Vatican Archbishop Defends Abortion For 9-Year Old Brazilian Girl

Archbishop Rino Fisichella has come out in defense of the 9-year-old girl who received an abortion after being raped by her stepfather, stating that her life was in danger due to the pregnancy.

"Before thinking about excommunication, it was necessary and urgent to save her innocent life and bring her back to a level of humanity of which we men of the church should be expert and masters in proclaiming," Fisichella, a Vatican prelate who heads the Pontifical Academy For Life, wrote in the Vatican newspaper. Though he clearly noted that he was against abortion, he believed that in this case, the girl ""should have been above all defended, embraced, treated with sweetness to make her feel that we were all on her side, all of us, without distinction," and noted that the highly public excommunication of the girl's mother and doctors on the Vatican's behalf "unfortunately hurts the credibility of our teaching, which appears in the eyes of many as insensitive, incomprehensible and lacking mercy. There wasn't any need, we contend, for so much urgency and publicity in declaring something that happens automatically." [AP]