Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $37,846 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Vatican prelate questions handling of Brazilian abortion excommunications

Catholic World News - March 16, 2009

The president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, writing in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, has argued that the Brazilian doctors who performed an abortion for a 9-year-old girl pregnant with twins did not deserve public excommunication insofar as they were motivated by a desire to save the girl's life. Archbishop Rino Fisichella affirmed the Church's constant teaching against abortion, but said that that this particular case presented an "arduous decision" for doctors.

Abortion is always wrong, Archbishop Fisichella said. But in such a difficult case, the rush to condemn doctors "unfortunately hurts the credibility of our teaching" because it conveys the idea that the Church does not recognize the suffering of all involved. He recommended instead an approach that emphasizes mercy.

Archbishop José Cardoso Sobrinho of Recife had announced immediately after the abortion that the doctors and the mother of the girl were excommunicated, in accordance with the Code of Canon Law, which stipulates the penalty of automatic excommunication for anyone complicit in abortion. Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, strongly defended that announcement. Archbishop Fisichella, in his L'Osservatore Romano article, did not question the automatic canonical penalty, but suggested that the public announcement was unnecessarily harsh.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($126,375 to go):
$150,000.00 $23,624.70
84% 16%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Pope is not the problem 2 hours ago
Do not confuse sacramental discipline and Catholic doctrine. 3 hours ago
Ignatius Press into the Breach: Trumping the Kasper Proposal October 22
Has the Vatican finally discovered how to avoid inaccurate English translations? October 22
The Synod: It's a Wrap! October 21

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6