Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Divisions over the excommunication of abortionists

Comment: it seems extraordinary that Archbishop Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, has criticised the action of a local ordinary in the Brasilian rape case. As John Smeaton says, to subject this unfortunate girl to abortion is a further violation of her following her appalling rape. Abortion is gravely illicit; it carries with it the penalty of excommunication and it would cause confusion and scandal for Archbishop Sobrinho, the local bishop, to seem to excuse it in this case.

You can't kill innocent people just because they are inconvenient, or bring unpleasant memories to mind. There is simply no logic to the idea that abortion might be permissible in the case of rape, if not in other cases.

From SPUC: The president of the Pontifical Academy for Life has criticised excommunications which were announced after the abortion of twins belonging to a nine-year-old girl in Brazil. Archbishop Rino Fisichella opposes the decision by Most Rev José Cardoso Sobrinho, Archbishop of Recife, to exclude medical staff and the girl's mother from the sacrament. The former says the move eroded the credibility of Catholic teaching and seemed insensitive. Brazil's episcopal conference has also distanced itself from Archbishop Sobrinho's actions, though Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, head of the Holy See's Congregation for Bishops, approved. The girl was allegedly raped by her stepfather. [Times, 16 March] SPUC's national director wrote: "[T]he right to life of the twins in the womb of this poor Brazilian girl has been denied by all those participating in the abortion, and all those approving of the abortion (neither of which category, of course, includes the nine-year-old mother). [T]he little girl at the centre of this tragic situation has suffered not only the violence of rape but also the violence of abortion, which carries with it the risk of long-term harm including a seriously increased risk of suicide." [John Smeaton, 16

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen