Pope Francis surprises us again…
The Pope has argued that Catholics shouldn’t “breed like rabbits”, despite the Catholic ban on artificial contraception.
“The more caesarean sections a woman has, the greater the relative risk of complications,” says Associate Professor Steve Robson, obstetrician and the Vice President of the Royal Australian and NZ College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
In the case of eight caesareans, Professor Robson states, “The most likely outcome is that there are no problems, but there is no doubt that you are exposed to more risk.”
The complications associated with a large number of caesareans, while unlikely to occur, are very serious. Professor Robson specifically mentions the increased likelihood of the placenta growing into the scar tissue from previous caesareans, a complication that may result in a large haemorrhage and in the worst cases, with hysterectomy.
The Pope is right to be concerned about this woman.
But that concern and his ongoing commitment to the Catholic Church’s stance on artificial contraception is difficult to reconcile.
For the most part, Pope Francis seems to be a pretty cool dude. He eschews the papal palace in favour of a simple apartment. He is widely reported to personally respond to many of the letters he receives from Catholics across the globe.
When one woman wrote to him about her concerns over being pregnant to a married man who had pushed her to have an abortion, the Pope rang her directly offering to baptise the child.
He upset the Catholic establishment by washing the feet of the elderly and disabled (including the feet of a Muslim) in the traditional Easter Thursday service last year, instead of washing the feet of the Cardinals (privileged Catholic bishops).