My blog posting " Something about our faith" on March 10 was about a senior Vatican cleric defended the excommunication of the mother and doctors of a nine-year-old girl who had an abortion* in Brazil after allegedly being raped by her stepfather.
The regional archbishop, Jose Cardoso Sobrinho, who pronounced the excommunication** said: "God's law is above any human law. So when a human law ... is contrary to God's law, this human law has no value,"
His action was supported by Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, head of the Catholic church's Congregation for Bishops, who also heads the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.
On March 15, in a statement in the Vatican newspaper, Archbishop Fisichella, head of the Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life, came out to defend the doctors who performed the abortion on the raped 9 year-old girl. He argued for a sense of "mercy" in such cases and respect for the Catholic doctors' wrenching decision, and strongly criticised fellow churchmen who singled out the doctors and mother for public condemnation.
He also criticised the Brazilian archbishop's quick proclamation of excommunication as "unfortunately hurts the credibility of our teaching, which appears in the eyes of many as insensitive, incomprehensive and lacking mercy." (from ICN)
At last we are hearing "human words" (人话）. This is the compassionate face of the church.
* Abortion is a mortal sin (a great sin against the law of God).
** Excommunication is a suspension of membership... in exile.