Monday, March 16, 2009

Archbishop Rino Fisichella and Excommunication for Abortion

In a letter that certainly surprised me, Roman Catholic Archbishop Rino Fisichella criticized the equal application of his own church's law in the case of a young Brazilian girl who received an abortion (link to story about letter). Apparently, Mr. Fisichella believes that excommunication should not be automatic, since he believes that the murder of the girls unborn twins was necessary to save her "innocent life."
Remarkably, the article doesn't identify the odd double-standard of excommunicating the doctors and the girl's mother, but not excommunicating the man who incestuously raped his nine-year-old step-daughter, placing the mother in the dilemma of killing her grandchildren or risking the life of her daughter.


Kelly said...

It's not as simple as you allege.

There is the question of coercion, and to what degree the mother was coerced. Until such a matter is settled, and since coercion is an important factor in Canon Law considerations, the mother's excommunication appears (I note "appears") rather knee-jerk.

Turretinfan said...

Did I allege it was simple? I thought I alleged the opposite.

ThePalmHQ said...

No, Kelly was quite right. You presented it as an open and shut case and hence just one more stick with which to beat Rome with.

Turretinfan said...

Ah, The Palm HQ - so what was the case, then, since you clearly have a better angle than I do on what I was presenting?


Turretinfan said...

One commenter, going by the nick "joveginny" provided a comment suggesting that my observation regarding the failure of the RCC to excoummincate the rapist was: "reckless" (no reason why was given, and none is evident) and that it "exhibits his ignorance of an understanding of the scope and extent of the precept of "excommunication" as defined in the Canon Law of the Church."

This is one of those silly accusations that one encounters from folks who are embarassed by their own church's inability to deal consistently with things.

To clarify, though, this is an external critique of Catholicism. The claim is not that rape of one's stepchildren is a matter of automatic excommunication within Rome's Code of Canon Law, but that if abortion is, such incestuous rape leading to abortion also ought to be.

I would think this would be plain to most readers, but I realize that are some readers so desparate to defend their church that they will attempt to smear the critic with "ignorance" of something rather than simply acknowledge the error and move on.


P.S. Incidentally, the word verification things here have been quirky lately. This one is suggesting that I "tryperch" a very interesting suggestion during this Lenten season.