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Pope canonises woman who died to save her unborn baby

(110 Posts)
eddm Tue 18-May-04 16:55:34

see this

Makes me feel sick.

bluebear Tue 18-May-04 17:06:09

My grandparents left the catholic church after my gran had problems in labour with my mum, and the priest told my grandad that they should save the child and let his wife die...as it was they both survived..but they became C of E from then on.

Piffleoffagus Tue 18-May-04 17:07:02

In yesterdays Daily AMil a woman chose to have her baby rather than have cancer treatment
As a mum of two already, I woudl HAVE to have the treatment, of this I am ausre, my best friend was d'xd with Breast CAncer 5 mths ago, her dd is same age as mine, she has had chemo, radiation, lump removal, lymph nides removed all the works. She desperately wanted another baby, but the choice was your life or another baby, she chose the life option and so far it seems to have worked...

Freckle Tue 18-May-04 17:13:26

There are a good number of women who have chosen to delay treatment to give their unborn child a chance at life. Why this woman rather than any of the others?

Why does the Pope feel it was a commitment to God that drove her to this, rather than a deep love for her unborn child?

twiglett Tue 18-May-04 17:15:56

message withdrawn

eddm Tue 18-May-04 19:13:55

I just think it indicates a hateful attitude to women – we are merely vessels.
Funnily enough, my Catholic grandmother was warned not to have any more children after her second. She and my grandad prayed and decided it was OK to use contraception (although still a bad thing for everyone else). In her later years she got very liberal and supported married priests...

aloha Tue 18-May-04 19:29:20

I agree with you eddm, 100%.

Rhubarb Tue 18-May-04 20:26:38

Whoa! I gotta stick up for the Pope here since he's head of my church an' all! Why do you find this so offensive? What she did was surely a heroic act? She selflessly put her child's needs before herself. What's wrong with that? Why shouldn't she be held up as an example in this selfish world we currently live in? Why is this anti-woman? To me it signifies the deep love a mother has for her unborn child, a love so deep that she is willing to lay down her life for it. That is surely in praise of women, not against them!

eddm Tue 18-May-04 22:16:23

The problem is it says that a woman's life is worthless compared to that of an unborn child. Saints are people we should look up to and seek to emulate, as best we can, yes? So what does this say to women? The best thing we can do have babies at any price, even if that means turning down life-saving treament for cancer?
The official Roman Catholic church's attitude to women is: don't have sex unless you are married; don't use contraception; don't have an abortion even if you don't want a baby or there is a serious medical condition that could kill you or the baby; don't accept any medical treatment that is needed to save your life while you are pregnant. Adds up to 'women are merely a means to produce children and are of no value in themselves'. I find that offensive and deeply worrying. As far as I can see, the people in power in the RC church hate women and have always hated women.

wickedstepmum Tue 18-May-04 22:33:33

eddm, I do so agree with you. In the Times yesterday the Pope was reported as saying she had 'remained heroically faithful to her marriage vows....may we rediscover the pure, chaste and fertile beauty of conjugal love.' Is the poor man mad? Does he know anything about real people - let along women? Gianna Molla may have decided to refuse cancer treatment for all sorts of reasons but this does NOT make her a saint. How does her daughter feel knowing that her mother died for her?

fairyprincess Tue 18-May-04 22:41:41

I agree with rhubarb - a mother's love for her child goes before her thought for herself. I am not aware of the whole story - but I would understand this mother to represent all mothers.

Tinker Tue 18-May-04 22:47:02

She had other children. Think they may have appreciated their mother being around. Stores up all sorts of problems for the future relationship between the older siblings and the baby.

wickedstepmum Wed 19-May-04 08:38:20

I've been thinking more about this. I was too worked up to say exactly what I felt. And I am a Catholic - just rather a despairing one at times. The Pope treats women as child-bearing machines. My aunt told me of the farmer's wife she met in in, very, rural France who had become paralised after the birth of her first child. She lived on a bed in the main room of the house. She had at least 6 subsequent children. After all, her husband had his 'rights'.

motherinferior Wed 19-May-04 09:12:43

It horrified me too. As did that last story.

Sonnet Wed 19-May-04 09:19:41

It horrified me too - the women concerned had other children, IMO their need to have a mother should have been paramount.

marialuisa Wed 19-May-04 09:26:36

i can't claim that I would make the same choice and i'm not convinced about the canonization, JP2 seems a bit too generous with his beatifications etc.

Incidentally, the rule is that "the child shall not be done to death to save the mother and the mother shall not be done to death to save the child", so technically you're likely to lose both

Rhubarb Wed 19-May-04 09:48:02

I think it is unfair to slag off the whole of the Catholic Church as women-hating. Also wickedstepmum, the story you gave amounts to rape, if the woman was paralysed and gave birth to 6 subsequent children, this was not consensual sex (or perhaps it was, how are we to know?) and the Church does not condone rape. You cannot blame the church for what went on in that relationship.

The Church gives guidelines, it is up to you whether or not you follow them. I am a practising catholic, yet I use contraception and I was not a virgin when I married. I see these as my choices, yet I respect the Church for their views too, they are entitled to them. No-one can force you to accept them however.

Now I really don't want to get into a debate about the rights and wrongs of the Catholic Church. But as far as giving up your life for your unborn child, well as far as anyone knows, the woman had cancer and was refusing treatment, she wasn't committing suicide. If her cancer was that advanced, chances are she would have died sooner or later anyway. Maybe she just wanted to give her unborn baby the best chance in life. Comapare this to the story of the woman who performed a caesarean on herself when her baby got into difficulties. She too, had another 5 children I think. She thought she was going to die, but she was determined to get her baby out and save it's life. Was she wrong too? Were her actions selfish in possibly denying her other children a mother? Or was she acting out of motherly instinct? She survived and so did her child, so happy ending there.

You know, this smacks very much of people judging others. We do not know what was going through that poor woman's mind. We do not know how much she might have agonised over that decision and under what circumstances. Yet we think we have the right to condemn her. I think not.

As for the Church, you can think it woman-hating, and bigotist and all the rest. But my experiences tell me differently and the Church doesn't need me to defend it.

Tortington Wed 19-May-04 11:27:04

the pope is a mad old codger. i agree with marialusa in that i think hes handing out to much saintisms. howver i also agree with rhuby in that this woman must of had the deepest love for her unborn child and therefore should be respected for that - as others who have sacrificed their lives in the same way should. if you are a believing practicing catholic then abortion is the wrong thing to do in this circumstance

Rhubarb Wed 19-May-04 13:26:58

Ah Custy! The Pope asked me to tell you that although he is deeply flattered by your attentions, he cannot go to bed with you and will you please stop pestering him!

eefs Wed 19-May-04 14:09:35

we don't know the details here though - was she in advanced pregnany when she was diagnosed? she could have been 7/8 months pregnant for all we know so maybe hoped she could defer treatment.
How bad was her cancer? if her chances of survival was low in anycase maybe she couldn't justify the termination. The report says she was a doctor so she must have known what her future held.

And what about her other children - was her husband able to cope with his children on his own or did they have to be brought up by relatives (as was often the case - the father would still have had to work). Did they figure in her decision to refuse treatment?

BTW I am a catholic and do not believe in abortion (for me - i do believe in the right to have a choice). Although I am also living in sin with my partner and two children

serenequeen Wed 19-May-04 14:16:14

well, ladies, i'm off to a (rc) parish meeting tonight to discuss "issues related to the family" in the catholic church.

afraid will not be able to resist raising this on the minus side. i've been to the website of the holy see and looked up the bio of gianna molla - her canonisation seems entirely based on this one thing.

no doubt they will all look at me - 30 wks pg - and think "selfish bitch..." when i make my points. sigh.

Heathcliffscathy Wed 19-May-04 14:21:50

i agree absolutely with you eddm and wickedstepmother...vatican is terrible politicised place and pope is v misguided man (at best) to be going round the third world preaching that contraception should not be used...i am 1/2 RC by birth and the church's woman hating (and prejudiced against all sorts of other kinds of groups for that matter) dogma is the reason that i will not bring up ds as catholic...a shame as i think that catholicism's emphasis on Mary could be really beautiful in giving women an important role model in a christian church. and i love the incense, latin, stained glass aspects...ritually i think RC church is up there with the best of the world religions, shame it's run by a bunch like i say at best misguided men

marialuisa Wed 19-May-04 14:21:55

SQ, that's my main problem with the canonization (well, with lots of recent canonizations, seem to be more about papal approval of a person rather than anything "saintly"

don't see why they'll think you're selfish though?

serenequeen Wed 19-May-04 14:23:20

because by implication they will realise that i myself wouldn't have the slightest notion of turning down life saving cancer treatment in pg...

dinosaur Wed 19-May-04 14:24:24

Not an RC but it said in the Grauniad that in order to be beatified, the person needs to have two documented "miracles" attributed to him or her and apparently in two separate incidents where woman or baby might have died during pregnancy or childbirth, they prayed to Gianna Molla and everything was okay. One incident was where a woman lost her waters early but the baby was born healthy - can't remember what the other was.

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