Thursday 10 May 2007

Pope in Brazil gives no abortions message

Where are the Catholics?

The Pope has landed in Brazil and there is no doubt that he would be thronged by faithful adherents of the Roman Catholic doctrine and dogma as they gather for a message of hope, of peace and of love.

And that is to be expected, the encouragement to keep with the truth and the admonition to keep away from trends and fads that have no religious bearing on bringing succour to the people.

There is also a kind of disaffection amongst worshippers, people are looking for a livelier God, a kind of worship that includes reverence but also involves the whole of their being in vision, hearing and motion - the type that you would find in Protestant Evangelical churches to which Brazil is haemorrhaging followers.

A message for now?

It would appear the message of hope that the Pope takes to Brazil is the anti-abortion message, one that was at variance with medical realities - a few years ago, a 9-year old girl whose life was at risk if she took the pregnancy to term and the parents decided on an abortion - her parents were excommunicated because the life of the unborn child was more precious to keep than that of the suffering child who might not survive the ordeal of giving birth.

In that circumstance, the parents refused to risk the possible lose of their daughter and prospective grandchild to be succoured with the epithet - God giveth, God taketh away. Nobody, not the doctors nor the church could guarantee the survival of either party should the foetus have come to term.

Of doctrine and of relevance

Indeed, unborn life must be protected, but a humanity of circumstances has to be involved too; religion was made for man to help achieve peace, contentment and balance, it is not an ideological set of dogmatic rules upon which man should be offered as sacrifices to maintain an unconscionable status quo.

Too many times through history, we have allowed such machinations to deprive others of the right to live or exist; driven by some force that portends to speak and act for God, men arrogate to themselves powers that do not belong to any man on earth to exercise terror and dominate the pliant; this should not be so.

We know of the poverty, the disease, the illiteracy, the crime and destitution in certain communities in Brazil - the followers of Catholic doctrine must ask their Holy Father one question - How does the anti-abortion message change our lives for the better, how does it raise Brazilians out of desperate circumstances?

Basically, does the anti-abortion message have any relevance to those who hunger, who suffer, who are deprived and who need a different kind of help?

Even I am listening for an answer in the comfort and security of my Western affluence.

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