While going through my Google Reader the other day, I came across a story via Andrew Sullivan about a nine-year-old Brazilian girl who became pregnant with twins after allegedly being raped by her stepfather. Her mother took her to get an emergency abortion, but then the local archbishop excommunicated the mother and the doctors who performed the abortion. However, according to CBC News, the stepfather was not excommunicated because "the crime he is alleged to have committed, although deplorable, was not as bad as ending a fetus's life."
Now, I'm personally not a fan of abortion. I would love to see the Obama administration develop ways to reduce the number of abortions in America. But seriously, what the eff?!?
Let's consider the situation. This man supposedly attacked a poor, innocent girl, and yet he doesn't get excommunicated? He only gets a slap on the wrist, while the victim's mother is punished because she doesn't want her daughter to go through the agony of carrying children conceived through hate and violence. (Yes, I do make an exception for rape and incest.) Does anyone else see something wrong with this picture?
In a time of need, a woman and her daughter are shunned by their church instead of comforted. Meanwhile a predator is not excommunicated, but only chastised. I'm not a Catholic, so I don't know what the rules are about excommunication, but to me I think the Vatican needs to rethink its policies.
*NOTE: It could be that the stepfather didn't get excommunicated because he hasn't been found guilty yet. But that article doesn't mention that, so I'm assuming that's not a factor.