Think twice. There’s not much rhyme or reason in belonging to a church that protects men who rape little boys and girls, but almost instantaneously excommunicates women who save the lives of other women.
Lest you think that’s a bit harsh, read this.
Sister Sister Margaret McBride, the administrator of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, a Catholic hospital, was confronted by a moral dilemma. An 11 week pregnant woman was admitted to the hospital “gravely” ill. So ill that the doctors expected that if she continued with the pregnancy, her chances of dying were almost 100%.So she chose abortion, and Sister Margaret approved. She was then unceremoniously excommunicated from the Church she worked for.
Fortunately, even the Catholic Church has a loophole in their ban against abortion. It’s called Directive 47, and allows abortion when it will mean saving the life of the mother. Most people, even the majority of those in the US who are anti-choice, usually allow an exception to save the life of the mother, and the Catholic Church seems to fall in line.
But not in this case. This happened just last November. I think we’re still waiting to see if any priests have been excommunicated as a result of their child buggery. It’s a long drawn out process, if and when it happens, and takes decades. But, if you are a woman saving the life of another woman, the usual patriarchal double standard applies, and you are fast-tracked out the door.
And it’s not as if the church had no choice! According to the Reverend Thomas Doyle (yes, a priest and a canon lawyer)
Olmsted could have looked at the situation, realized that the nun faced an agonizing choice and shown her some mercy. He adds that this case highlights a “gross inequity” in how the church chooses to handle scandal.
“In the case of priests who are credibly accused and known to be guilty of sexually abusing children, they are in a sense let off the hook,” Doyle says.
Doyle says no pedophile priests have been excommunicated. When priests have been caught, he says, their bishops have protected them, and it has taken years or decades to defrock them, if ever.
Sister Margaret can try to rejoin the church, but why would she want to, after being treated so shabbily?