This is absolutely, completely, and utterly insane.

The Catholic Church in Brazil is off its frigging rocker. I'm not talking about being a tiny bit nuts here. We're talking over-the-top sheer gibbering insanity. The kind of insanity that's indistinguishable from pure evil, and has much the same effect.

The BBC is reporting on a hideously tragic child abuse case - a nine year old girl was found to be pregnant, with twins, as the result of sexual abuse inflicted upon her by her stepfather. I know you really don't want to, but try to wrap your mind around that concept. A nine year old, reportedly raped repeatedly by this monster over a period of three years, reports to the emergency room with stomach pains and is found to be over three months pregnant.

In Brazil, there is very limited access to legal abortion. However, abortion is permitted in cases of rape, and it's permitted in cases where there is a clear danger to the life of the mother. Both of these conditions were very, very clearly met in this case. It should not need to be said that it is not possible for a 9 year old to consent to sex, so any pregnancy in a child that young is certainly the product of rape. The child - the baby - in question reportedly weighs 80 pounds, and doctors quickly concluded that she could not safely carry one child to term, let alone two.

Here's where things get much worse. And let's stop and think about that for just a second, because that's something that quite should simply not be possible. But here is where the Holy Roman Catholic Church decided to step in.

Upon hearing that these pregnancies were going to be terminated, the Catholic Church responded by attempting to take legal action to stop the abortions. Yes, you read that right. The Church's response to the tragedy of a pregnant baby - one who was very clearly physically incapable of safely bearing children - was to attempt to force the child to carry the two fetuses to term. From the NYT article:

Marcio Miranda, a lawyer for the Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife in northeastern Brazil, said the girl should have carried the twins to term and had a Caesarean section. "It's the law of God: Do not kill," he said in comments reported by the newspaper O Globo.

Apparently, in the twisted world of the Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife, or at least in the twisted mind of Marcio Miranda, it's OK if the child dies trying to carry these babies - probably because it'll really be God doing the killing. With this attitude, Mr. Miranda becomes the second monster to enter this story.

But not the last.

The pregnancies were terminated yesterday. At that point, Marcio the Misogynist's boss joined the crowd of sick, twisted bastards involved in this catastrophe:

The Catholic Church's archbishop for the area criticized the decision as against "the law of God" and excommunicated her mother, the doctors and other people involved in the abortion.

I'm out of words for this. Sick, twisted, women-hating, misogynistic, evil, insane - none of them manage to do this justice. I can't even swear - there's no obscenity I can utter that would be more obscene than this sad facet of reality.

In the face of a massive tragedy, at a time when everyone involved desperately needed comfort and compassion, the Church spat in their faces and threw them out.

If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go and hug my daughter. And take a shower.


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We're kind of spoiled living in a country where the Catholics tend to be "the reasonable ones." It's easy to forget that the Church that US Catholics pay lip service to (while using birth control and supporting pro-choice candidates) is actually an evil and vile organization.

I've been vaguely following this case, and from the descriptions I've seen it wasn't at all clear that the fetuses would survive a full term pregnancy. As someone who is much closer to "pro-life" than "pro-choice", this is still absolutely sickening. I'm having difficulty not just writing a string of profanity about my attitude towards the Catholic church at this moment in time.

I've kinda shorted my hearing-stupid-shit circuits, so yet another "omg, religious people are dangerous!" story doesn't rile me up like it once did, but consider the following: My understanding of Catholic ethics is "if faced with a tough decision, find the one that does the last harm".

A nine year old girl pregnant with twins carrying both of them to term, unless I'm mistaken, risks THREE lives. Aborting two fetuses (fetii?) kills two.

I guess all the difference in the world lies between risk of death and certain death.

By Pel Beyak (not verified) on 05 Mar 2009 #permalink

Just wondering if they excommunicated the rapist. Oh wait, he probably just had to go to confession and do some penance. Pretty neat how some people get to decide what the law of god is. I am continually astounded by the arrogance of those claiming to know the will of their god, especially when they are claiming to be but humble vessels.

I think this decision is entirely consistent with the Catholic church leadership's position on the molestation of children by priests. The leadership of the Catholic church chose to act to the benefit of the organization of the Church and completely abdicated its fundamental pastoral duty.

Clergy are supposed to care for their members. In both of these instances, they have failed to do so.

By Jim Ramsey (not verified) on 06 Mar 2009 #permalink

According to the basic principles of the Church, the girl was at fault for her sinful deeds, and she should have just prayed for forgiveness. Then, when she died, she would go to heaven. Or some sick twisted shite like that. These barbarians give barbarians a bad name. Show us some of that Christian Love, guys.

Yep, sick bastards. Too bad there isn't a hell for them to burn in.

The kind of insanity that's indistinguishable from pure evil, and has much the same effect.

Whoah! No need to go to extremes!

First, I'm sure that these church dudes really have good intentions, and just want what is best for their church members.

Second, it really is unseemly to get overly excited over a simple difference of opinion.

Third, it does not good to characterize your opponent as "evil", just because they do the same. It is much better to take the high road.

Comrade PhysioProf:

I'm sure that these church dudes really have good intentions,

Yes, they seemed to have paved their way at least halfway to hell with them.

it does not good to characterize your opponent as "evil", just because they do the same.

I think Mike is characterizing the church as evil for supporting a dangerous and unwanted pregnancy as well as punishing all those involved in ending it. He's not calling them evil because they happen to call the girl evil.

It is much better to take the high road.

Okay - here's your chance. What words do you think most appropriately describe the Church's actions? "Misplaced" is what I do with my keys. "Error" is something I make on a math test. You might want to go with something stronger here.

I'm Brazilian, I have to add that the region where this took place is poor and somewhat undeveloped, therefore people are very tied to religion which makes this act even worse. Being a Christian is very important for the society there, it is the predominant religion by far. Being excommunicated will have a bad impact on that poor girl's life (beyond what was already made of course) if she stays there, which she probably will.

It is truly sickening what the Church did. I was following the case and I was shocked before this but now I'm out of words. I can only hope that this will open the eyes of more people to the atrocities that are made in the name of their god.

How about excommunicating the stepfather? But no, that could make sense, so they have to avoid this at all costs.

Here's the question- should I change my religion or attempt to become this guy's boss?

The archbishop refers to God's Law. Yet abortion is nowhere forbidden in the Bible; indeed, it isn't even mentioned. So the Church applies the fifth commandment: Thou shalt not kill. Well, look who's talking--the Catholic Church ranks right behind folks like Nero, Caligula, Hitler, and Stalin when it comes to killing those who have disagreed with it over the centuries. If the Church had had its way, the girl would have died a slow and painful death, with her twins, when they would have grown too big for her little body. Killed by the Church, all three of them. Thou shalt not kill, indeed.

The mother and the doctors have been excommunicated. But not the stepfather, he who broke an actual command in God's Law: Do not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter (Lev. 18:17). The punishment to be administered is spelled out in clear: Everyone who does any of these detestable thingsâsuch persons must be cut off from their people (Lev. 18:29). Excommunicated, that is. Mandated in God's Law, but not carried out by the Church, because the poor sinner is a man. In the eyes of the Church, he's still a Catholic in good standing.

The misogynism of conservative so-called Christians comes from the same Middle Eastern tradition as that of conservative Muslims like the Taleban: Woman, even at nine years old, is but a vessel meant to bear sons for a man. She has no rights, particularly not over her own body. If there are complications with a pregnancy and a choice has to be made, always let the woman die: she has no value, and the baby might be a son.

For more on failed religious institutions, read my free e-book.

"Just wondering if they excommunicated the rapist. "

No, they don't.They said they won't
They said the abortion is worse then the rape of a little girl.


I'm brazilian. I'm absolutely shocked, like almost everybody here in my country. It's disgusting.

Being excommunicated will have a bad impact on that poor girl's life (beyond what was already made of course) if she stays there, which she probably will.

The girl is not being excommunicated, only her mother and doctors are.

By Trin Tragula (not verified) on 11 Mar 2009 #permalink