Monday, March 9, 2009


A nine year girl in Brazil who had been repeatedly raped by her stepfather for 3 years became pregnant with twins. Last week, doctors involved in her care performed an abortion at 15 weeks gestation with consent from the girl's mother. They were concerned that a full-term twin pregnancy would present an unnecessary risk to the life of the small-framed girl. Furthermore, there was concern that delivery might compromise the child's future ability to give birth, once she was of age.

That seems pretty reasonable, no?

But Brazilian Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho felt otherwise. He immediately excommunicated the doctors who performed the abortion and the mother who gave consent. Today, a Cardinal from the Vatican publicly defended the Archbishop's decision, saying:
"It is a sad case, but the real problem is that the twins conceived were two innocent persons, who had the right to live and could not be eliminated,'' Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re told the Italian daily La Stampa.

The stepfather, predictably, has not been excommunicated.


Anonymous said...

Even as a Catholic this is a deeply troubling case. This falls in to the category of "no outcome without sin". Whether you save the child's life or that of the unborn, death may result. I find the bishop's action to be regrettable as it conveys the wrong message.

To correct your last statement regarding the stepfather: He committed a mortal sin by the rape thus is automatically excommunicated without any action on the part of the bishop being explicitly required. Any priest, cognizant of his actions, would be expected to deny him communion. Excommunication does not mean you are not a member of the church; rather it means you are not in a moral state allowing you to partake of the sacraments or receive burial rites. In his case, one would expect that only a bishop could lift that sanction.

Anonymous said...

Ex-communicated?? Needs to be Ex-ecuted...

l33t MD said...

It's stories like these that support Richard Dawkins' notion that religion can't be viewed as something benign that can safely be ignored. We need to take a stand against inhumane stupidities like these.

@Anonymous: If abortion is murder in the eyes of the church, why weren't the doctors who performed the abortion also just "automatically excommunicated"? Why did the archbishop and his vatican choose to draw extra attention to this particular case?

Anonymous said...

If you believe religion is a joke "l33t", what's wrong with being excommunicated.

If you have issues with Catholic dogma, take it up with Pope Benedict.

I'd rather live in a golden rule world than a "selfish gene" one.

Resident Anesthesiologist Guy (RAG) said...

Ah the power of religion. One thing that has created both the best and worst in people.

l33t MD said...

@Anonymous: Wow, a straw man argument, a deflection and a false dichotomy, all in the same comment. The discussion ends here if that's all you're bringing to the table.

Anonymous said...

read "crime and punishment" and also "the brothers karamazov" l33t.

Anonymous said...

Amazing story. Terrible thing for that poor little girl either way. I cannot imagine how her life is changed both by the pregnancy and then by teh abortion.

The step whatever (can't call him step-father because he's an animal) should be castrated.

I also would like to know why if the stepfather committed a moral sin by rape and is automatically excommunicated, why weren't the doctors and the mother automatically excommunicated without any action? Seems like a fair question.

Anonymous said...

Brazil produces a fine solution for the step father:

SurgTech said...

LOOK, the pope, the bishop and the easter bunny..who gives a S**T! There is a child involved here!
A CHILD! Who cares about the church. This is a Rape, a Crime, and should be punished! Where is the mother? How about the community? How about asking ourselves who is to protect our children from monsters that try to pass themselves off as human beings?! A man who repeatedly rapes on a 9 yr old little girl WILL NEVER CHANGE!! Do you hear that people....HE WILL NEVER CHANGE! HE WILL NEVER GET BETTER! HE IS SCREWED UP IN THE HEAD!! Take a moment and think about the actual act of having sex with a nine year old little girl.... imagine what that must have been like for her..physically, emotionally. We have no choice but to get rid of him!

As for the invisible man in the sky I suppose he was on a coffee break while this was going on. Oh no wait...I'm sorry...he is only responsible for the good things in life. We must all wait and try to understand the reasons why horrible things happen to good people. Wake up! "It's in God's hands"...isn't that the quote people love to use when then don't have an answer for senseless horrorible events?

It is so simple....something is wrong in this world and we need to stop thinking about the church, stop opening our pockets every Sunday and start opening our eyes and taking responsiblity of our earth, our life. We need to take care of, protect and love eachother. Honestly, who cares who excommunicates who! "Ohhh, Billy got kicked out of the club cause he raped a little girl" WHO CARES! What does that do? Who cares about "Sin". Help the girl, get her therapy, kill the jerk and end the process!

Can I get an Amen on that?

concerned mom said...

AMEN TO THE SCRUB TECH. COMMENT !!Catholic of not, the punishment were to the wrong people. Did the 'church' actually thought that this 'CHILD' should have the babies if there were no risk? This is totally wrong. It would be like the POPE having sex. Think of that people. The man, sorry 'ANIMAL' should be castrated in public. Maybe he was waiting for the twins to come and do the same. HE WILL NEVER CHANGE.
If this is what the world has come to under the 'CHURCH' then we are totally scr...d. STOP PUTTING YOUR MONEY IN THE CHURCH'S PLATE AND USE IT TO HELP THESE UNFORTUNATE KIDS.

SurgTech said...

Thanks for the Amen "Concerned Mom". Glad I'm not the only one concerned around here.

The Doctrine/Church/Religion is totally out of control!! But I guess we've been killing people in the name of God since the beginning of "God". And p.s. who knows if the pope is having sex, half his priests are....but hey, its ok, they'll say their prayers and all go to heaven...all is forgiven, remember? I mean come on, they've been playing "Find The Pedophile" with priests for years...shuffling and passing them around like used hookers, trying to hide them - moving them from parish to parish.

I guess they are just as much above the law as this rapist. As usual they are their own worst enemy.

Anonymous said...

Hello???? Incest, pedophile + rape? Freakin' nut jobs these Church officials. I did 12 years time in New York Catholic Schools but I'll be damned if I support this crap.