Trujillo likened to Umpire Hair over abortion comments

A British commentator has compared Pontifical Council for the Family President Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo to cricket umpire Darrell Hair for his announcement that excommunication applied to all parties directly or indirectly involved in the abortion of an 11-year-old Colombian rape victim.

Colombia's Supreme Court approved in May the country's first legal abortion because of health dangers to the girl who had been raped by her stepfather.

Cardinal Trujillo's warning applies to the judges, politicians, legislators, the physicians and nurses as well as the girl's parents.

British Guardian newspaper commentator Stephen Bates says Cardinal Trujillo "has a certain similarity" to Mr Darrell - the Australian umpire currently at the centre of a ball-tampering controversy - in that the Cardinal applies "the church's rules with officiousness and without discretion: or even, which is worse, loudly threatening to do so."

"He appears certainly to be punishing the child and her helpers while sparing little condemnation for the male perpetrator of her distress," Mr Bates added.

"There is a hard-faced lack of humanity here, an old Catholic authoritarianism. Maybe, knowing Colombian society, he hopes to over-awe and head off any further defiance of church rules."

However, Deutsche Presse Agentur notes that an abortion is one of the few acts under the Catholic Code of Canon Law of 1983 for which the punishment of excommunication is applied automatically.

Those excommunicated are banned from any ministerial function, both in the celebration of the Eucharist as well as in any other ceremony of worship; and from celebrating and receiving the sacraments.

Colombian cardinal bans all involved in girl's abortion from church (Deutsche Presse Agentur/The Raw Story, 31/8/06)
Catholicism's officious umpire (Comment is free, Guardian Online, 30/8/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo (Wikipedia)
Catholic Bishops Conference of Colombia
Code of Canon Law, Canon 1398 on Abortion

A bad hair piece (Eureka Street 29/8/06)
Colombia's first legal abortion (Catholic World News, 25/8/06)

31 Aug 2006