Earlier this month, in something of a surprise, a nun at a Catholic hospital in Phoenix was excommunicated for approving a first-trimester abortion last year at that hospital to save the life of a critically ill patient. “An unborn child is not a disease,” said Bishop Thomas Olmsted of the Phoenix diocese. “While medical professionals should certainly try to save a pregnant mother’s life, the means by which they do it can never be by directly killing her unborn child.”
The irony here is thick: it has taken years, sometimes decades, to bring sex-abusing priests to justice, but this observant sister, Margaret McBride, was excommunicated in a matter of months for making a compassionate and impossible decision for one of her parishioners.
Indeed, the irony is thick as a log. Apparently, the Catholic church has done little next to nothing to prevent and punish priests who sexually abuse children. According to many reports, this has been going on for years. And it's just after everything explodes in the Pope's face, that there is an apology regarding the issue.
However, when a nun, probably committing the sin of using some brain and compassion to save a woman's life, approves a first-trimester abortion (not even a third trimester) she gets punished with the highest punishment the Catholic church gives to its sheep followers: excommunication.
Of course I don't give two shits about excommunication (actually I'd love to get one). But this seemed like a good woman who was trying to do good unto others. What is wrong with that? The woman she tried to save had her life at risk, is it too bad to try to save it?
The celerity with which this case was dealt with is also amazing. It takes years to bring a pedophile priest to court, but just weeks to excommunicate a nun for such a trivial thing.
If there is anything good about this case is that hopefully more women will reconsider wasting their life as nuns, where their will and judgment will be thwarted in order to comply with centuries-old nonsense. Hopefully more women will fully enjoy their lives. And hopefully, the nuns we will see around look more like this:
Finally, a couple of days ago, some idiots thought it would be funny to vandalize a church and stab a Virgin Mary painting in the face. Hopefully they get caught and get their asses thrown in jail. Just like priest who abuse kids should have theirs. This kind of insanity is never a solution.
Yet, I wonder what makes the Virgin Mary angrier: some vandals putting a knife on her image? Or people who say to represent God on Earth to guide His church and, at the same time, abuse and cover such abuses?
UPDATE: Nicholas D. Kristof from the New York Times says:
We finally have a case where the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy is responding forcefully and speedily to allegations of wrongdoing.
But the target isn’t a pedophile priest. Rather, it’s a nun who helped save a woman’s life. Doctors describe her as saintly.
The excommunication of Sister Margaret McBride in Phoenix underscores all that to me feels morally obtuse about the church hierarchy. I hope that a public outcry can rectify this travesty.
I wouldn't be so hopeful. The Catholic Church has had countless opportunities to rectify the many fuck-ups it has had. Only has used some.