Why I hate the Church I love

Is it it any wonder the Catholic Church is seen by many, including many of its own people, as irrelevant?

How can she possibly justify the excommunication of the mother of a nine-year-old girl in Brazil for authorising the abortion of twin girls her daughter was carrying as the result of being raped by her stepfather?

Raped. Apparently since the age of six.

Sometimes I hate the Church I love.

The doctors who performed the abortion also have been excommunicated. But not the alleged perpetrator of this crime. Not the stepfather. He, says the Church, did not take an innocent life.

Oh, really? So even if the young girl was/is emotionally tortured for the rest of her life — whether or not she had the abortion — she remains 'alive' does she? And that's all that matters?

A Vatican cleric is quoted by Agence France-Presse as saying: 'It is a sad case but the real problem is that the twins conceived were two innocent persons, who had the right to live and could not be eliminated.'

Where are the innocent little girl's rights? I would say they have been eliminated.

I do not believe in wholesale abortion. I do believe in the primacy of conscience. I cannot imagine being in the same position as that mother, but if I were there is every possibility I would have done what she did. So if there is guilt by association, then, please, excommunicate me.

But know this. I will be back at Mass the following day and I will receive the Eucharist with my conscience clear.

Perhaps when there are women in the Vatican, there will be compassion. And, contrary to what our good Cardinal says, that will happen before hell freezes over.

Bill Farrelly is a retired Sydney Morning Herald journalist who wasn't always objective.



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Existing comments

Thank you Bill - the whole issue is so gob-smackingly sad, beyond words. As you say one can hardly guess at the mother's state, having been betrayed thoroughly by a partner, to whom she was committed, by the violation of her daughter.

It is interesting that nowhere is Jesus reported as commenting on abortion and it must have been practised in his day - and in a situation such as this I think we should ask - What would Jesus do?

I also think that a culture of celibacy and its huge, accumulative history of negative attitude towards women that dies hard, is a contributing factor to decision making of any kind. It is necessary to look at the pay-off for both 'sides' - and there are 'winners' and 'losers', not exactly the reign of God with justice paramount.
Hilary | 11 March 2009

Well said Bill Farrelly!! Mores the pity there are not more men like yourself willing to speak out against absolute injustice such as this. I wonder what Jesus would have done if he were here in person??
Rosemary Keenan | 11 March 2009

I can't believe any church can call itself 'Christian' when it acts so abominably as it has in this case to which Bill Farrelly refers. The stepfather gets off scot free even though he has been brutalising this child since she was six years old, while the mother and child have been excommunicated. Unbelievable. It's high time the church came out of the dark ages and got real.
Marie | 11 March 2009

Congratulations Bill on a passionate and courageous letter.
Maureen | 11 March 2009

Primarily because of Bill Farrelly and like minded Catholics, the Church continues to be a powerful influence for social justice and the common good.Sadly too many of the hierarchy are out of touch with the real world as it is today.
David | 11 March 2009

Before the Bishop opened his mouth, he should have gone to see the little girl and her mother. Even if the child were able to deliver the twins (and she wasn't), who was going to support these children? Not the Bishop? He was too quick to make a judgement here. Christian charity went right out of the window.
Little Bear | 12 March 2009

Bill Farrelly is wrong. What good does killing the twins do?
Peter Flood | 06 April 2009

There they are on the tarmac, the priest blesses the pilot, his aircraft also gets a splash of holy water. Off he flies to drop bombs that will kill how many innocent lives? Lamentable at best,'well done' at worst. What is it I do not understand about christian consciousness towards murder
ken mckay | 30 July 2009

If these reports are correct, I believe the Bishop mentioned might need to look at his reasons for the excommunication.
Was it to demonstrate his power,to show us that he always obeyed the church law, or to boost his ego that little bit more?
Has not Vatican 11 called on all priests bishops etc.to be more pastoral as they minister to the faithful, or for that matter to the unfaithful.
'Brothers,if one of you misbehaves, the more spiritual of you who set him right should do so in a spirit of gentleness, not forgetting that you may be tempted yourselves,'Cor.5:1
Bernie Introna | 12 October 2009

Bill Farrelly is right. This judgement is an abomination and a gross violation of the loving care Jesus showed to human beings, including women, whose needs 'his' church often ignores. I will never forget when a monsignor on a hospital ethics committee offered to me the information that he had successfully opposed an abortion for a diabetic mother of four, despite medical advice that she would probably die during the pregnancy. I picked up my baby daughter, said 'she needs feeding' and left the room. The church has often ignored women as human beings and it doesn't seem to be getting any wiser.
Gabrielle Bridges | 01 December 2009

Two wrong does not make it right.
juan | 12 October 2010


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