The Roman Catholic bishop of Colorado Springs has said Catholics should not receive Communion if they vote for politicians who support abortion rights , stem-cell research, euthanasia and gay marriag

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DENVER — The Roman Catholic bishop of Colorado Springs has said Catholics should not receive Communion if they vote for politicians who support abortion rights (search), stem-cell research, euthanasia and gay marriage.


Bishop Michael Sheridan (search) said voters should receive the sacrament only if they recant and repent in the confessional. However, he said no one will be enforcing the rule in the Communion line.

While several U.S. bishops have issued similar warnings to Catholic lawmakers who defy church teaching in policymaking, Sheridan is believed to be the first to expand that directive to voters this election year.

Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis said previously he would not give Communion to Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry (search) because the senator backs abortion rights.

Archbishop Alfred Hughes of New Orleans and Archbishop Sean O'Malley of Boston are among those who say Catholic politicians who dissent from church teaching should not seek to receive the sacrament.

Sheridan made his comments in a May 1 pastoral letter published in the diocese's newspaper and sent to each parish in the diocese. It is the second-largest in Colorado, covering 125,000 Catholics in 10 counties.

The bishop's statement drew sharp criticism from some quarters.

"I think it is an outrageous intrusion into what is supposed to be the separation of church and state. It is frightening," said Michael Merrifield, a Democratic state lawmaker who is not Catholic but represents part of the heavily religious Colorado Springs area. "It goes against everything that we believe is important to democracy since we founded this country."

In his letter, Sheridan said the separation of church and state does not mean that the "well-formed consciences of religious people should not be brought to bear on their political choices."

"Any Catholic politicians who advocate for abortion, for illicit stem cell research or for any form of euthanasia ipso facto place themselves outside full communion with the church," he said.

Sheridan did not return a call Friday from The Associated Press. But he told The Denver Post he singled out abortion and the other topics because they are "intrinsically evil." He also decried same-sex marriage as deviant behavior.

In practice, his warning will probably not have much impact on Catholics taking Communion because no questions are asked beforehand.

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver has not taken a stand so far on whether defiant Catholic lawmakers should receive Communion, but he has criticized them, saying they offer a "dishonest public witness."

Several other bishops have said they would not be comfortable denying Communion to Catholic politicians.

A special panel of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (search) is developing guidelines for church leaders in their relationships with Catholic lawmakers. But it's not clear whether any action will come before Election Day.



Newshound, Saturday, 15 May 2004 03:51 (nineteen years ago) link

But what if they disagree with the pope on the death penalty or invading iraq?

Sym (shmuel), Saturday, 15 May 2004 03:53 (nineteen years ago) link

The Roman Catholic bishop of Colorado Springs has his head up his arse then, innit.

Autumn Almanac (Autumn Almanac), Saturday, 15 May 2004 04:02 (nineteen years ago) link

well then, now i can sleep on sundays w/ a clear conscience! or convert to unitarianism.

Eisbär (llamasfur), Saturday, 15 May 2004 04:32 (nineteen years ago) link

leaves more transubstantiate for himself, greedy motherfucker.

Eric H. (Eric H.), Saturday, 15 May 2004 04:40 (nineteen years ago) link

Aw, too bad...I was gonna marry my gay lover, pay a cancer-stricken surrogate mother to have our baby, abort the fetus so we can use it for stem cell research, and then end the mother's suffering after we couldn't find a cure. Now I have to sit while everyone else gets to have all the fun at the end of mass. Guess I'll just become a Methodist.

latebloomer (latebloomer), Saturday, 15 May 2004 05:02 (nineteen years ago) link

Just kidding, I haven't been to church in years. everything else is true though.

latebloomer (latebloomer), Saturday, 15 May 2004 05:03 (nineteen years ago) link

If I were the Roman Catholic Church (which I'm not, phew), I would be keeping a really really low profile in the United States for the next little while, what with all the child-fucking and covering up for child fuckers and paying out massive settlements to former child fuckees. But I guess they've never been much for humility.

spittle (spittle), Saturday, 15 May 2004 05:13 (nineteen years ago) link

I suppose I could type up an angry post detailing how much it disturbs me that certain individuals whom I feel don't really know anything about the Roman Catholic church are being so vicious about the church I was born into and grew up with and in. But that wouldn't cast a positive spotlight on the whole of my faith, so I'll fight any base urges I have to feed into my negative energies. However, I do want to state that just because one bishop in one diocese states that certain Catholics "should not" participate in a certain rite in the faith does not mean that it should be taken as a command, not to any of the members of the Catholic church and not even to those people whom this particular bishop claims authority over. I myself am quite disgusted with both sides in this argument, because the bishop seems to be taking it upon himself to dictate the behaviors of all the varied Catholics in the United States, and because certain individuals aren't schooling themselves enough to recognize that this is not the same as a papal bull, that this is just another one of these things that someone in a position of authority in the Roman Catholic faith states that only seems like it should be followed when it reality they are merely words. Really, one should never view the words of a mere bishop as something that Roman Catholics with any real knowledge of what the Catholic Church's teachings are would actually view as being akin to what is written in the Cathecism, for example.

Those Beautiful Lines (Dee the Lurker), Saturday, 15 May 2004 05:36 (nineteen years ago) link

(The preceding post was brought to you by someone who supports the right of a woman to choose, someone who feels that stem-cell research is absolutely vital and necessary, supports euthanasia, and is all for equality when it comes to gays and lesbians in society. Oh, and this someone also views herself as a devout Catholic.)

Those Beautiful Lines (Dee the Lurker), Saturday, 15 May 2004 05:40 (nineteen years ago) link

But what if they disagree with the pope on the death penalty or invading iraq?

-- Sym (shmuelm4...) (webmail), May 14th, 2004 9:53 PM. (shmuel) (later) (link)


otm

this seems like a sideways ploy to scare roman catholics into voting republican for other reasons

amateur!st (amateurist), Saturday, 15 May 2004 05:41 (nineteen years ago) link

also anthony to thread

amateur!st (amateurist), Saturday, 15 May 2004 05:42 (nineteen years ago) link

amateur!st OTM.

i am REALLY leaning VERY STRONGLY towards supporting revoking the tax-free status of churches right about now, b/c of this sorta shit (and the christian right shit too).

Eisbär (llamasfur), Saturday, 15 May 2004 05:45 (nineteen years ago) link

No offense, but it's asking a bit much of us secular humanist don't-believe-in-your-crazy-ass-god types to parse out which bishop's words are supposed to be accepted as the word of the church and which aren't. This is politics, not the finer points of theology, and the conservative wing of the Catholic Church is making a serious play to put themselves in position to move the whole thing even farther to the right than his current Holiness has already dragged it, and they're making common cause with the Christian evangelicals, and it just doesn't give me warm fuzzies in the slightest. The Catholic Church has a fucking miserable history, and it took the continent of Europe more than 1500 years to get out from under its corrupt, brutal influence, and the last thing I'm happy to see in the U.S. right now -- which is already having plenty of problems with would-be theocrats introducing dumbass God legislation -- is the Catholic Church trying to throw its weight around in the presidential race.

I mean, celebrate the deeper meanings of the faith all you want, but don't pretend the church itself is some fluffy-bunny benevolent society.

spittle (spittle), Saturday, 15 May 2004 05:49 (nineteen years ago) link

OTM.

(Also thanks to all who can say things on threads that my inarticulate ass can't).

I h8 myself and I want to die. I didn't ask 2b born. Oh why Catholic Church will u not let me die with dignity.

latebloomer (latebloomer), Saturday, 15 May 2004 05:53 (nineteen years ago) link

The catholic church has always been about temporal power, so this move is hardly suprising. In the middle ages you have armies, today you try and influence elections.

Ed (dali), Saturday, 15 May 2004 05:56 (nineteen years ago) link

Anyone who, by hook or crook, has received communion only at Easter/Christmas, marriages/funerals to thread.

weather1ngda1eson (Brian), Saturday, 15 May 2004 05:57 (nineteen years ago) link

or if you haven't gone to confession etc.

weather1ngda1eson (Brian), Saturday, 15 May 2004 05:59 (nineteen years ago) link

This is just stupid. The pope is against the war on iraq and on death penalty, which I think is more fucking cristian than being against stem cell research and euthanasia and gay marriage, and this fuckers have to cry about abortion rights , stem-cell research, euthanasia and gay marriage. God this is how religion uses some eternal mandates but neglects others jsut for political purposes,....Sorry I'm really fucking drunk.

Cacaman Flores, Saturday, 15 May 2004 06:20 (nineteen years ago) link

spittle, I am currently trying my hardest to figure out some way of telling you that you're wrong, that I should already know what my Church is like after two decades of being fully aware of my committment to it, that your viewpoints are unfair and you have no idea how much it hurts me to hear this, but I know I won't ever change your mind. You've already made it up for yourself, a long, long time ago, and I really do wish you could take a look at yourself and realize that with your incendiary diatribe you just fully disturbed someone who (a.) truly loves people in general and (b.) truly feels that her faith life has helped shape her as much as her home environment has. I wish I could at least get you to see that you don't need to be a total anti-religious bigot in order to be a good secular humanist, that I've known tons of secular humanists in the past and some of them have been my closest friends, that none of them have said the hateful things you've said, but I don't know if you'll be willing enough to truly listen to what it is that I have to say.

Ed, I expected to hear that from you. You've become predictable to me. Thanks, I guess. And I do hope you realize that I'm well aware of how half-truths can be edited down and pressed neatly in order to be presented as "facts". Just wanted to let you know that.

Those Beautiful Lines (Dee the Lurker), Saturday, 15 May 2004 06:28 (nineteen years ago) link

Cacaman Flores, please don't apologize. Thank you for that post.

Those Beautiful Lines (Dee the Lurker), Saturday, 15 May 2004 06:29 (nineteen years ago) link

What's hateful? Talking about child-fucking and covering up for it? Sorry if that's putting it too bluntly, but let's face it, that's what the church did. It wasn't isolated cases, it was an institutional pattern. My point was just that they've got a lot of damn nerve lecturing anyone about anything; I think a good few years of reflection and penitence are called for, if not some old-fashioned self-flagellation.

Or is it hateful to say the Church has a miserable history? I mean, c'mon, between actively promoting the Dark Ages by controlling literacy and keeping poor people uneducated, making deals with every bloody-minded monarch on the continent, sending children on crusades, punishing scientists for pursuing knowledge, torturing and killing Jews and anyone else who got in their way (and seizing their property in the bargain), and selling salvation for cash in hand, this is a pretty dark and bloody institution we're talking about. Luther, batshit crazy as he was, had some things right.

But that was a long time ago, my Catholic friends say. Yeah, OK. More recently, of course, we've had the dubious dealings with the Nazis. But even if you just want to talk present-day, how about the church's continued insane opposition to birth control in countries already full of malnourished kids, and where women are still struggling for basic equalities? Or how about the church's position on women in general, shutting half the population out of significant participation in the hierarchy? This is still a place that allows someone like Cardinal Giacomo Biffi to rise through its ranks.

And now the church is getting involved in the presidential election in the country where I happen to be a citizen, and I have every right as a citizen to tell the church to go fuck itself. I have Catholic friends just like you have secular friends, but my respect for them as individuals in no way extends to respect for the institution they choose to patronize. If it makes you feel any better, I have even less use for the Southern Baptist Convention.

spittle (spittle), Saturday, 15 May 2004 06:55 (nineteen years ago) link

its a good thing im not catholic anymore;)

they have moved from a church of berrigan and day to a church of ratzinger and this dude.

and dee, you cannot deny that the church has been connected to politicisng for most of its history, it uses the tools of state craft...ed is legitimate here.

anthony, Saturday, 15 May 2004 07:07 (nineteen years ago) link

i don't think they've ever been quite this, um, blatant in the u.s. before though (someone correct me if i'm wrong) - maybe cuz catholicism was NOT a popular mainstream religion in the us, modern kkk as concerned with "papists" at the time of its revival as much as anything else, the 'will he answer to rome?' suspiscions that lurked around every catholic presidential candidate until, well until when - the question's still being asked only now the rightwing fundie talibanfans are demanding they answer to rome, and with certain wingnut bishops all to happy to do the dance.

cinniblount (James Blount), Saturday, 15 May 2004 07:15 (nineteen years ago) link

i have to admit catholicism's always been vaguely attractive to me - baptists are nuts, methodists are wimps, lutherans and presbyterians just too damn white, but the Church has seemed sorta cool - good museums, style for miles, crazy jesuit conspiracy stuff, plus: LATIN - but having to actually respect and pay heed to one of these assholes as a tenet of the faith (as opposed to protestantism's more democratic 'aw screw you' if you disagree with your preacher)(not that this happens in practice - protestant preachers claim to speak for god all the time, but it ain't like they got it in writing like with priests) is enough to stop from ever being more than a tourist.

cinniblount (James Blount), Saturday, 15 May 2004 07:23 (nineteen years ago) link

plus catholic's sprinkle baptise too right? fuck that shit - BADUNKADUNKDUNK

cinniblount (James Blount), Saturday, 15 May 2004 07:23 (nineteen years ago) link

um, no offense to catholics obv. - there is room on this blue marble for many faiths and followers. save the whales yall.

cinniblount (James Blount), Saturday, 15 May 2004 07:24 (nineteen years ago) link

haha we're back to straight excommunication now? sweet, our long march backward continues.

blount if you want LATIN these days you'd have to check in at st. bravehearts to get it

g--ff (gcannon), Saturday, 15 May 2004 07:38 (nineteen years ago) link

yeah "BRING BACK LATIN" is like the one thing i can get with them crazy mel gibson 'real' catholics (and max fischer too i guess) about

cinniblount (James Blount), Saturday, 15 May 2004 07:42 (nineteen years ago) link

Dee, every pope and bishop and abbot since Saint fucking Peter has wielded or sought to wield a very real temporal power. From vast papa, monastic, and diocean lands all over Europe, to coniving with kings to legitamise brutal conflicts in the mediterranean, spain, latin america, the carribean, to meddling in elections and propping up dictators. It's not a alf truth its a matter of historical record.

Ed (dali), Saturday, 15 May 2004 07:42 (nineteen years ago) link

As a former, v. lapsed Catholic myself, I've always found it impossible to reconcile the nice socialist message of the biblical Christ w/ either the current Pope's reactionary, authoritarian and repressive doctrine, or the Catholic Church's dismal historical record of intolerance and persecution. It seems to require exactly the same kind of intellectual double-think, or desire to have it both ways, as those conservatives who seek to distance themselves from the homophobia, sexism and racism that's embedded in their chosen 'creed'.

In other words, fuck organised religion (unless it's the church of John Coltrane)

Andrew L (Andrew L), Saturday, 15 May 2004 07:50 (nineteen years ago) link

see i can reconcile christ with the corruption (past, present, & future) of the Church cuz man is corrupt and the Church is a man-made institution (i mean burritos are a man-made institution too and God knows they get corrupted but that don't mean i won't slopajop on one like that). what i can't reconcile myself with (i'm totally misusing the word 'reconcile', work with me) is the Church's unwillingness (and inherent impossibility of ever being willing) to reconcile themselves with this, hence there will ALWAYS be assholes like sheridan or o'connor (he's dead MY ASS) or, hell, pope jp2 and the official stance will ALWAYS be that if you don't take these dudes seriously you GO TO HELL.

cinniblount (James Blount), Saturday, 15 May 2004 08:01 (nineteen years ago) link

Dee, you may find Church critics reductive and nasty but their criticisms come from an honest place (such as not needing to believe in the Tooth Fairy either). This bishop's exhortations do not. You really need to build a better bullshit detector and then start using it once in a while, because this is all about where he is, rather than who he is.

That aside, the silly bishop has mistaken the ballot box for the confessional and thinks it's part of his jurisdiction. Hello, in America we have had license to discount these people since oooh some point in the 1780s, right? With all due respect - and obviously I have none for a man who would make statements such as this - he can fuck...

a) right off.
b) me gently with a chainsaw.
c) up the lives of his nearest and dearest, but not mine or the nation's.

Colorado Springs is one of those places where a Republican stronghold is enjoying the best contract awards/corporate welfare the current government can organise, all the while bitching about Welfare moms and other social compassions with a price tag. Bishop would hate to see any changes to his tithe, clearly - less of a sweeties budget to spend on altar boys and the like.

suzy (suzy), Saturday, 15 May 2004 09:08 (nineteen years ago) link

blount otm. thinking abt this i started feeling surprisingly chauvinistic in a protestant sort of way, like, fuck this guy, he's nothing, sola fide biyatch!

(the other thing i got surprisingly chauvinistic abt was the virginia/minnesota civil war flag flap. i'm like, fuck you, come get it)

g--ff (gcannon), Saturday, 15 May 2004 10:02 (nineteen years ago) link

What's up with that, G?

suzy (suzy), Saturday, 15 May 2004 10:04 (nineteen years ago) link

nothing recently, it just came to mind. i just meant i usually think i'm not one for sectarian assholishness, but, guess not.

g--ff (gcannon), Saturday, 15 May 2004 10:06 (nineteen years ago) link

No, the civil war flag thing, what's the story?

suzy (suzy), Saturday, 15 May 2004 10:08 (nineteen years ago) link

oh! check here: http://www.roanoke.com/roatimes/flag/spoils.html

g--ff (gcannon), Saturday, 15 May 2004 10:12 (nineteen years ago) link

someone who supports the right of a woman to choose, someone who feels that stem-cell research is absolutely vital and necessary, supports euthanasia, and is all for equality when it comes to gays and lesbians in society. Oh, and this someone also views herself as a devout Catholic

I think your church your priest and your pope would disagree with your devoutness there. You can't have your own version of Roman Catholic beliefs - you either agree with the church or disagree. If you disagree with the church on something like Thou Shalt Not Kill (which is exactly what your church thinks "pro choice" and euthaniasia equate to) then you are not a devout Catholic. Sorry.

Onimo (GerryNemo), Saturday, 15 May 2004 11:02 (nineteen years ago) link

Onimo, I think Dee is well aware that the prohibitions Catholics choose for themselves are simply that -- a choice. She seemed to be saying that she supports the right of others to make choices which are contrary to her own doctrine, as she's not the boss of them and neither is this silly bishop.

suzy (suzy), Saturday, 15 May 2004 12:30 (nineteen years ago) link

TAX THE CHURCHES

Eisbär (llamasfur), Saturday, 15 May 2004 13:50 (nineteen years ago) link

And render unto Ned what is Ned's.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 15 May 2004 14:14 (nineteen years ago) link

Onimo, that's not true at all. It's especially not true in the US, where more than fifty percent of Catholics disagree with the church's stance on abortion, and a hell of a lot of pastors and probably even some bishops privately disagree with. I grew up in a left-wing parish and never heard anything about abortion or sexuality. An awful lot of Catholics are 'cheating' and writing their own doctrine, it seems.

Kerry (dymaxia), Sunday, 16 May 2004 22:42 (nineteen years ago) link

Also, spittle, what goddamn country are you from, because here in the US, Catholics were discriminated against for, like, forever. And no, I don't believe in any 'crazy ass god', nor would I be so contemptuous of those who did. I find it hard to believe that every atheist, agnostic, or secular humanist was born free of any religious taint. Maybe the bishop here is really motivated by politics, but I'm guessing that you are, too.

Kerry (dymaxia), Sunday, 16 May 2004 22:48 (nineteen years ago) link

You can't have your own version of Roman Catholic beliefs - you either agree with the church or disagree.

Then where do these American Catholic bishops get off condemning politicians who support reproductive rights, and not commenting on those who support the death penalty or the Bush Doctrine on Iraq? If they are saying something like these things are wrong according to the Church's teachings, they have a point. However, I'm suspicious at how Church leaders are vocally opposed to the principles and practices the left wing tends to support, and silent on the ones that the right wing endorses.

because here in the US, Catholics were discriminated against for, like, forever.

The assumption that Catholics follow the orders of Rome is a commonly stated reason for this.

TAX THE CHURCHES

I am not a lawyer or Bill or Rights scholar, but where in the First Amendment does it say that churches and other religious institutions should not be taxed? (Answer: It doesn't, but the practice is deeply entrenched, and if someone were to try to fiddle with that, well-organized religious supporters would attack.)

j.lu (j.lu), Monday, 17 May 2004 01:28 (nineteen years ago) link

Catholic Priests Fuck Children

slopsymbolic, Monday, 17 May 2004 01:38 (nineteen years ago) link

I'll take the Catholic church over any other permutation of Christianity, thanks: at least the buildings are pretty & the ritual's cool. People who hate on the Catholic church but don't hate on Christianity in general are severely fucking confused.

J0hn Darn1elle (J0hn Darn1elle), Monday, 17 May 2004 01:47 (nineteen years ago) link

yeah but the catholic church is no longer tops in its field in the art or architecture department and hasn't been for a few centuries; take a look at 17th c. religious art, then visit lourdes. eek.

amateur!st (amateurist), Monday, 17 May 2004 06:43 (nineteen years ago) link

Man,there are some crazy medieval 'papist conspiracy'-esque attitudes being expressed on this thread. Whatever, if you believe the Roman Catholic Church is conspiring to interfere with elections there probably isn't much anyone can do to change your mind.

I do think it's odd that US bishops etc. pick and choose their targets to fit in with their political beliefs - this is part of the reason so many people in the US are anti-religious - that the Right use religion to back up their bigotry. That, and the fact that too many people seem unable to seperate this use of religion from religion itself.

"in America we have had license to discount these people since oooh some point in the 1780s" - why couldn't you 'discount these people' before then? The British Empire was protestant...

Kevin Gilchrist (Mr Fusion), Monday, 17 May 2004 07:05 (nineteen years ago) link

"That said, on an issue as huge as the motion of the planets (which is exactly what the Catholic Church thinks of you, Mr. Gallileo) I don't think it'll be the church that shifts position."

Good point well made there, maybe the Pope will suddenly reconsider that whole Thou Shalt Not Kill thing that's been so troublesome for so many years. After all it only makes otherwise Really Nice People into Evil Sinners and where's the value in that?

Coming soon "Worship As Many False Gods As You Like - Ours Aint That Great Anyway (and while you're at it have a wee butcher's at your neighbour's HOT missus)"

Onimo (GerryNemo), Monday, 17 May 2004 14:56 (nineteen years ago) link

cosmology is not "banal." If you are to believe in a heaven, you have to have some idea of how it might work given the physical world you live in. I can't believe you'd argue such a thing, it's so fundamental to almost all religious belief, in the same way that mortality is as well.

hstencil (hstencil), Monday, 17 May 2004 14:57 (nineteen years ago) link

you guys are totally missing my point, so I'm just gonna move on.

hstencil (hstencil), Monday, 17 May 2004 14:58 (nineteen years ago) link

Stencil, let me just put it this way. I've been trying to ask a simple question, and you'll just have to pardon me if you found my phrasing offensive: at what point in picking and choosing and rejecting the teachings of a church do you find yourself not genuinely a part of that church? At what point do you become actually at odds with the work of that church? And at what point is that church left with the right to tell you that some of your beliefs simply don't fit with their doctrine, period, and you should quit bugging them about it?

nabiscothingy, Monday, 17 May 2004 15:00 (nineteen years ago) link

drop it. Or ask someone who actually has a stake in this race, I'm done.

hstencil (hstencil), Monday, 17 May 2004 15:01 (nineteen years ago) link

Good point well made there, maybe the Pope will suddenly reconsider that whole Thou Shalt Not Kill thing that's been so troublesome for so many years.

They already did 'reconsider' it - the church did not always condemn abortion. Also, you overemphasize the role of 'the commandments' in this. The church's stance on birth control reveals where they're actually coming from with this abortion stance, and the position on birth control will probably change in this century. In fact, Pope John Paul I was rumored to be considering reversing the church's stance before he died.

This site has loads of facts and explanations.

And I suspect that the reasons people remain Catholic are 1) cultural and 2) there are certain things in the church that are very strongly emphasized that are not so strongly emphasized by the mainline churches. I also feel that as long as there is pressure on people to 'assimilate', people will continue to cling to what distinguishes them from the majority.

Kerry (dymaxia), Monday, 17 May 2004 15:14 (nineteen years ago) link

Speaking for myself - I didn't stop going to church because I had disagreements with it. I simply stopped believing in it, and wasn't getting anything out of religion AT ALL. I think if I were still 'spiritual', I would probably go to a Catholic church, albeit one of the more liberal churches that didn't interfere too much with my own interpretation of Catholic theology.

Kerry (dymaxia), Monday, 17 May 2004 15:19 (nineteen years ago) link

Wow. I've been away too long, I'd forgotten the ill feeling that comes from arguing on here. If I really did say something so terrible, I apologize. And I'm certainly with Kerry on one thing: culture is the big thing here, and I think it's that entanglement that makes the whole thing as big of an issue as it is.

nabiscothingy, Monday, 17 May 2004 15:19 (nineteen years ago) link

Specifically, they're called Episcopalians/Anglicans

Dan profoundly OTM.

Rockist Scientist, Monday, 17 May 2004 15:20 (nineteen years ago) link

Nabisco, I'm sure lots of people are very glad to see you back - I know I am! :)

Kerry (dymaxia), Monday, 17 May 2004 15:21 (nineteen years ago) link

nabisco, despite being a bit peeved at what you wrote upthread, I am definitely glad that you're back.

Kerry's comments on why she stopped going to church mirror mine, pretty much. If I were to go back, which will probably never happen, it'd be to an Episcopal Church with views I found compatible with my own (although this is a nebulous thing - it's not like 200+ people always agree on everything).

I think there are more differences between the Episcopal Church and the Catholic Churhc than there are similarities, though.

hstencil (hstencil), Monday, 17 May 2004 15:26 (nineteen years ago) link

Nabisco, the general drift of what you are saying makes sense to me.

(I'm going to do some work.)

Rockist Scientist, Monday, 17 May 2004 15:26 (nineteen years ago) link

and nabisco you are right that culture plays a major role in faith; I would just disagree that it is something that can be separated as such from faith. They inform each other greatly, imo.

hstencil (hstencil), Monday, 17 May 2004 15:27 (nineteen years ago) link

I would also argue that if you don't actually spend a lot of time around a church, it is much easier to make a distinction between faith and culture. I've been a church musician for... wow, 13 years now and the distinction you're making simply would not make any sense to any of the devout Christians I know.

VengaDan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 17 May 2004 16:20 (nineteen years ago) link

Democracy is a government by the common people and if you want to ignore the say of all relgious people in a democracy then it no longer is a democracy. Seperation of church and state is something that really doesn't exist, it's just a political statement. Religious people are going to consider politics and matters of the state through their eyes as a religious person. Religion covers all matters of life and has answers for all of them. A humanist should be consider that aspect of human beings.

A Nairn (moretap), Monday, 17 May 2004 16:37 (nineteen years ago) link

Also, the idea that Anglicanism is a 'high' church is, I think, misleading, at least in the UK. Sure, they still have Bishops etc., but the actual nature of worship varies greatly, and is very informal and open to change. I have met very few members of any faith that would believe everything the highest secter of their faith believes. That goes for political parties too. I think people are stuck in a very old-fashioned idea of Catholicism, and it is an idea that hasn't applied to any Catholics I have met. Catholics are as varied as any other group in society, and are similar as far as their faith in Christ goes. The earthly Church is imperfect.

Kevin Gilchrist (Mr Fusion), Monday, 17 May 2004 16:41 (nineteen years ago) link

The earthly Church is imperfect.

Otm, but earthly politics are just as much (rather more) imperfect

A Nairn (moretap), Monday, 17 May 2004 16:44 (nineteen years ago) link

I think it's having spent a whole lot of time around church-as-culture that makes me feel like it presents something like an "issue." Which isn't quite the word I want, because church-as-culture is one of the things I like most about religion. But as with any culture, it winds up meaning that beliefs about certain issues (e.g., homosexuality, abortion) wind up tied to feelings of community, lifestyle, or even aesthetics that are, in the end, not strictly related to the issue. Now, that sort of thing happens in a non-religious context, too -- plenty of people feel part of a culture but disagree with its norms, and many of them make really grand noble efforts to try and swing that culture around to their beliefs. But that's in instances where culture is mutable, relative -- where there's no authority outside of human beings. The whole reason progressive strains of Catholicism interest me is that they're taking that approach -- the very American approach of agitating to pull a culture in a new direction -- but they're aiming it toward doctrine that supposedly isn't mutable, doctrine that's presented as basic no-questions way-it-is church belief. I really think that's the schism: they're talking about Culture, and the church is being inflexible about Doctrine.

nabiscothingy, Monday, 17 May 2004 16:53 (nineteen years ago) link

I don't think that the doctrine of the Catholic church has ever been considered immutable but I am not a religion scholar.

VengaDan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 17 May 2004 16:55 (nineteen years ago) link

how about?:
religious truths are immutable, but man's perception of them is not immutable

A Nairn (moretap), Monday, 17 May 2004 16:58 (nineteen years ago) link

I just skimmed this thread b/c it's long and threads like this usually give me a headache. But to address this point by stence from my own perspective:

I think it's ridiculous for people to just up and quit because of a political disagreement.

I think it's ridiculous for you to pass judgement on people who do. I stopped going to mass b/c I realized I was supporting an organization who was directly working against one of my strongest beliefs (and something I was working against). is that political? It had nothing to do with my faith but the politics of the church and how they chose to interact with society outside of the church.

later I moved away from christianity all together because I stopped believing in its fundamental tenents.

Dee, you shouldn't take other people's grounded criticisms against the church so personally. if your individual beliefs are as strong and separate from the church as you say then why do such criticisms bother you so much?

Ask For Samantha (thatgirl), Monday, 17 May 2004 18:18 (nineteen years ago) link

If you tie a good portion of you self-worth in believing yourself to be a good person, want others to see you as a good person, and ascribe a large portion of your positive attributes to your faith/religion, it shouldn't be surprising that having that faith/religion rudely attacked and dismissed would cause a defensive reaction.

VengaDan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 17 May 2004 18:21 (nineteen years ago) link

but why does criticizing a large (political) establishment detract from an individual being a good person? Does anyone here seriously think every Catholic in America is a zealot freak b/c of some asshat bishop in Colorado?

Ask For Samantha (thatgirl), Monday, 17 May 2004 18:25 (nineteen years ago) link

People went pretty damn quickly from "some asshat bishop said this" to "this is a move from the Vatican".

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Monday, 17 May 2004 18:29 (nineteen years ago) link

the article starts: "The Roman Catholic bishop of Colorado Springs" not "Pope John Paul. . ."

I can read.

Ask For Samantha (thatgirl), Monday, 17 May 2004 18:31 (nineteen years ago) link

Can you read the seventh post on the thread?

VengaDan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 17 May 2004 18:32 (nineteen years ago) link

I wasn't criticising you, Sam, just pointing out why Dee got pissed off.

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Monday, 17 May 2004 18:34 (nineteen years ago) link

(possible bad analogy) If someone pointed at something dumb that the Texas governor did and said "Fucking Texas, what does it think it's doing?" you (might) get pissed off.

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Monday, 17 May 2004 18:36 (nineteen years ago) link

I would also know that person was an asshat and wrong. I have no delusions that Gov Perry not represents me or my views.

My comment to Dee was mainly out of concern for her. It's far too stressful to get upset over disagreements with things like religion. People are hardly ever swayed in their opinions and it can just leave you feeling angry and frustrated.

No Dan, like I said I was mainly interested in the article and skimmed the rest of thread. I hardly ever read these at all since everyone tends to act like idiots on them.

Ask For Samantha (thatgirl), Monday, 17 May 2004 18:56 (nineteen years ago) link

somebody go drag Tep in here.

Kingfish Disraeli (Kingfish), Monday, 17 May 2004 19:10 (nineteen years ago) link

The whole reason progressive strains of Catholicism interest me is that they're taking that approach -- the very American approach of agitating to pull a culture in a new direction -- but they're aiming it toward doctrine that supposedly isn't mutable, doctrine that's presented as basic no-questions way-it-is church belief. I really think that's the schism: they're talking about Culture, and the church is being inflexible about Doctrine.


and i think it's interesting that the vatican, despite its seeming obstinance when compared to other contemporary institutions, is actually more impressionable than ever beore. it always seemed to be that this relative theological flexability (note word "relative") -- or the presumption of certain catholics of the need for such flexability -- is a function of the church's real loss of temporal power.

amateur!st (amateurist), Monday, 17 May 2004 19:36 (nineteen years ago) link

Sam you have a fair point about what I wrote, although I think I mis-stated what I meant, which was I think it's unfair to expect people to just up and quit a religion because of dissonance with their political beliefs, but if they do, that's certainly up to them. As stated earlier, I don't go to church any more or consider myself a Christian, but that has little to do with any one (or hundred, even) political disagreements with the Episcopal Church as much as it does a lack of faith in the basic tenets of the church, Christianity in general, religion in general, etc. I don't mean to belittle you or anyone else who may have left their original faith because of a specific issue, more that I was saying that I found it to be a bit specious to expect other people to do so. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

hstencil (hstencil), Monday, 17 May 2004 21:45 (nineteen years ago) link

but political beliefs are not always able to be divorced from religious beliefs. I always have thought it was 'odd' when a religious person modified an organized religions tenets so greatly that it made you question whether that person was still a follower of the religion. i mean if the Catholic Church says you should believe A-Z, and you don't believe S-Z yet call yourself a devout Catholic, I'd scratch my head.

oops (Oops), Monday, 17 May 2004 22:53 (nineteen years ago) link

being opposed to abortion seems first of all a moral belief, with political consequences.

amateur!st (amateurist), Monday, 17 May 2004 23:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Any moral choice would become a political matter if the state decided to legislate for or against it; I don't believe abortion is a special category.

Kevin Gilchrist (Mr Fusion), Monday, 17 May 2004 23:14 (nineteen years ago) link

oops - also, I don't think someone disagreeing over a moral issue is modifying tenets "so greatly". The importance the Roman Catholic Church places on abortion is overstated because it is a stance that meets with political consequences. The most vital tenets of Roman Catholicism wou;d have to do with things like the nature of divine revelation, the specific ordination of an earthly church, transubstantiation: i.e metaphysical or theological points. Also, the culture issue is important. You are born into 'mother Church', and this remains part of who you are. In the UK, if you ask people their faith they tend to give you an answer whether or not they are practising members of that faith...

Kevin Gilchrist (Mr Fusion), Monday, 17 May 2004 23:20 (nineteen years ago) link

Not to discredit any arguments made on this thread, but from the point of view of the vatican, all this talk probably=zip. What people who talk about or hope for liberalization in U.S. or european churches don't realize is that the third world (or global south) is where the church (and other churches) are paying the most attention. Conversion and attendance in these areas are rising quickly as attendance drops in the first world.

Sengai, Monday, 17 May 2004 23:46 (nineteen years ago) link

May 20, 2004
Democrats Criticize Denial of Communion by Bishops
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN

Forty-eight Roman Catholic members of Congress who are Democrats have signed a letter to the cardinal archbishop of Washington, D.C., saying the threats by some bishops to deny communion to politicians who support abortion rights were "deeply hurtful," counterproductive and "miring the Church in partisan politics."

The letter is the first organized counter-punch by Democratic legislators since a handful of Catholic bishops set off an uproar in the church by declaring that they would withhold communion from politicians who favor abortion rights.

The letter's signers, including about a dozen who are considered anti-abortion Democrats, said the bishops are "allowing the church to be used for partisan purposes." They also question why these bishops made abortion a litmus test while ignoring politicians who voted counter to the church by endorsing the death penalty and the war in Iraq.

"They're helping destroy the church by dividing it on issues, and they're politicizing the Eucharist," said Representative Bart Stupak of Michigan, one of the anti-abortion Democrats who signed the letter. "The bishops came out against the war, and I don't see them saying to all the people who voted for it, you can't receive communion because you voted for an unjust war."

The letter, dated May 10, was sent last week to Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who is the chairman of a bishops task force asked to devise recommendations for American bishops on relations with Catholic politicians. A copy of the letter was made available to The New York Times.

The debate has taken off with the campaign of Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, the first Catholic candidate for president on a major-party ticket since John F. Kennedy. The tactic of denying the sacrament has been urged for years by anti-abortion groups like the American Life League, Legatus and the National Right to Life Committee, said Deal Hudson, publisher of Crisis, a conservative Catholic magazine.

"The fact that so many Catholics hold public office and flout church teaching is a scandal that many of us have waited a long time to see addressed," said Mr. Hudson, who serves as a consultant on Catholic issues to the Republican Party and the Bush White House.

He added that John Kerry had "earned excommunication" for speaking to an abortion rights meeting soon after speaking privately with Cardinal McCarrick.

Only four of about 300 American bishops have announced that they intend to deny the sacrament to policymakers who support abortion rights in their dioceses, according to a telephone poll of bishops conducted by Catholics for a Free Choice, a Washington advocacy group. Fifteen more have said that Catholic policymakers who support abortion rights should voluntarily abstain from communion. The vast majority, 135, said that they did not agree with denying anyone the Eucharist or that it would be the last resort.

Though few, the hard-line bishops have provoked anger and anguish from some Catholics who say they can be loyal to their church while voting for abortion rights.

Among the letter's signers are Representatives Nancy Pelosi of California, the House minority leader; Rosa L. DeLauro of Connecticut; Carolyn McCarthy and Nydia Velázquez of New York; John D. Dingell of Michigan; Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts; George Miller of California; James L. Oberstar of Minnesota; Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio, a candidate for president; and Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo of Guam.

"As Catholics, we do not believe it is our role to legislate the teachings of the Catholic church," the letter said. "Because we represent all of our constituents, we must, at times, separate our public actions from our personal beliefs."

In the letter, legislators asked to meet with Cardinal McCarrick and other members of the bishops task force.

"We wanted to look at the opportunity to open up a dialogue," said Ms. De Lauro, who worked with Representative Nick Lampson of Texas to design a response to the bishops. "People are really hurt by this."

Susan Gibbs, a spokeswoman for Cardinal McCarrick, said that he was open to meeting with the legislators but that it might take some time to convene the task force.

Cardinal McCarrick said in his column on May 13 in his archdiocesan newspaper that he did not favor denying the Eucharist as a sanction.

The Cardinal was harshly criticized recently in an advertisement paid for by the American Life League as capitulating to politicians who favor abortion.

In his column, Cardinal McCarrick said that in a recent visit to the Vatican "it was clear that so many of the highest authorities in the Church are in agreement with my position."

Leslie W. Tentler, a professor of history at Catholic University, said she could not recall a time when bishops debated disciplining so many politicians, and even voters, as the bishop of Colorado Springs did last week.

"The negative fallout could be terrific,'' she said. "I think it will alienate a great many Catholics. There's a lot of anti-Catholicism in the country that's surfaced, especially around the sex-abuse scandal. This plays into the oldest stereotypes about the church, which is that Catholics can't think for themselves. "

Mr. Hudson said he did not believe it would provoke anti-Catholicism as much as retaliation against other Catholic politicians, many of them Republicans, who are out of step with the church on the death penalty, the Iraq war or fighting poverty.

"What I fear is an internal battle using excommunication as a weapon, something like, 'If you are going to excommunicate our guys, we're going to excommunicate your guys,'" he said.

hstencil (hstencil), Thursday, 20 May 2004 14:53 (nineteen years ago) link

yeah I no longer believe in christianity at all (and am beginning to wonder if I believe in god at all.) But what first sent me away from the Church was watching a parade of little parochrial school students showing their pictures of the poor aborted babies in heaven with jesus.

I had just spoke at a pro-choice rally attended by thousands of UT students the day before and the contrast made me realize I had no business attending mass. So I stopped.

Ask For Samantha (thatgirl), Thursday, 20 May 2004 15:01 (nineteen years ago) link

American Life League, Legatus and the National Right to Life Committee, said Deal Hudson, publisher of Crisis, a conservative Catholic magazine

The ALL and these other activist 'pro-life' Catholics are really just conservatives first, Catholics second. They're doing this to attack Kerry.

I read ALL's magazine - it is horrible. There is not a lot of religion in it, apart from 'this-and-such abortion clinic closed after we prayed it would close'.

Kerry (dymaxia), Thursday, 20 May 2004 15:10 (nineteen years ago) link

Also, spittle, what goddamn country are you from, because here in the US, Catholics were discriminated against for, like, forever. And no, I don't believe in any 'crazy ass god', nor would I be so contemptuous of those who did.

I'm like a week late on this, but...yeah, I know Catholics were discriminated against. No kidding. They still are, some places. I have a nephew being sent to an evangelical Christian school by his born-again step-mom who's learning things like, "Catholics are evil and the Pope is the Anti-Christ." (The rest of the family is not happy about this, but the only person who could veto it is his dad, and he doesn't want to fight with the step-mom.)

The problem I have as a secular liberal is this: I very much believe in the right of everyone to worship as they see fit and believe anything they want. But I also very much believe in the separation of church and state. The human history of church involvement in statecraft is not a pretty one. The Catholic Church is just one example of that unprettiness, but it's a pretty honking big one. I think American Catholics, because of their history as a minority in this country and their sense of distance from the church's history as a geopolitical power tend to discount that history and that power. And as I see the church trying to reassert its traditional geopolitical role, I find it alarming. To the extent that some elements of the Catholic hierarchy are trying to get in on the growingAmerican theocratic movement (which is being driven by evangelicals, of course), that's a big big problem. And it pushes my general live-and-let-live attitude toward organized religion to a breaking point.

I would never tell anybody to leave their church because they disagree with it, any more than I would tell anybody to leave their country because they disagree with their government. On the other hand, liberals in the Catholic Church who are not actively involved in trying to change the assorted things about its doctrine that they find objectionable become de facto supporters of that doctrine -- the Church's power comes from its congregations, just as a democracy's power comes from its people. Yes, this is all politics and has little to do with individual faith. But politics matters. American liberal and moderate Christians of all denominations have allowed the faith's most extreme wings to become its dominant cultural voice, and the only people who can rein that in are other Christians. And to the extent that liberal and moderate Christians fail to do so -- or at least to try, hard -- then they end up complicit in the theocratic agenda being pursued in their name.

I know it would be nice to believe you could just belong to a little church, worship according to how you personally perceive your God and your faith, and not have to take responsibility for what some political ambitious dickheads in Rome and Denver say to get their names in the paper. Unfortunately, it isn't that easy.

spittle (spittle), Thursday, 20 May 2004 16:08 (nineteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
Tryin' hard for that Catholic vote:

Bush to Give Pope Presidential Medal of Freedom
2 hours, 52 minutes ago

ROME (Reuters) - President Bush will award Pope John Paul the Presidential Medal of Freedom Friday, the highest U.S. civilian award, a U.S. official said Thursday.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the pontiff was being honored for "years of fighting for freedom and for his important moral voice."

Bush is to meet the Polish pope at the Vatican Friday.

The pope strongly opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and last week publicly condemned torture as an affront to human dignity, seen as a veiled reference to American abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.

In November the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bi-partisan resolution to encourage Bush to give the 84-year-old Roman Catholic leader the medal for his contribution to the fall of communism and his defense of freedom throughout the world.

The last pope to receive the medal was Pope John XXIII, who was given it posthumously in 1963.

President Harry Truman founded the award in 1945 and President John F. Kennedy re-introduced it in 1963.

hstencil (hstencil), Thursday, 3 June 2004 19:28 (nineteen years ago) link

Thanks, but I almost wished this wasn't revived, because I had to read spittle's ignorant and self-righteous crap all over again again.

Kerry (dymaxia), Thursday, 3 June 2004 20:01 (nineteen years ago) link

Sorry, I guess. I don't consider what he wrote to be that bad, even though I don't agree with it.

hstencil (hstencil), Thursday, 3 June 2004 20:09 (nineteen years ago) link

isn't there something weird about the pope accepting a secular award?

amateur!st (amateurist), Thursday, 3 June 2004 22:44 (nineteen years ago) link

at the ceremony i expect the clouds to open up and a rumbling basso profundo to say "thank you, we're humbled"

giving the pope a medal - what's next, lecturing mccain about sacrifice in war?

Tracer Hand (tracerhand), Thursday, 3 June 2004 23:11 (nineteen years ago) link

June 13, 2004
Bush Asked for Vatican's Help on Political Issues, Report Says
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

On his recent trip to Rome, President Bush asked a top Vatican official to push American bishops to speak out more about political issues, including same-sex marriage, according to a report in the National Catholic Reporter, an independent newspaper.

In a column posted Friday evening on the paper's Web site, John L. Allen Jr., its correspondent in Rome and the dean of Vatican journalists, wrote that Mr. Bush had made the request in a June 4 meeting with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican secretary of state. Citing an unnamed Vatican official, Mr. Allen wrote: "Bush said, 'Not all the American bishops are with me' on the cultural issues. The implication was that he hoped the Vatican would nudge them toward more explicit activism."

Mr. Allen wrote that others in the meeting confirmed that the president had pledged aggressive efforts "on the cultural front, especially the battle against gay marriage, and asked for the Vatican's help in encouraging the U.S. bishops to be more outspoken." Cardinal Sodano did not respond, Mr. Allen reported, citing the same unnamed people.

A spokesman for the Vatican declined yesterday to disclose the contents of the meeting, which followed the president's brief meeting with the pope. Jeanie Mamo, a spokeswoman for the White House, said: "They had a good, private discussion. They discussed a number of priorities of shared concern, and the president's and the Vatican's positions on these issues are well known."

The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, called the report "mind-boggling."

"It is just unprecedented for a president to ask for help from the Vatican to get re-elected, and that is exactly what this is," Mr. Lynn said. Linda Pieczynski, a spokeswoman for Call to Action, a liberal Catholic group, said, "For a president to try to get the leader of any religious organization to manipulate his fellow clergymen to support a political candidate crosses the line in this country."

But some with experience in Roman Catholic politics said they were hardly shocked. "Any head of state who goes to the Vatican will attempt to present a case," said Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete, a professor of theology at St. Joseph's Seminary in New York. Monsignor Albacete, who has served as a translator for Catholic officials in meetings with heads of state, said: "If it is done in a very rude way, then the Vatican will remember and you won't get invited again. But if it is done in a diplomatic way, that is why they go to the Vatican anyway. It is not an act of devotion. It is a political thing."

Mr. Bush's campaign is betting heavily on churchgoers in his re-election effort, and how Catholic voters apply their faith to politics is emerging as a focal point of the race. There are an estimated 63 million Catholics in the United States. Bush campaign pollsters have said that in the last election, people who attended church regularly voted disproportionately for Mr. Bush, though Catholics were much more evenly split than Protestants were.

Once a reliably Democratic constituency, Catholics have become divided, with traditionalist Catholics making common cause with conservative evangelical Protestants on social issues like opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion. But Mr. Bush is also a born-again Methodist who is likely to face a Roman Catholic opponent, Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts. And the pope and other Catholic officials have repeatedly criticized the Bush administration over the war in Iraq.

In the last six months, a handful of Catholic bishops in the United States have already weighed in on the presidential race by threatening to withhold communion from Catholic politicians who disagree with the church's stance on abortion, a group that includes Senator Kerry.

Other bishops, however, have said that threatening to withhold communion goes too far, and the pope has warned of "the formation of factions within the church" in the United States. The bishops are expected to take up the matter at a closed-door conference this week in Colorado.

Pope John Paul II praised Mr. Bush last week for "the promotion of moral values" but reminded the president of the pope's "unequivocal position" on Iraq.

Jason Horowitz contributed reporting from Rome for this article.

hstencil (hstencil), Sunday, 13 June 2004 21:33 (nineteen years ago) link

four years pass...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7926694.stm

A Brazilian archbishop says all those who helped a child rape victim secure an abortion are to be excommunicated from the Catholic Church.

The girl, aged nine, who lives in the north-eastern state of Pernambuco, became pregnant with twins.

It is alleged that she had been sexually assaulted over a number of years by her stepfather.

The excommunication applies to the child's mother and the doctors involved in the procedure.

The pregnancy was terminated on Wednesday.

Abortion is only permitted in Brazil in cases of rape and where the mother's life is at risk and doctors say the girl's case met both these conditions.

Police believe that the girl at the centre of the case had been sexually abused by her step-father since she was six years old.

The fact that she was pregnant with twins was only discovered after she was taken to hospital in Pernambuco complaining of stomach pains.

Her stepfather was arrested last week, allegedly as he tried to escape to another region of the country.

He is also suspected of abusing the girl's physically handicapped older sister who is now 14.

Intervention bid

The Catholic Church tried to intervene to prevent the abortion going ahead but the procedure was carried out on Wednesday.

Now a Church spokesman says all those involved, including the child's mother and the doctors, are to be excommunicated.

The Archbishop of Olinda and Recife, Jose Cardoso Sobrinho, told Brazil's TV Globo that the law of God was above any human law.

He said the excommunication would not apply to the child because of her age, but would affect all those who ensured the abortion was carried out.

However, doctors at the hospital said they had to take account of the welfare of the girl, and that she was so small that her uterus did not have the ability to contain one child let alone two.

While the action of the Church in opposing an abortion for a young rape victim is not unprecedented, it has attracted criticism from women's rights groups in Brazil.

Go for it scummy Brazilian Catholic Church.

Alex in SF, Friday, 6 March 2009 02:28 (fifteen years ago) link

I don't even think the Vatican would attempt this.


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