Friday, March 20, 2009

Doing the Right Thing. Finally.

Common sense and decency finally prevail in The Vatican:

The Vatican has backtracked over the excommunication of doctors in Brazil who performed an abortion on a nine-year-old daughter who became pregnant with twins after being raped by her 23 year old stepfather.

Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said the excommunication not only of the medical team but also of the girl's mother had been a mistake. "Before thinking about an excommunication it was necessary and urgent to save an innocent life," he said. The excommunication had been decided on and publicised "too hastily."

Writing in L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, Archishop Fisichella noted that the excommunications had rebounded on the Church. "Unfortunately the credibility of our teaching was dented. It appeared in the eyes of many to be insensitive, incomprehensible and lacking in mercy." The girl "should have been above all defended, embraced, treated with sweetness to make her feel that we were all on her side, all of us, without distinction."

Even though I graduated from a Catholic high school, I'm going to admit that my knowledge of the Church is extremely limited. Much like my knowledge of pre-cal. But what really interests me is this idea that an excommunication can be decided "hastily."

How could an excommunication ever be performed hastily, except in only the most egregious and obvious cases? Wouldn't that process, by its very important nature, require lengthy consideration and deliberation?

And if not, why?

Von chips in with some thoughts on the original excommunication ruling. Money quote here: "I get that performing an abortion for even the best reasons is so evil that you get excommunicated. I also get that raping your kid from ages six to nine isn't bad enough to justify an excommunication. But I'm a little unclear on when the transition from not-evil-enough to evil-enough occurs."


maria said...

this doing the right thing thing was obviated by the pope's comment that condoms didn't help slow the spread of AIDS.

the church is dangerous and the cause of so many of the world's ills. even faced with global warming and over-population they won't support birth control.

i went to catholic high school, too, which is why i no longer consider myself a catholic.

blackink said...

Oh Maria. Wow, you beat me to the punch. I've got an upcoming post about the Pope's comment about AIDS.

Lemme know what you think.