The XX Factor

The Vatican Offers Expensive Six-Day Forgiveness Period for Abortions

Photo by PATRICK HERTZOG/AFP/Getty Images

Oh boy, the Vatican, no doubt patting itself on the back for being so generous to the filthy sluts of the world, has set up a six-day event in Madrid where ladies who’ve had abortions can come and confess in order to escape the automatic excommunication they otherwise would get. The reports don’t indicate if the Vatican is generously offering the same thing to murderers, rapists, or priests who molest children only to get transferred to a new parish where there’s fresh young people who haven’t learned to fear you yet, but that’s probably because none of those people are subject to the dogged excommunications of women who let penises near their vaginas for reasons other than producing more hands that can put money in the collection plate. Hey, don’t judge! They have to keep helping fund these $87-million (the estimated cost of the Pope’s event in Madrid) Pope excursions, you know.*

For women in our American audience reading this–one of three of which will have an abortion in her lifetime–I would like to make a counteroffer to the Vatican’s six-day get-out-of-hell-for-your-abortion pass. After all, the price tag on that seems awfully high, between the last-minute plane tickets to Madrid, hotel, travel expenses, and whatever little ways the Vatican is going to get some cash off you during this World Youth Day event. For the nice, simple price of $0, you can simply stop being a Catholic, and tell the Pope and his minions to buzz off with their obsession with controlling women and punishing female sexuality. Twenty-two million Americans have gone this route, meaning that one in three Americans raised Catholic grows up to abandon the faith. You’ll have lots of friends if you go this route. Plus, rumor has it that former Catholics are the best in bed, since they get to leave the shame about sex behind but get to keep the erotic charge of being “naughty” going forward.

If that currently seems like too high a mountain to climb, since you really don’t know what you’d do with all your new free time on Sunday mornings, you can also just stay with the Church and pointedly ignore the misogyny while keeping your mouth shut about your conflicting views and behaviors. This option is also wildly popular. Twenty-eight percent of women getting abortions identify as Catholic, which is actually higher than the percentage of Americans overall who are Catholic. I’m not seeing the Vatican excommunicating them all, so that’s a lot of women telling their doctors they’re Catholic but not telling their priests that they’ve had abortions. And even though the Vatican claims that contraception is a no-no, 98 percent of Catholic women just ignore that ignorant edict and use it anyway. If being an American Catholic meant doing what the church tells you to do, there wouldn’t be any American Catholics.

Correction, Aug. 18: This post originally stated that the Pope’s trip to Madrid would cost $87 million dollars; that is the estimated cost of staging the entire event. The post also suggested that World Youth Day is being funded through “the collection plate.” Organizers say that the costs—pegged in some other news sources at closer $72 million—are mostly being covered by pilgrims’ registration fees.