Thursday, August 31, 2006

Courage in Colombia

I read in today's Guardian that the Vatican insists that the Catholic church "will excommunicate a medical team who performed Colombia's first legal abortion on an 11-year-old girl, who was eight weeks pregnant after being raped by her stepfather." Great. This child wanted to have her childhood back, but the church thinks it better that she go through the life-altering business of birth to a baby she never wanted after the torment of her stepfather's predatory actions.

Where is Christ's teaching in this? Such Pharisaical adherence to the letter of the law seems to have little to do with the one who welcomed children in their innocence and rebuked those who would dismiss them - let alone cause them to "stumble". I know there are arguments about the right to life of the unborn child - but what about the living and already traumatised child at the centre of the story?

I salute these doctors and nurses for their courage and their compassion and their willingness to sacrifice themselves in the face of an autocratic religious hierarchy. Sound like Christians, don't they?

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