Without a Shepherd

“He had compassion on them because they were like sheep without shepherds.” – Mark 6:34

Recently the press has been reporting on a tragic case in Brazil where supposedly a nine-year old (!) had become pregnant after a rape and was given an abortion at the behest of her mother.  The case was given high public profile with much reporting of the confusion that ensued as the Brazilian bishop announced that the mother of the girl and the doctors had incurred an automatic excommunication, and a Vatican official contradicted them (evidently under the supposition that the girl’s life was under immediate medical threat and so was interpreting the principle of double effect as applying). 

Now, I hear that in Quebec we have our own mess.  I wonder if this has been stage managed by activists and media?  The two cases are too coincidentally close.  Anyway, set a stone on the pathway and watch the bishops trip over it.  Evidently a 14-year old girl in Quebec got pregnant from a rape and recently underwent a therapeutic abortion. (Without prejudice to this particular case, every woman who claims to have been raped has not been raped.  Remember Roe vs Wade – used by activists to undermine American law – was about a woman who claimed to have gotten pregnant from a rape – later she said the rape never occurred). A Quebec bishop has just come out affirming that the action was justified under principles of Catholic moral teaching and so no canonical penalties apply. Further, he is claiming to speak on behalf of the bishops of Quebec.  This is what I heard today but cannot verify (’cause I don’t speak or read French).  We will probably hear a lot more about this in the next few days.  Oh, yes.  Either way, we are going to be tarred and feathered.  Affirming the girl’s “right” to an abortion (which we cannot do) compromises the Church’s teaching and undermines her authority.  Rejecting the girls abortion makes the Church’s teaching look to many as cruel, absurdly legalistic, and unjust.  Further, these cases are simply used as a goad to legitimize the normative uses (Thus all the controversy around condom use in Africa to combat AIDS).  They are attempts to validate all abortions (or contraceptive use) using hard cases.  The illogic is this: If the Church admits there are cases in which abortion is legitimate, then abortion is not intrinsically wrong, but its morality is determined by circumstances.  Therefore other circumstances can legitimize abortion.  Therefore, it is a personal decision based on one’s own circumstances. 

– Fr. Elijah

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