Cardinal Medina Estevez calls on Chileans to protect 9 year-old mother and child

The ex-prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Cardinal Jorge Medina, issued a call from the Vatican this week to Chilean society to protect the life of a 9 year-old girl who became pregnant through rape while not forgetting at the same time the rights of the seven-month old baby she is carrying.

Speaking to the daily, “Ultimas Noticias,” Cardinal Medina rejected the efforts by some local personalities who have attempted to use the girl’s case as a reason to legalize abortion.

The cardinal sent his blessing to the girl and said, “Life must absolutely be respected.  The fact that such a young girl has become pregnant and in such terrible circumstances does not take away the right to life of the baby in her womb.”

“To take the life of that baby is a crime,” he went on.  “What has happened is truly sad and she must be helped in everyway.  Of course this abuse is horrible.  It is unqualifiedly an offense against the girl’s dignity, but that does not mean that we should take the life of the only person who has no fault,” he added.

Cardinal Medina said it will have to be determined whether or not the girl will be able to raise the child.  “Today is quite proven that girls sexually mature much faster than in other times.  The position of the Church is absolutely clear regarding the life of this baby.”

Regarding the perpetrator of the crime, the cardinal said he committed an “aberrant sin” and he hoped the man would ask God for forgiveness.

”I can’t prejudge what the courts will do, but he should be made an example.  The most serious thing here is his tremendous responsibility before God.  That is where he will have to face up and pay for his sins,” the cardinal said.

The girl’s case came to light a week ago in the city of Calama, where she lives with her mother and her stepfather, who has been arrested as a possible suspect in the crime.  Her mother is also under arrest for complicity as she was found to have beaten the girl for hiding her pregnancy.  The girl is currently hospitalized and under the care of physicians and psychologists.

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