Several months ago, we witnessed a tragic spectacle in the news: a nine-year old Brazilian girl was raped, became pregnant, and got an abortion…and the Brazilian Catholic church responded by excommunicating all the participants. One cleric in Rome, Monsignor Rino Fisichella, said the church had been insensitive, but no one in the hierarchy stepped forward to outright condemn the heartlessness of the church’s stance and the unfairness of the policy.
We now have an official document from the Catholic church clearly stating their position. Anyone involved in an abortion for any reason is to be automatically excommunicated, no exceptions. They’ve actually hardened their position.
That includes nine-year old children raped by their stepfather. It includes any doctors who act on sympathy for a maltreated child. Of course, all the rapist has to do is demand that his victim bear his child, and he will be welcomed in the bosom of the holy church. The church is standing firm on principle.
…there is a more important principle at stake. “We have laws, we have a discipline, we have a doctrine of the faith,” the official says. “This is not just theory. And you can’t start backpedaling just because the real-life situation carries a certain human weight.” Benedict makes it ever more clear that his strict approach to doctrine will remain a central pillar to his papacy, bad publicity be damned.
I see. Dogma is more important than reality, and most surprisingly for representatives of a religion that claims the moral high ground, it is more important than human needs.
Everyone should simply leave that evil institution — tell them they can keep their bricks and their real estate, their gold chalices and their gilt robes, their layered assemblage of celibate perverts, meddling old men, and fearful brides of Christ, and let that human element walk away, free of their superstitions. The church doesn’t want that human weight, anyway.