Brazilian Archbishop Corrects ‘Misunderstanding’ Over Abortion Comments

The Catholic archbishop of the Brazilian diocese of Olinda and Recife has issued a “clarification” regarding ambiguous comments he made regarding a direct abortion performed on a minor living in his diocese.

The comments, made on April 10 by Archbishop Fernando Saburido to two different publications, seemed to offer justification for the abortion on medical grounds, despite the Church’s condemnation of all direct abortions, and indicated simply that the decision was for the parents and doctors to make, and not the Church.

The comments were noted in the Brazilian press and contrasted with the clearly pro-life statements and actions of the previous Archbishop, José Cardoso Sobrinho.  They provoked responses of condemnation in the Brazilian blogosphere and from Human Life International.

In a “notification” posted on the archdiocesan website, however, Saburido accuses the reporter in one of the interviews of being “biased,” and states that the abortion performed on the ten-year-old girl allegedly raped by her stepfather, was “anti-Christian.”

“I share, in all senses, the orientation of our Holy Church which defends life and does not admit, in any hypothesis, that it be eliminated because it is a gift of God and it is only proper for Him to eliminate it,” said the archbishop.

“In the specific case of the 10 year old child, at four months of pregnancy, victim of rape by her stepfather and subjected to an abortion, I disagree with the solution that was chosen. I considered it anti-Christian because it cuts off the life that perfectly well could have been saved.  There would not be families lacking that would have been available to adopt the baby, offering it affection and dignity.”

He also indicates his opposition to Brazilian law, which does not penalize abortions in certain cases. “In our country, abortion is not penalized in specific cases,” he writes.  “With the Church, I understand that this norm is contrary to the basic principles of Christian ethics and cannot be accepted because it is a law that kills.”

“I am sure that all who know me and know my background, will never doubt my love of the Church and my fidelity to its Magisterium,” he said.

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