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Thread: Pope Francis will send ‘missionaries of mercy’ to absolve women of abortion ‘sin’

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    Pope Francis will send ‘missionaries of mercy’ to absolve women of abortion ‘sin’

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/m...-abortion-sin/

    On Feb. 25, 2009, a small girl arrived at the doorstep of a clinic in the Brazilian city of Pesqueira in great pain. Her abdomen was swollen and she complained of headaches, nausea and dizziness. When a doctor examined her, however, he quickly realized that she wasn’t sick. She was four months pregnant — with twins. The girl was nine years old, raped by her own stepfather. Doctors determined that the girl’s tiny body was too small to bear a child, let alone two, so they scheduled an operation. Although abortion is generally illegal in Brazil, it is allowed in cases of rape and to save a mother’s life. The girl checked into a local hospital, only for the hospital to suddenly announce it was postponing the procedure because of pressure from the Catholic Church.

    “God’s law is above any human law,” Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho of Olinda and Recife announced. “So when a human law … is contrary to God’s law, this human law has no value.” When the nine-year-old received an abortion at another hospital, Cardoso decreed that the girl, her mother and her doctors were all excommunicated. “We consider this murder,” said a lawyer for the archdiocese. The abortion scandal soon went international. Rino Fisichella, an archbishop at the Vatican and president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, publicly criticized Cardoso and said the excommunications made the church seem “insensitive, incomprehensible and lacking in mercy.”

    On June 8, Pope Benedict XVI finally weighed in. Instead of supporting Fisichella, however, Benedict “ordered that a statement be published reaffirming that the church’s teaching on abortion had not changed,” according to Conscience magazine. “Archbishop Fisichella was obliged to issue a clarification, which amounted to a retraction.” Six years later, however, the Holy See is now a much different place. On Tuesday, Archbishop Fisichella was back in the news, but this time firmly in line with his boss. During a news conference at the Vatican, Fisichella announced that Pope Francis would be empowering his priests to pardon women for having abortions. Moreover, the Vatican would be sending these “missionaries of mercy” all across the world as part of the Pope’s Jubilee, or Holy Year, of Mercy, which begins in December.

    Francis has spoken sharply about abortion, calling it “a sin against God.” But his year of mercy is aimed at bringing back estranged Catholics by emphasizing outreach, even for those who have committed grave sins in the eyes of the church. Last year, Francis told Catholic bishops in South Africa that “abortion compounds the grief of many women who now carry with them deep physical and spiritual wounds.” He noted, however, that reconciliation “must be rediscovered as a fundamental dimension of the life of grace.” Fisichella, now the president of the council organizing Holy Year events, said the Pope’s decision was intended “as a concrete sign that a priest must be a man of mercy and close to all.”

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    Re: Pope Francis will send ‘missionaries of mercy’ to absolve women of abortion ‘sin’

    Quote Originally Posted by Anomalism View Post
    Pope Francis will send ‘missionaries of mercy’ to absolve women of abortion ‘sin’ - The Washington Post

    On Feb. 25, 2009, a small girl arrived at the doorstep of a clinic in the Brazilian city of Pesqueira in great pain. Her abdomen was swollen and she complained of headaches, nausea and dizziness. When a doctor examined her, however, he quickly realized that she wasn’t sick. She was four months pregnant — with twins. The girl was nine years old, raped by her own stepfather. Doctors determined that the girl’s tiny body was too small to bear a child, let alone two, so they scheduled an operation. Although abortion is generally illegal in Brazil, it is allowed in cases of rape and to save a mother’s life. The girl checked into a local hospital, only for the hospital to suddenly announce it was postponing the procedure because of pressure from the Catholic Church.

    “God’s law is above any human law,” Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho of Olinda and Recife announced. “So when a human law … is contrary to God’s law, this human law has no value.” When the nine-year-old received an abortion at another hospital, Cardoso decreed that the girl, her mother and her doctors were all excommunicated. “We consider this murder,” said a lawyer for the archdiocese. The abortion scandal soon went international. Rino Fisichella, an archbishop at the Vatican and president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, publicly criticized Cardoso and said the excommunications made the church seem “insensitive, incomprehensible and lacking in mercy.”

    On June 8, Pope Benedict XVI finally weighed in. Instead of supporting Fisichella, however, Benedict “ordered that a statement be published reaffirming that the church’s teaching on abortion had not changed,” according to Conscience magazine. “Archbishop Fisichella was obliged to issue a clarification, which amounted to a retraction.” Six years later, however, the Holy See is now a much different place. On Tuesday, Archbishop Fisichella was back in the news, but this time firmly in line with his boss. During a news conference at the Vatican, Fisichella announced that Pope Francis would be empowering his priests to pardon women for having abortions. Moreover, the Vatican would be sending these “missionaries of mercy” all across the world as part of the Pope’s Jubilee, or Holy Year, of Mercy, which begins in December.

    Francis has spoken sharply about abortion, calling it “a sin against God.” But his year of mercy is aimed at bringing back estranged Catholics by emphasizing outreach, even for those who have committed grave sins in the eyes of the church. Last year, Francis told Catholic bishops in South Africa that “abortion compounds the grief of many women who now carry with them deep physical and spiritual wounds.” He noted, however, that reconciliation “must be rediscovered as a fundamental dimension of the life of grace.” Fisichella, now the president of the council organizing Holy Year events, said the Pope’s decision was intended “as a concrete sign that a priest must be a man of mercy and close to all.”
    It's not possible for a nine year old to be excommunicated. Given that, I'm going to assume that everything else in the article is made up, until proven otherwise.

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    Re: Pope Francis will send ‘missionaries of mercy’ to absolve women of abortion ‘sin’

    This is an interesting baby step. Still a baby step, in a situation where long strides are necessary, but this is an interesting way to move the church slowly away from its entrenched misogyny and maybe remain relevant in the modern world. Whether he's as much of a force for good as some would like him to be or not, you really can't deny that this pope is crafty. He seems to have a plan and is definitely going with it.
    Liberté. Égalité. Fraternité.

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    Re: Pope Francis will send ‘missionaries of mercy’ to absolve women of abortion ‘sin’

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    This is an interesting baby step. Still a baby step, in a situation where long strides are necessary, but this is an interesting way to move the church slowly away from its entrenched misogyny and maybe remain relevant in the modern world. Whether he's as much of a force for good as some would like him to be or not, you really can't deny that this pope is crafty. He seems to have a plan and is definitely going with it.
    You understand that the article author doesn't know what he's talking about, right?

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    Re: Pope Francis will send ‘missionaries of mercy’ to absolve women of abortion ‘sin’

    If there is misinformation in the article I was unaware of it. I apologize if that is the case.

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    Re: Pope Francis will send ‘missionaries of mercy’ to absolve women of abortion ‘sin’

    I find it funny that an old man who neither seems to know nor care about the experiences of women thinks they need his mercy. What on earth for?

    This is nothing but a ploy to try to bring back ex-Catholics -- he says he is targeting the "estranged." In other words, women who have shaken off the brainwashing that they need anyone's mercy for doing what's best for their own lives.

    As if they haven't suffered enough at the hands of the church. Perhaps he should save some of that shame for himself. Evidently these women have had quite enough of it.

    I'm sorry, but the Catholic church "updating" itself to only being 200 years behind modernity instead of 500 is just not good enough for me.

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    Re: Pope Francis will send ‘missionaries of mercy’ to absolve women of abortion ‘sin’

    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeAndMirrors View Post
    I'm sorry, but the Catholic church "updating" itself to only being 200 years behind modernity instead of 500 is just not good enough for me.
    We should praise a step in the right direction and hope for more. I think the Pope's views are far more liberal than he would ever dare let on.

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    Re: Pope Francis will send ‘missionaries of mercy’ to absolve women of abortion ‘sin’

    Quote Originally Posted by Anomalism View Post
    We should praise a step in the right direction and hope for more. I think the Pope's views are far more liberal than he would ever dare let on.
    What step are you referring to?

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    Re: Pope Francis will send ‘missionaries of mercy’ to absolve women of abortion ‘sin’

    Quote Originally Posted by Anomalism View Post
    We should praise a step in the right direction and hope for more. I think the Pope's views are far more liberal than he would ever dare let on.
    For non-Catholics, no, I don't think we should.

    That gives the impression that this is in any way good enough. It isn't. The church is barely what might be considered acceptable to exist by legal technicality. That is not good enough in 2015. And if he wants praise and to be welcome at the table of civilized societies, then he needs to keep working.

    No deal.

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    Re: Pope Francis will send ‘missionaries of mercy’ to absolve women of abortion ‘sin’

    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeAndMirrors View Post
    The church is barely what might be considered acceptable to exist by legal technicality.
    So you want the Church to be illegalized? That's fine, I also want opposing views (like atheistic hedonism) to be suppressed, but at least come out and say it.

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