As I wrote about yesterday, the case of the 9-year old girl who was forced to have an abortion (yes, you read correctly - "forced" - how much say do you think she had in the matter?) after she was raped by her step-father was seriously misrepresented in the media, and the President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, +Rino Fisichella, exacerbated the situation grotesquely by his untimely interference with a number of singularly ill-informed and erroneous comments.
Now, the persons who were actually implicated in this matter has responded with a statement in L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's official newspaper. Among other things, they say (emphases mine):
All of us - beginning with the parish priest of Alagoinha (undersigned) - treated the pregnant girl and her family with all charity and tenderness. The Parish priest, making use of his pastoral solicitude, when aware of the news in his residence, immediately went to the house of the family, in which he met the girl and lent her his support and presence, before the grave and difficult situation in which the girl found herself. And this attitude continued every day, from Alagoinha to Recife, where the sad event of the abortion of the two innocent [babies] took place. Therefore, it is quite evident and unequivocal that nobody thought in "excommunication" in the first place. We used all means at our disposal to avoid the abortion and thus save all THREE lives. The Parish priest personally joined the local Children's Council in all efforts which sought the welfare of the child and of her two children. In the hospital, in daily visits, he displayed attitudes of care and attention which made clear both to the child and to her mother that they were not alone, but that the Church, represented by the local Parish priest, assured them of the necessary assistance and of the certainty that all would be done for the welfare of the girl and to save her two children.
[Rino Fisichella] believed he could speak about [a situation] he did not know, and, what is worse, he did not even have the trouble of first speaking to his brother in the episcopate, and, for his imprudent attitude, he is causing great scandal among the Catholic faithful in Brazil who are believing that Archbishop José Cardoso Sobrinho was rash in his pronouncements. Instead of seeking his brother in the episcopate, he chose to believe in our openly Anti-clerical press.
They also quote a Catholic obstetrician who has issued this statement:
"...As an obstetrician for 50 years, graduated in the National Medical School of the University of Brazil, and former chief of Obstetrics in the Hospital of Andarai [Rio de Janeiro], in which I served for 35 years until I retired in order to dedicate myself to the Diaconate, and having delivered 4,524 babies, many from juvenile [mothers], I never had to resort to an abortion to 'save lives', as well as all my colleagues, sincere and honest in their profession and faithful to their Hippocratic oath. ..."
Thanks to Rorate Cæli for covering the spilling out of this can of worms.