I have a bone to pick with the Vatican.
First, the reinstatement of the holocaust-denying bishop. That was seriously bad PR, not to mention bad policy. Let's just call it bad. We'll agree that God is just and forgiving and loves all His children. Allowing the man to re-join the church was not an issue. Reinstalling him as a bishop? No.
Now the Vatican defends the excommunication of the mother and doctors of a nine-year-old Brazilian girl who gave her an abortion. To clarify, the nine-year-old girl was pregnant with twins as the result of a rape, allegedly by her stepfather. To further clarify, her life was in danger. This is not hard to believe. Multiple births are high-risk for a healthy adult woman, let alone a growing child.
I'm not going to argue about the value of human life. I place a high value on it. I'll just point out that if the mother dies, the unborn children will die with her. In this particular case, the abortion saves one life, rather than losing three. All but the most extreme anti-abortion people will agree that it's reasonable to save the life of the mother. Nevertheless, the girl's mother and her doctors were excommunicated. Which is okay, if those are the rules, then those are the rules.
But wait. What about the stepfather? The one who, according to the girl, has been sexually abusing her since she was six, as well as sexually abusing her disabled sister, age 14? "Although the man allegedly committed "a heinous crime ... the abortion — the elimination of an innocent life — was more serious," regional archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho said, according to a quote on Canada.com.
What does one have to do with the other? Why would the stepfather not be excommunicated? I think child molestation and rape, while not as severe as murder, are still unconscionable and excommunication-worthy. If nothing else, doesn't the church have enough trouble with its apparent tacit acceptance of pederasty?
I have to say, it sounds like they're letting the wrong people in and kicking the right people out. If situations like this keep happening, excommunication is going to become a badge of honor.