The Archbishop of the Brazilian city of Recife has announced the excommunication of a doctor who performed an abortion on a nine year old girl, as well as the family members who made the decision to carry out the procedure.
The girl, whose name has not been revealed by the Brazilian media, was found to be pregnant with twins recently. Her stepfather has confessed that he began molesting her at the age of three and that he is the father of the child. He is under arrest pending an investigation of his relationship with his stepdaughter, as well as her 14-year-old sister.
Although doctors at the hospital where the girl was initially admitted, Imip, reportedly said that her life was not in danger, her mother reportedly transferred her to another hospital, Cisam, that was willing to do the abortion, which is not penalized under Brazilian law because the girl was raped.
José Cardoso Sobrinho, Archbishop of Olinda and Recife, confirmed that while the child would not be held accountable for the act, the doctor who carried out the abortion and anyone who assisted or gave their approval were excommunicated by the Church.
"To be subject to this penalty is it is necessary to be of age. The Church is very benevolent, especially with minors," the Archbishop told the media. "Now the adults, those who approved, who carried out this abortion, are excommunicated."
Sobrinho brushed aside the notion that the legality of the abortion under Brazilian law was a sufficient excuse for those involved.
"The law of God is above all human law," he said. "Therefore, when a human law, meaning a law promulgated by human legislators, is contrary to the law of God, this human law has no value."
Abortion, he said, is "homicide against innocent life. We are talking about a silent holocaust, that kills a one million innocents in Brazil and fifty million in the world every year, a holocaust worse than the six million Jews, which we lament every year."
The Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife was preparing to file a motion to prevent the abortion when news arrived that it had already been carried out.
The Archbishop’s decision to announce the excommunication, which is automatic under the Church’s law for those who participate in an abortion, was met with denunciations publicized by Brazil’s media, which is dominated by liberal ideologues. Among those quoted was Brazil’s pro-abortion health minister, Jose Gomes Temporao, who repeated the claim that the girl was at risk from the pregnancy.