivification campaign against the catholic church.
It is wrong to say that the catholic church has lost touch with reality. the church views life not only as sacred but only God’s to take. the deliberate taking of another person’s life is against the law of God. those who call themselves christains and still support abortion should have a rethink. please leave the catholic church alone.
UCHE OGU FROM NIGERIA
I cannot believe my Ears at this News!!
Has the BBC messed up or did The Pope did it?
Is it still possible that there are MEN IN IVORY TOWERS that are so out of touch with reality?
If this was a court case and THESE were judges, would they have sentenced a nine year old to death (catholic equivalent of death penalty)?
It seems that two thousand years ago in Jerusalem, SOMEONE critisized the priests, pharises, etc. for being out of touch with humanity and reality.
if the parents really loved the girl, they wouldve allowed her to have the child and then raised it as her own, instead of scaring her with such a sad event so early in life, I realize I cant understand what it is to be raped, but to have a murder on your hands I think would be equally painfull
we have to be consistent in our believe. The CHURCH UNDERSTANDS the stigma the girl in question is faced with, however GOD understand the more and the church has to understand the situation ONLY in God’s way.
“life is SACRED”, THE CHURCH cant deny that, as such that has to be continually propagated. the church would have taken into consideration the health effect on the girl,and other factors ,perhaps the girl may never be able to concieve again because of one misadventure. we CANT correct WRONG with WRONG
The Catholic Church is the organization that dominated scientific thought in Europe when many philosophers were seriously committed to the idea that females were not human and therefore had no soul.
The Church pursued Copernicus and locked Galileo up for life for deducing and broadcasting the knowledge that the sun not the earth is the center of our solar system.
Over questions of hegemony and doctrine they abandoned the Eastern Church to attack and lost Constantinople and billions of souls in losing Africa, Asia and parts of Europe to Islam.
I could go on and talk about the Spanish Inquisition, the decimation of Pre-Columbian culture and society in Latin America, and the slaughter of Cathar heretics in 12th century France but why bother?
All these hateful, vicious, self-serving behaviors were brought to the world in the name of the prince of peace and his loving father by the all-powerful Catholic Church.
Of course the Catholic Church is out of touch with modern moral sensibilities. It is an organization wed to the premise that an asexual old man who has never had a loving, committed relationship with an adult woman is the oracle of what is moral for all women. The Catholic premise is that the Pope, who has no financial worries and has never had to decide between feeding the children or getting medical help for a sick baby, is the proper one to decide unilaterally that every pregnancy must be carried to term no matter what the risk to the mother or her family.
My hope is that the Catholic Church’s tone deaf understanding of God’s will makes them increasingly irrelevant to womankind and to men who love their mothers, sisters, wives and daughters.
I am a young catholic, and I do believe that this issue is quite out of touch. I can understand that the Catholic Church must stand by its principles, however, to excommunicate a family is quite an overreaction, and a complete farce.
I would like to raise the point that there is one circumstance in which the Catholic Church will accept abortion (not condone, but accept), and that is in the case of an ectopic pregnancy (when the foetus gestates in the fallopian tube). As there is surety of both mother and child dying, the catholic church will allow an abortion to take place as it saves the life of the mother, when the child had zero chance of survival.
But back to the issue, I agree that the church is losing touch with younger generations. I should know, I’m 17, attend a Catholic college and it is safe to say that the vast majority of young Catholics I know have serious doubts about the Church.
In this case, there is little chance of a nine-year old girl successfully delivering and rearing a child at such a young age, due to social status, maturity level, and many other factors. I’m currently authoring an essay on ethical approaches to abortion and have looked at this in-depth, and I am personally shocked that the Catholic church should have this reaction.
I agree with most comments on this page. It’s not whether or not the church has lost reality with the current world. Maybe the current world has lost touch with REALITY.
If you don’t like the church’s teaching why don’t you leave after all we live in a relativistic world don’t we? subjectivity reigns there not objectivity and there’s freedom to hold whatever you wish, isn’t there? Why anybody wants to change the church’s views to be ‘more progressive’ or ‘current’ is what amazes me. Isn’t that the whole purpose of this ‘have your say?’ To have the masses pass judgement over the Catholic Church’s teachings?
Concerning the little girl. First she has to undergo a rape and then she has to undergo an abortion? I wish her mother had just let her carry her pregnancy to term. It would have lasted longer but had less reaching effects – at least she wouldn’t have to deal with 2 tragedies, the wrong done to her and the wrong she did to another. The baby could have been adopted. Doesn’t this sound like the common sense of a church that is more ‘MOTHER’ to that little girl than her own mother?
May i also add that after reading a number of articles i am surprised by the inacurracies about the catholic church? The media has done a good job of ensuring that the church’s teaching are thought old and outdated and the church is seen to be evil for standing up for the truth not pampering to the whims of everyone
This i think it is out of place for people to say that the Catholic church is out of touch with reality. So long as the fundamental human rights of the girl cannot be taken by the Catholic church. secondly i think being a Catholic doesn’t necessarily mean worshiping in a catholic church it is your beliefs and practices, the same goes for being a Christian is not necessarily going to church but by living according to the fundamental beliefs and practices of the Christian doctrine. Thank you.
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