11 March 2009

Fighting for the Church

I don’t often take the time to actually write letters to the editor or reply to columnists, but an article I read in yesterday’s Edmonton Sun annoyed me so much I felt compelled to respond. (Read the article here)The article was titled “Vatican Lives in a Vacuum” and essentially went after the Church because of its response to the excommunication of the parents and doctor of a 9 year old girl in Brazil. The girl was pregnant with twins (the stepfather is accused of rape) and the doctor and mother decided that abortion was the only option. For their part in the abortion, the mother and doctors were excommunicated. (Read that story here)

Here was my response to the article:

I would just like illuminate a few teachings of Catholic doctrine that Ms. Jacob's column "Vatican lives in a Vacuum" misunderstood. The archbishop speaking out did not excommunicate the mother and the doctors; they were automatically excommunicated as soon as they made the decision to force the child to have an abortion because such action is considered a mortal sin by the Church. Anyone involved in procuring an abortion is immediately excommunicated, whether they are informed so by their bishop or not. While the statement didn't specifically mention the step-father, you can be assured that if he is guilty of rape, he has also been excommunicated for the same reasons.

The Catholic Church teaches that abortion is always wrong. They do that because they believe that the unborn fetus is a human being, and to abort the child is murder. Church law does not change on a case by case basis; it is law because it applies in every case. While this is an incredibly tragic case, the abortion simply compounds the crime of rape. If you read the doctor's reports further, they conclude that a vaginal birth could have killed the girl, not the pregnancy itself. That means the children could have been safely brought to term, and a C section performed. This choice would have saved all 3 lives, instead of killing 2. Not only that, there are potential long term complications from the abortion itself, which could include infertility later in life if the girl wants to have a family.

And finally, the tongue in cheek statement "you naughty Catholics shouldn't have sex unless you are planning to procreate" is actually true. Pregnancy is the natural end result of sex; why else do you think people spend thousands every year to try to avoid it with birth control that is never 100% effective. If you have sex, there is a possibility that you will get pregnant. The condom, even if used properly, is only 99% effective. That means 1 in 100 couples who have sex and use the condom correctly will end up pregnant. If you are not prepared to have a child, you should not be having sex; it's not that difficult to understand.

When writing a column on a statement made by the Catholic Church, please do a little bit of research first so you understand where the church is coming from rather than demonizing it because you disagree. The teachings of the church come from a large body of research spanning 2000 years and are based in theology, philosophy and science, and the church articulates reasons for every doctrine it has. If you'd like to know more, please don't hesitate to ask.


If the article upsets you as well, please send a letter to the editor to mailbag@edmsun.com or reply directly to the columnist at mindy.jacobs@sunmedia.ca. Please keep in mind that they only publish letters that are 100 words or less.

I really wish people would stop condemning the Church based on what they believe her to be saying, not what she actually teaches. It’s frustrating. And, when dealing with abortion, we need to keep in mind that the real issue is what are the unborn. This columnist (and many others) don’t believe the unborn children to be human. They are very concerned about the health and welfare of the child who was raped, and I commend them for it, but what about the health and welfare of the children she was carrying? If they are all human, how can the unborn be any less worthy of life?

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