The Pope, Pregnant Children, and Violence Against Girls and Women

I find it strange that Pope Benedict XVI chose a week that will culminate in a global strike to protest violence against women to retire. And for health reasons no less. Orange smoke and irony and all that. On Thursday of this week, all over the globe, people will gather and dance for One Billion Rising, a day dedicated to striking against violence against women. As Eve Ensler, the founder of  V-Day which has organized the strike knows better than most, “violence against women is a global, patriarchal epidemic.

Part of that epidemic is compulsory pregnancy. The Pope’s rationale is that his “age means he lacks strength to do job.” You could use the exact words to describe the nine-year old girl  whose family the Pope excommunicated for having a life-saving abortion after being raped and impregnated, with twins. It seems to me that her age meant she lacked strength to do the job, too. Actually, the job would have killed her.  These things happen. She and 16 million other pregnant adolescent girls a year, two million of whom are under age 15, strike me as 16 million good #reasonstorise.

As does this girl: last Thursday a friend posted a story on Facebook, “Dafne, 9-Year-Old Girl, Gives Birth To Baby Girl In Mexico.” Millions read and shared it over the weekend.  The link appeared with this caption: “The girl reportedly delivered a 5.7 pound baby by Caesarian section on January 27. She was 8-years old when she became pregnant.” Picky, picky feminist wordsmithy me thinks the caption should read, “The girl underwent a dangerous Caesarian surgery to delivery a 5.7 pound baby on January 27. She was 8-years old when a 17-year old boy forcibly inseminated her.”  Eight-year olds cannot consent to sex. They also cannot consent to having contraceptives implanted in their arms, but that’s now happened too. Just in case she gets ideas. On the same day, by coincidence, a 12-year old in Argentina gave birth to twins after she “fell pregnant.” Like she tripped by accident. 

While nine is very young, girls this age having babies is not as rare as we’d like to think. The United States has more “teen” births than any industrialized nation, including girls as young as 10,  and our rates have been climbing.  However, 95 percent of teen births take place in poorer countries. According to W.H.O., “Half of all adolescent births occur in just seven countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria and the United States.” Many girls die because they do not have control over their bodies and their own reproduction.

Last year, after a 10-year old in Columbia gave birth, experts blithely explained that “a C-section delivery for such a young mother is not unusual.” Given global trends (researchers, armed with competing theories, have noted that the average age of the onset of menstruation for girls has been steadily declining for decades) we can reasonably expect to see instances involving younger and younger girls. Little girls, and women who find themselves raped and pregnant often “want to die.” It’s only one reason why raped people shouldn’t be forced to carry pregnancies to term. Guess what else, besides the Papacy, of course, is a “job or life with no retirement age?” Whereas the Pope is retiring to “go back to his priesthood,” girls who are raped, pregnant and give birth or die cannot go back to their childhoods.

This was the conclusion reached by a doctor last year in the case a mentally-disabled girl, 10-years old, in Kansas, who had to have an abortion after becoming pregnant as a result of rape.  The Kansas medical review board that revoked the girl’s doctor’s license.

In Mexico, authorities “don’t know if [the girl] is being entirely truthful.” Mainly because of her age, but interesting choice of words. Is she saying she was raped? Or is she saying she wasn’t? The article linked to doesn’t say which. Turns out she’s saying that the boy was her “boyfriend.” As one commenter speculated, the child “may have even had feelings for” her rapist.  Authorities, in a perverse game of “he said/she said,” acknowledge that they are looking for the missing father, a 17-year old boy, “to acquire his own account of what occurred between the two.” In case he reveals that she was wrong in her assessment and wants to make it clear that he raped her?

Besides, it’s probably her parents fault, not his. “The new mother is one of 11 children… and her parents were unable to watch her while they worked.”  It wouldn’t have mattered, as her mother explained that her daughter had sex willingly and she “didn’t report it because she was not aware” it was a crime.

“Who has 11 children, anyway?” many people wondered. This is perhaps the most important question because another way of asking it is, “Who insists on compulsory pregnancy that impoverishes millions?” Globally, historically, that has been been the Catholic Church, which continues to put girls and women at risk worldwide through bullying policies that ensure that they will be poor and unhealthy as the result of unregulated childbearing and rearing.  This is the same Church that excommunicated a mother and doctors for saving a 9-year old victim’s life by when they ended her pregnancy with twins. Guess who the Church didn’t excommunicate? That’s right, her rapist stepfather.

Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, the retiring Pope of the Catholic Church, should be tried in the International Criminal Court of law for human rights abuses, not only for being head of an organization that has shielded and enabled child rapists, but for the deadly and systematic global obstruction of girls’ and women’s rights to life and health. 

In the hospital where Dafne gave birth, 25 percent of the births are to teenage girls.  She lived, but pregnancy is THE leading cause of death for girls ages 15 to 19 worldwide.  A thoroughly unholy international alliance between American evangelicals and the Vatican has resulted in the death of millions. While President Obama quickly repealed the “global gag rule” put into place by George Bush, which prohibited even the mention of abortion where US funds were being used for women’s health care abroad, the Helms Amendment, which restricts the use of US aid for the purposes of providing abortions, even in conflict zones where rape is endemic, still stands. It is in no small measure the result of this policy and the influence of the Catholic church that 150 million women cannot get the birth control they need or safe abortions that would save their lives.  We know how to stem these deaths— family planning, including both.  

Meanwhile, here in the US, where Catholic Bishops and friends refuse to comply with the law and religiously-inspired Republican legislators spew venomous mythologies about rape, race, poverty, and women, the rate of maternal mortality has DOUBLED in 25 years. We now rank 50th in the world for pregnancy related morbidity.  In New York City, black girls and women, are eight times more likely than white ones to die from pregnancy related causes. The girls and women dying globally often our poorest, darkest, young girls, regardless of what country they live in. 

“Someone’s 10 years old, and they were raped by their uncle and they understand that they’ve got a baby growing in their stomach and they don’t want that,” explains the doctor in the Kansas case, Dr. Ann Neuhaus. Here, we don’t excommunicate people, we harass them and terrorize them, in some cases, we kill them. Have you seen The Assassination of Dr. Tiller?  Abortion clinic violence wrought by anti-abortion groups is constant and debilitating to those who do this work. In what can only be described as an archaic witch hunt, Kansas revoked Neuhaus’ medical license last year.  They had to take a break from praying that the Violence Against Women Act won’t pass to do it.

When these religious beliefs conspire with political ambition, it’s girls and women who pay the highest price.  Consider the eight men who all voted to block passage of the Violence Against Women Act on Monday. Every woman in the Senate with the exception of Sen. Deb Fisher (R-NE) co-sponsored the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which is now being held up by concerns  that largely hinge on the color of the people involved in cases of abuse and the color of the authorities with jurisdiction over them.  Which is interesting, because in the case of the young girl who gave birth last week, many people think it’s a “Mexican” problem. Hmm.

“What kind of person would sleep with an 8-year old?” (No one was sleeping.)  The kind that has created what Mia Fontaine recently called, “America’s Incest Problem.”  Fontaine rightfully and cogently suggests how it is possible that our institutional rape tolerances have their roots in family and household rape tolerances.  No one wants to model our government more on an abusive, father-knows-best, privacy of the family, patriarchal unit than conservative Republicans using proxies like “states rights” and “lying bitches.” It’s not a random coincidence that people who obstruct the reauthorization of VAWA are those who object to family planning and women’s abilities to control their own bodies and fates.

Just a little more than a month after Governor Rick Scott of Florida held a lovely party at the Governor’s Mansion celebrating the passage of four new abortion restriction laws in that state (a state dedicated to faith-based abstinence programs), a 14-year old girl stuffed a towel into her own mouth, gave birth in her bathroom, feared her parent’s reaction, strangled her newborn, hid it in a shoe box, was discovered and charged with murder as an adult. She faces life imprisonment. She apparently didn’t know she was pregnant when she went into labor.  Before you laugh and think that’s impossible, one study found that in one out of every 7,225 pregnancies a woman is in this situation until the moment of birth.  There are many reasons a woman might be in “pregnancy denial.”

As in Mexico, no one knows where the boy or man involved is either. He does not face murder, nor do the parents, teachers, state legislators or others who failed her.  The girl may, like many kids in abstinence-only situations, not even have known how she got pregnant.  Even if she did she may have taken this to heart:  As one abstinence teacher put it in a Texas classroom, “Go ahead and use a condom. You’ll still be known as a slut.”  If her tragic case isn’t a clear enough example of girl hatred, degradation and misogynistic abuse wrought by a system of oppression, I don’t know what is. And she’s white. And in a wealthy country.

For girls and women, the Pope represents an inconvenient morality.



This post was updated since it’s original publication. 

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  • HeilMary1

    Wow! Very powerful truth telling. If only MSM would report these inconvenient facts that make the pompous heads of spoiled pedophile priests and GOP adulterers explode. MSM needs to shout that the mother-killing “pro-life” Vatican opposes effective family planning so its pedophiles will have unlimited victims. Obama needs to confront the bishops on this criminal truth regarding their Nazi opposition to affordable health care and reproductive justice.

  • cmarie

    This is a guess (obviously) but I would imagine as the next year or two go by you will see evidence that he suffers from Alzheimers or some other form of dementia. Pope John Paul II was very physically frail for many years before he died but I don’t think his mental condition was a concern. That’s probably the crucial difference here. He surely wouldn’t be the first pope to suffer from alzheimers but quite possibly the first in the modern era. People who suffer from dementia can sometimes blurt out inconvient truths. Remember, as Cardinal Ratzinger was very high up in the office of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (formally known as the office of the Inquisition) he was responsible for investigation thousands of sex abuse allegations from around the world. I’m a pretty conservative Catholic and have argued with people on this board many times before but when it comes to the Church there is no question they have to make drastic reforms and I hope they do. They need to phase out the vow of celibacy (and the even more troubling vow of obedience), they need to welcome women as priests with the same potential as men to rise in the Church and acknowledge that if you are ever going to oppose abortion for anyone then you can’t oppose birth control as well. These would be drastic changes but they are the least the church needs to do. Nothing would be worse than the situation (re: sexual abuse) which they have now. Here’s an interesting link

    • Jason Neo

      Dear conservative catholic do you believe in the leading of Holy Spirit?If you really are lead by the Holy Spirit you would read the Bible with an open mind and understand that certain practices of catholic church like intercession/veneration of saints is idolatrous and unbiblical and lead to eternal hell.Other practices like enforced celibacy,condoning pedophilia,adultery,rape etc all amount to sexual immorality.It’s with this leading of Holy Spirit true christians walk in faith.But your catholic sect has a history of massacring and branding as heretics these true christians,right from the begining of catholic sect in 4th century AD in Constantine’s Rome.Catholicism was born in 4th century AD by fusing christianity and paganism,by the Roman government inorder to consolidate their power by appeasing both increasing christian minority and pagan majority of Roman empire.for this they changed the names of old idols to ‘christian names’ and continued to use them in prayer/worship.this came to be what we know as intercession/veneration of saints.pagan solar mass of december 25th was changed to christ mass.Divination temple at Vatican hill was converted into HQ of catholicism.Those who opposed this idolatrous corruption of christianity were persecuted severly,branded as heretics and massacred by catholics .The christian groups that were branded as heretics and massacred by your catholic religion include

      1.Donatists,Manichaens(2nd century AD-15th century AD,)

      2.Paulicians,Bogomils(6th-12th century AD,they were behind the first iconoclastic movement of 8th century AD against idolatry of intercession/veneration of saints in catholic/orthodox sects)

      3.Cathars,Waldensians,Hussites,Protestants(11th century till today-cathars were completely massacred by catholics,because they voiced against idolatry and other unbiblical/unchristian practices of catholicism.Waldensians,Hussites,Protestants were similarly severly persecuted,branded as heretics and massacred by catholics because they challenged the unbiblical/unchrsistian practices of catholicism.But as Lord Jesus prophesied -“gates of hell(catholicism/orthodoxy and other false religions) will not prevail against the church that Jesus building on the Rock of revelation given to Apostle Peter in Mathew16:16-which is Jesus is the son of living God and Christ/Messiah.These chrsitians protestants/evangelicals today represent the church that Jesus is building on the Rock revelation given to apostle Peter.

      Also apostolic succesion by catholic/orthodox sects is a lie because authority of keys given to Apostle Peter in Mathew 16:18 is given to all believers in Mathew18:19.

      So God bless you to see the reality and truth and come out of catholicism and work against opression of women and for their empowerment and furthering Christ’s church on this earth.God bless you.We are praying for catholics to come to the truth and reality of our Lord Jesus Christ,so that we may have blessings in this life and eternal life after this life.

      • Alexandra Ormsby

        Jason, get SO lost!

        • Jason Neo

          Ha ha ha Ms.Alexandra you seem to get offended at the truth and reality.Getting emotional or irrational denial will not get you anywhere.You can verify what i have written and see for yourself.But if catholicism has made you blind,adamant and illogical then may God save you .God bless you to see the truth and reality

    • Motherabbess

      Hopefully the authorities will see through his Alzheimer’s smoke screen. He needs to be held accountable and neither feebleness nor insanity can save him.

  • Nancy Isenburg

    My comment is not directed at your painful, yet excellent article above. I was thinking about the hopelessness of “change” occurring with a new pontiff. That made me cast back to a bishop I revered as a child. After all of the years of abuse, neglect and scandal, I looked him up with the hope that he wasn’t involved. So much for that hope! He sent so many pedophile priests to Mexico for “treatment” that he wanted to open up a similar facility in L.A.! One last childhood belief extinguished. The Church is hopelessly broken and of no use to the people it is supposed to teach, serve and protect.

    • Soraya Chemaly

      Yes, the problem is not with the pope but with the system and institution.

    • Carol R Hill

      I couldn’t agree with you more if I tried because the church is such a mess I don’t think it will ever ever get better.

  • VeggieTart

    Last I heard, Landover Baptist is a parody site. Unless this is a different Landover.

    • ErisDiscordia definitely is.…the forums use the same (TM) behind True Christian (TM) so I’m guessing it is the same people.

    • Soraya Chemaly

      No, Poe’s law. Was actually going to use some quotes from Facebook’s 12-Year Old Slut page, but did this in error. TY!

  • Sacerdotus

    Your post is extremely dishonest and one sided. The Pope did not excommunicate anyone. The excommunication is automatic under canon law. The article you provided does not specifically mention that the 9 year old was excommunicated. Why the lies?

    I’m glad that you gave reference to the 9 year old Mexican girl who gave birth. You have actually proven that there are other options other than killing the unborn child.

    The truth of the matter here that you and other radical feminists do not seem to understand is that we must not use death as a means to solve life’s issues. This is the heart of the abortion debate. We must find a better way. Abortion will not rid society of rape, incest or violence against women. Recently, there has been a wave of deaths of women due to abortion. Ironically, the radical feminist movement is silent on this. When the unborn child seems to be a health concern, radical feminists are up in arms; however, when the abortion itself kills the woman, they are silent. I detest that hypocrisy. The Catholic Church is concerned about BOTH. We want BOTH to live.

    The rest of your post regarding charges against the Pope is hilarious and shows your lack of education on the matter. This Pope has done more than anyone to rid the Church of abuse. In reality, these cases happened decades ago. No other institution has dedicated so much time, effort and money to prevent abuse and help those abused. I invite you to name one.

    It is unfortunate that White radical feminists are trying to impose their essentialism on Latina women. (see

    I would love to engage your radical feminist rhetoric,

    • goatini

      How Christian, he likes child victims of felony assault to be forced by coercion into full-term pregnancy. “Suffer the little children to be forced into reproductive slavery” said Jesus never.

    • HeilMary1

      You mother-killing and -maiming forced birthers exploit all women as throw-away incubators for spoiled pedophile priests. No girl or woman deserves deadly and disfiguring childbirth injuries just to indulge pedophile priests with more victims. Abortion is far safer than childbirth and you know it.

    • ceallaigh

      You know what, fuck you. Just fuck you into oblivion. People like you are fucking scum. Don’t lie and pretend you give a sailing shit about the lives of women and girls. Don’t expect the world to live under your delusional, twisted form of “morality.” A FETUS NEVER, EVER TAKES PRECEDENCE OVER A BORN, LIVING PERSON. EVER. Jesus said NOTHING about abortion. NOTHING. So drop the facade and admit you hate women. You treat us like walking incubators. Abortion is safer than a goddamn penicillin shot, for Christ’s sake! You just want us all permanently enslaved by our biology. You’re sick. Go boil your goddamn worthless empty head, fetus fetishist sociopath. UGH! I can’t wait til the Church DIES OUT.

      • Big Softy

        No need to beat around the bush Ceallaigh :)

    • Collean Wilson

      If you want abortion to end, then why do people like you oppose contraceptives. Why do people like oppose sex education in the schools. Why is it that most people like you treat the naked body as something filthy that should be hidden and having knowledge of how your body works (leaving out discussions of sex) is a crime against your morals. The truth is, until women worldwide rise up and remove the yoke of patriarchy, none of this will change. I am a woman, I am not less than a man. I am not weak nor am I delusional for wanting the same rights as a man. People like you try to divide us, with comments like “It is unfortunate that White radical feminists are trying to impose their essentialism on Latina women.” When you talk to the latinas, black women, asian women, native american women, you call those who are speaking out against violence, denial of contraceptives, and the systematic treatment of women as property “White radical feminist” throwing in a racial divide as if to say “don’t listen to them, they only want to control you” when that is actually your message. What is the message you take to white women? Oh yeah….. it is the same message, but you tell her it is us (the women of color) who are trying destroy her with an ungodly taint that makes her think she can think for herself, but as you would put it in some cream puff way “creating a disturbance in the order of things” and that “we are just cranky because we are not white”. The oppressors of women try to make us feel as if we don’t deserve equality, as if wanting health and wealth is somehow not for us…. as if wanting control my own body and the number of children I have is somehow going to set the universe on fire. People like you only have laws for man. You don’t prosecute rapist…… you put the hint out that “she asked for it” or “crying rape is just buyer’s remorse”. You want women as property, living under a man with no rights….. the same as a skillet or a pair of shoes…. something to be used and disposed of when no longer useful. No human being is property and when all women realize this, the universe will quake…… along with all the men who tried to make it otherwise.

    • Barbure

      No, what the catholic church wants is for women to sit down, shut up and remember their “place.” It really doesn’t matter how you try to tart up the message, it is and always has been straight-up misogyny. Smart women see through it, and if there’s anything anti-choicers can’t abide, it’s a smart woman.

    • Soraya Chemaly

      Sacerodtus – thank you for reading and your comments. First, we have the same goals it seems: ridding society of rape, incest and violence against women. We just have different solutions. Since absolute monarchies and patriarchal systems of organizations have so ill served us I’m suggesting that we dismantle them. You, on the other hand, actively defend and participate in them. Two, abortion is not the problem per se, it is misogyny that is the problem. Three, I understand that the Catholic Church is concerned with both, I really do. It’s your execution that fails so miserably. It is disingenuous to say the least that women who advocate on behalf of women’s health and rights do have the ethics and moral agency to consider what they are doing. No woman, anywhere, needs an all-male priesthood determining what is ethical, moral or divine. My suggestion before you comment on my radical feminist rhetoric is that consider spending the next year reading canonical works of feminist philosophy, bioethics, theology, political theory. That, or take some time off from your week each week, cross-dress and volunteer in a maternity ward.

      • HeilMary1

        Better yet, he should change bed pans in any impoverished obstetric fistula clinic. I suspect that fistulas are the real dirty reason why the Vatican banned marriage for priests — to free those holy playboys from their stinky brood mare wives.

    • Patricia Valoy

      This “priest” is so obsessed with hating on White women and telling Latinas how they should behave he wrote about ME (just a regular chick on twitter) on his blog. If his beliefs were so strong and moral he wouldn’t need to troll our blogs and websites to get his incredibly flawed point of view across.

      And, Mr. “Sacerdotus” we Latinas, have our own agency. DO NOT speak on our behalf as you will never ever live in our shoes. The church-obsessed Latinas you so want us to be do not exist. In the privacy of our homes we have clandestine and dangerous abortions, we use birth control, and we avoid having scores of children like the plague. We aren’t taught proper sex education because people like you fear sexuality which only results in the spread of AIDS/HIV and countless children abandoned in the streets. Have a look at the world around you, not the inside of our wombs. Now, tell your lovely church to get their manly grips of our bodies and conform to the way we actually live life, not the ridiculous ideal of a society where an embryo is worth more than my life.

      • HeilMary1

        He’s probably a spoiled pedophile who is livid about running out of fresh, non-English-speaking kids who fear deportation if they complain to the police.

      • Soraya Chemaly

        Had to smile because I just realized he actually references his piece about you and suggests that I read it. Too funny.

        • Patricia Valoy

          He sure did! Nobody read it so he’s trying to get some hits on his blog. I feel so flattered!

    • maryann26

      You are a fucking ass. Rapists and those commit incest should be executed by the state. That would rid the world of scumbag males who rape girls and women every day. A 9 year old girl cannot consent. She is a rape victim, preyed on by a male much older than she. It does not matter if you call anyone who disagrees with you a radical feminist. Only a vile,evil, disgusting piece of vermin like yourself would ever condone the rape of a child or any woman. You are sick to the core and beyond any hope.

      • Jason Neo

        It’s really amazing that people like sacerdotus and his catholic heirarchy claim to follow Lord Jesus and condone a rapist while excommunist the victim and her parents because they tried to save her life.This is religious fanaticism at it’s worst.These catholic heirarchy are not led by the holy spirit but by satanic evil spirits as their actions prove.Througout the last 1600 years of it’s existense catholic sects actions prove to be contrary to God’s word and leading of holy spirit.Even with protestant revolution the never repented of their idolatry of intercession/veneration of saints or sexual immorality and covering of sex sins like this one.

        They burned at stake Galileo because he had the courage to tell that earth was globular in shape and not flat as church taught.They burned at stake Jan Hus for telling the truth that church was not following Lord Jesus as it claims.They dug out the corpse of William Tyndale and burned it again,because he exposed the lies of their catholic sect.

        They massacred true believers in Jesus Christ like Cathars,Waldensines,Hussites,Heugnots,Protestants,Paulicians,Bogomils and many others because these true christians had the courage to expose the lies of catholicism.

        They gave decree to kill millions of dutch people secretly because the dutch at that time had the courage to come out of catholic lies.This satanic conspiracy was averted by the timely intervention by God through Prince William of “Orange”.

        The massacred many innocent women who spoke out against the atrocities of church or where victims of rape and opression calling them witches.In reality women who practiced black magic were very few,and many of them offered their services to elite catholic heirarchy and were unhurt by catholic ‘witch’ hunt.Most vocal support of NAZI holocaust came German Catholic Zentrum(centre) party.Catholic religion has a legacy of anti christian hatred against women and the weak and oppressed of the society.The root cause of this problem with catholic religion is that it’s not founded by Lord Jesus as the claim.Lord Jesus founded one true God’s Church-it includes all those who believe Jesus is the son living God and Christ/Messiah,irrespective of their denominations.Infact these denominations is what gave christianity a bad name.

        Catholic sect originated in 4th century AD when Constantines Roman Government fused christianity and paganism inorder to consolidate their power by pleasing both increasing christian minaority and the pagan majority of his empire.True chritians opposed this,they were branded as heretics and massacred,but they still survive and is increasing and is today represnted by all protestant/evangelical churches.I have enumerated these true christian groups who form a continous and increasing chain from original apostolic church till today.

        God bless you all for exposing the lies of catholicism.

      • Jason Neo

        They(catholic heirarchy) want to stereotype you women who voice for justice and protection of women as ‘radical’ feminists as if something is wrong with you.They use the same technique to stereotype us christians who expose catholic idolatry of intercession/veneration of saints and their oppression of women as ‘heretics’.We must in give into their labels/steroetyping which is to cover up lies and wrong doings of catholic sect.

        May blessings of Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

    • Motherabbess

      So — you think it’s right for a baby to have a baby?? Forcing a nine-year old to carry a child full term, ignoring all the healt and psychological risks involved, is fine with you? You are one sick and twisted individual. What about the guy who did this to her – yes DID IT TO HER – she could not consent – what about him? And who is now supposed to care for the newborn, pay for all the expenses, the medical bills incurred, and for the life-long therapy that this young ‘mother’ will have to endure? She will probably never have a normal sex life, she will never trust any man – or worse, she will give in to EVERY man because she has accepted herself as the object and the vessel for rape, incest, and abusive relationships down the line. And what about all those hypocrite priests? And the bishops – and the Pontif – who looked the other way and shuffled them from parish to parish, only to expand their victim pool? On what planet do you live — THIS Pope is probably the most corrupt in recent times. His horrific list of sins traces back decades. Not only did he look the other way and shuffle the perps from one place to another, he berated the victims and scorns nuns who finally have the courage to speak up for themselves and for those oppressed by this system. You state yourself many of the abuse cases in question today happened decades ago – and who do you think helped COVER THEM UP?? Ratzinger. He needs to go and the Church, God save Her, needs desperate REFORM. Clean out the closets of it’s age-old skeletons and demons. De-frock and prosecute the perverts. The Church must be accountable for Her sins and the sins of Her leaders that have long corrupted Her. What would Jesus do?? First off, he would NOT lay a hand (or anything else) on a young, innocent, impressionable child of either gender. Second, he would not endanger the life of a young girl or any woman who was forceably raped or coerced into having sex. Christ never once spoke of abortion. Abortion is as old as sex itself, or at least as old as prostitution. And in many places, prostetution was forced upon a young woman because she was looked upon as chattle – and then SHE was shamed for it. Yet, who was one of Jesus’s closest companions? – A prostitute. He saw the good in her. He saw her faith and her compassion and her kindness. He didn’t judge her for what she did, or the life she was forced into. We do not live in the Church that Christ built upon Peter. We live under the misguided, mismanaged, corrupted church of men who sought power and glory for themselves. What would Jesus do? He would do as he did in the Temple – he would overturn the tables and throw the rabble out!! THAT is what needs to happen. We have been a mockery long enough. I remain Catholic for my love of Christ and his teachings. I want to see the Church that HE talked about. I would love to his HIS dream fulfilled. We are a far cry from that. We have allowed men to corrupt and taint His name and His mission. Part of this we can blame on Paul. Paul stole Peter’s thunder, but that’s another discussion.

  • DeeDee Baldwin

    Correction brought to my attention by a friend on Facebook when I posted this: the Catholic church does not excommunicate minors. In the case of the 9-year-old who had an abortion, she herself was not excommunicated, but her family and doctors were. Not that this makes the story any less despicable!

    • Soraya Chemaly

      Yes, thank you. Wording correcting.

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  • Kim Roberts

    I sincerely hope that the author of this piece realizes that the “Landover Baptist Church” that is cited in the article is a completely FICTIONAL PARODY. Citing a fictional source reduces this article to propaganda, which is why a journalist researches and verifies sources. After hitting paragraph, I found no reason to finish the article.

    • Collean Wilson

      So was the church in the article the only thing you found wrong? Really? Your beef is about a fictional church, when the crimes against girls and women that the article was written about are all to real! Way to go Kim! Just because you aren’t being raped nightly, do you assume that all the rest of the girls and women in the world are safe? I am amazed at the overwhelming compassion you have.

    • Soraya Chemaly

      Yes, in error. Poe’s Law. However, will add, per above, that there is no shortage of language in regard to girls 12 and less.

  • ceallaigh

    Excellent, powerful read. I fled the Catholic Church as soon as I could, in part because of archaic, barbaric practices such as these. I remember the kind of rhetoric I heard–that we were stupid sluts if we got pregnant and murderers if we used birth control or got an abortion, that rape was wildly over-exaggerated, that ALL pregnancies MUST be brought to term, etc, etc…I am thankful I got away and educated myself beyond that belief system. The Church is unconscionable in so, so many ways–but I think this permanent subjugation of women and girls is near the top of the list. They view us as chattel, the vessels for birthing another generation of people dependent on the Church for everything. Well, I for one refuse to be part of that, and I will do whatever I can to fight that bullshit, brutal, outdated worldview.

    • Jason Neo

      God Bless you

    • maryann26

      I left the Catholic Church too. My family is only nominally Catholic and does not agree with its policies, which they say are 2,000 years behind the times.

      I could never belong to the Catholic Church. It is woman and girl killing institution. I agree with you that its practices are barbaric. I fear that the new pope will be very conservative and continue the practices that prey on women and girls in poor countries where education is lacking.

  • biff Michael Appia

    Canada – genocide – Native.

  • Carol R Hill

    I think if he never wanted to be the Pope he should have turned down the job because look at the mess he leaves behind and it will only get worse and that is a fact.

  • Margaret Sanger

    Isn’t abortion the leading cause of death of unwanted unborn females? Naturally, this is all the fault of the patriarchs.

    • Jennifer Starr

      Given that most abortions are performed well before it’s possible to determine the gender of the fetus, I would say that your ‘point’ is rather pointless.

    • HeilMary1

      You want to bring back the bad old days in which one in five women suffered childbirth deaths and the rest suffered divorce-causing fistula incontinence and “witch” burnings.

    • Soraya Chemaly

      The leading cause of unwanted unborn female deaths is boy preference. Abortion is the tool du jour. Whether it’s sperm spinning, abortion, tossing females into trash cans, bashing them on rocks and killing women who give birth to daughters – it’s misogyny that is the cause. Your fetish with abortion is irrelevant.

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  • Mary E Tyler

    This is an important article, and worth reading, especially for men who think they are “pro-life.” Pro WHOSE LIFE? I ask. Also, there is an update which should be made to this article and has not been. Dafne was not impregnated by “her boyfriend” she was raped by her step-father. That finally came out in the wash. This is no “romance” gone wrong, or some precotious child. This is an innocent rape victim forced to bear a child by a patriarchy–and the Catholic Church LITERALLY IS A PATRIARCHY–that cares not about her life, her loss, her childhood torn from her, it cares only about forcing HER to do what THEY want, not about HER well being.