Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Saturday, March 7, 2009 6:22 pm

Company in hell

Last night, I invited state Sen. Dave Schultheis of Colorado Springs to go to hell. Good news: He won’t be alone. I’m  inviting a Roman Catholic archbishop in Brazil to join him:

A Catholic archbishop has sparked controversy in Brazil by saying the mother of a nine-year-old girl who had an abortion on Wednesday following a rape is automatically excommunicated for allowing the procedure to go ahead.

Archbishop José Cardoso Sobrinho of Olinda and Recife also declared that according to canon law the doctor who performed the abortion is considered excommunicated, along with anyone else involved.

The child was raped by her stepfather, who has since admitted abusing her over the last three years. Abortion is generally illegal in Brazil but allowed in cases of rape or when the pregnancy endangers the mother’s life.

The child entered hospital in the northeastern city of Recife on Tuesday night, where she was given medication to interrupt the pregnancy, which doctors said was terminated by early Wednesday morning. She was pregnant with twins.

The archbishop’s statements have drawn condemnation from Brazilian politicians and caused disquiet among some theologians concerned by the difficulties raised by the case.

But Archbishop Cardoso Sobrinho has denied media reports that he personally ordered the excommunications. “I simply recalled what is in church canon law. Excommunication is automatic for those who participate in an abortion. I did not excommunicate anyone, just remembered the church’s law which says they are automatically excommunicated,” he said.

A 9-year-old girl is pregnant. With twins. (Unless the girl is built like Brigitte Nielsen, even continuing the pregnancy to term would raise questions I’m not sure the laws of physics could answer.) Because she was raped. By her stepfather.

And His Wretchedness Archbishop Sobrinho, doing a fan-damn-tastic imitation of Pontius Pilate, excommunicates her mother and then says, “Who, me?” Not for a moment does he consider the circumstances. Not for a moment does he entertain the notion of a conscience. Not for a moment does he consider the possibility that maybe this is one case he ought to punt to the cardinal. In fact — and for a leader in a religion as patriarchical as Roman Catholicism, boy, is this a surprise — not for a moment does he say a word about the rapist.

Don’t even get me started on the Roman Catholic Church’s handling of the priests/sex-abuse scandal. Let’s just focus on Sobrinho. Who should go straight to hell, do not pass go, do not collect 200 penances.

(h/t: Nance Greggs, who uses even more extreme language than I do)

UPDATE: The cardinal is backing this guy. Unbelievable. Well, cardinal makes three: to hell with you, too, Giovanni Battista Re.


  1. Archbishop Don Jose Cardoso Sobrinho of Recife action is PROOF again the catholic church supports the rape of children. End of story.

    Comment by Alois B. — Wednesday, March 11, 2009 3:55 am @ 3:55 am

  2. […] an abortion after being raped by her stepfather and becoming pregnant with twins. Specifically, I invited Archbishop José Cardoso Sobrinho and his superior, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, to go t… for excommunicating the girl’s mother and her doctor for their role in the case — and […]

    Pingback by Company in Hell, cont. « Blog on the Run: Reloaded — Saturday, July 18, 2009 7:30 am @ 7:30 am

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