A Vatican cleric is defending a Brazilian archbishop's decision to excommunicate several doctors who performed an abortion last week on a nine-year-old girl who became pregnant with twins after alleged sexual abuse by her step-father.
"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.
"Life must always be protected. The attack on the Brazilian church is unjustified," Re was quoted as saying. He also heads the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.
The controversy erupted when media reported that a nine-year-old girl from the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco had had an abortion to remove twin fetuses. The girl and her family learned she was 15 weeks pregnant when she went to hospital complaining of pains.
The girl, who has not been identified, told authorities her step-father had sexually abused her since age six. The 23-year-old step-father is currently in police custody.
Doctors performed the abortion Wednesday, saying they feared the pregnancy could kill her because of her slim frame.
Upon learning of the abortion, the regional archbishop excommunicated the doctors, as well as the girl's mother. He did not excommunicate the step-father, saying the crime he is alleged to have committed, although deplorable, was not as bad as ending a fetus's life.
It's hard to muster words used in normal discourse to speak about these ass-holes: the step-father, the regional archbishop, and Vatican clerics. This is, at the least, religious morality run amok.
My god this is outrageous...the step-father, like the priests molesting altar boys, are slapped on the wrists, little more, while their victims, the children of the world are left with no one able to defend them without invoking the moral wrath of the cloaked and fraternal brotherhood.