About those “catholic-rabbits” criticized by the Pope.

I have been blessed with six children. Children I had by six C-sections. My C-sections were never because of convenience or fear of labor pains. Quite the contrary. I have always wanted to give birth naturally, but my firstborn went into fetal distress after 13 hours of labor. Meconium[1] and blood made his birth a medical emergency and the C-section inevitable to save his life. Thank God I gave birth in a time when the C-section is an option. Some decades before, and me and my boy would both be dead. Even though he had a very low initial APGAR[2], my firstborn recovered well and is a bright, family loving, good son.

Unfortunately, in Brazil, the practice of VBACs[3] is still very much discouraged. Down here, the saying goes “once a C-section, always a C-section”. And so, by no fault of my own, I had 6 C-sections. Even though I did not go through the pains of labor, I offered to God the post-surgery sufferings, which can be quite long and painful.

I‘ve had good and responsible doctors. Doctors who assured me I could go on having children despite the number of C-sections. I even know mothers who have more than a dozen children via C-section. Anyway, I was blessed 6 times. Seven, if I count a pregnancy that did not went ahead.

Every day, I face the curiosity, the disrespect, the jokes, the whispers and the comments by many people who think that, just because I have six children, they have the right to give their opinion on what is so sacred to me. I have way too many anecdotes. I have been stopped on the street walk and asked if “I did not care about the environment”. I have been laughed at dozens of times when asked if I did not have a TV at home (BTW, no! We do not, Thank God!), if I knew what caused pregnancies, if I did not have a hobby. And all that spoken inconveniently, without modesty, in front of my small children! I have been called ignorant, irresponsible. I’ve had to give financial explanations to strangers. Our family is frequently looked with disdain. Once, a doctor discretely suggested that I abort my 3rd child because it was somehow “dangerous”. My husband is always asked if his six children are from “the same wife”! Once, when we were outside under a pouring rain and in need of a cab, many taxi drivers went past us making signs with their hands meaning we were too many people. Too many people…. Can heaven be too crowded?

Anyway, we have always endured the criticism with a few compliments here and there. The compliments that exalt my so-called courage were never our support for the sacrifice of having many children. People’s opinions, either good or bad, are irrelevant. Our focus, my husband’s and mine, was always Our Lord. It was always to do God’s will. And to do God’s will in what is the very purpose of matrimony: the procreation of children. Despite the antichristian society. Despite the cost. Despite the world! And now, I am afraid to say, despite the Pope!

In all these years, and there goes 17 years of marriage, I have never heard the pearl the Bishop of Rome gave to the mothers of large families: rabbits! His Holiness was, and I say this with an aching heart, vulgar! Yes, vulgar! I would never dare to compare a catholic lady, wife and mother to an irrational animal. And a rabbit too! How would you think fathers would feel if compared to asses for working too much? Or poor people being called rats for not being dressed up? Or if people in a coma were called sloths? Shall I go on? The comparison is vulgar and denigrates the target of the criticism. It is disrespectful. It is, pure and simple, a lack of charity!

In addition, the Pope, he who should confirm our Faith, he who should support us, defend us, just threw mothers and fathers of large families to the lions! My husband just tells me that tomorrow at work he will be questioned about the Pope’s words. Evidently, the neocons, the type of Catholic who appears so clever, so obedient, so faithful, even though so coward and so full of human respect, they will defend the His Holiness’ words with some mental gymnastics saying the media distorted his words, that they put out of context what he said, that he said “rabbits” in the best possible way. They might even say that yes, those mothers of many children are indeed irresponsible. And they will feel so clever, so obedient, so faithful!

Notwithstanding, me, my husband and my six children will not defend him. We will defend what the Church has always taught. I will never perform intellectual pirouettes to publicly excuse Peter whenever he assaults what has been always true and holy! I rather look up to heaven than to bury my head in the sand.

In one of his comments, he even gave the dubious number experts defend is the ideal number per Family: 3. He also said the Church gives “many licit ways to limit procreation”. He used the example of a mother who is pregnant with her 8th child, having had 7 previous C-sections before that. She would be irresponsible. “Does she want to leave 7 orphans”? , asked the Pope. What does he suggest now that the child is already in the belly? Am I the only one who sees the very dangerous implications of the Bishop of Rome’s words? His Holiness does not know what he has done. He threw us to the lions of UN, of the NOW, of the Masons. Those lions, you know?!, that walk around us looking for someone to devour….

But I have something to say to the many mothers of large families (many friends of mine, from our Chapel, in which blessed pews the many families of 3,4,5,6,7,10 children barely fit!), to the mothers who are discriminated for having had multiple C-sections, to the mothers who keep on having children despite the opinions of family members, of society and, unfortunately, of liberal sectors of the Church: “Let us run to embrace the cross! So many Christian women were given to the lions to be martyred. Let us not run from the cross! Ahead! Let us fill this Earth with holy priests and Christian parents andfill heavenwith many saints”. Heaven is the prize, said Saint Therese.

And let us pray for the Pope. He knows not what he’s done.

In Christ,

Patricia Medina

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[1]Meconium is the earliest stool of a mammalian infant.Meconium is normally retained in the infant’s bowel until after birth, but sometimes it is expelled into the amniotic fluid (also called “amniotic liquor”) prior to birth or during labor and delivery. The stained amniotic fluid (called “meconium liquor” or “meconium stained liquor”) is recognised by medical staff as a sign of fetal distress, and puts the neonate at risk of meconium aspiration. Medical staff may aspirate the meconium from the nose and mouth of a newborn immediately after delivery in the event the baby shows signs of respiratory distress to decrease the risk of meconium aspiration syndrome.

[2]The Apgar score, the very first test given to a newborn, occurs in the delivery or birthing room right after the baby’s birth. The test was designed to quickly evaluate a newborn’s physical condition and to see if there’s an immediate need for extra medical or emergency care.

[3] Vaginal Birth After C-section

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16 Responses to “About those “catholic-rabbits” criticized by the Pope.”

  1. It is gonna bomb! Hahaha! Parabéns ao Fratres por colocar em inglês.

  2. He knows precisely what he has done, and what he is up to, or in this case, down to. This is all a convenient lead up to his ridiculous and inappropriate (yet wildly popular) “encyclical” on the environment, and how overpopulation contributes to what he and other ill informed, say is the problem: mankind. Come Lord Jesus! That is our only hope!

  3. Muy bien Sra. Patricia Medina! Que Dios les Bendiga! Bravo to all your family, for embrasing and living daily with courage our Christian Faith, trully Catholic! Thank you to your family for being faithful to God! In Union of Prayers! GOD BLESS YOU!

  4. I know about the frequent use of C-section in Brasil, and I prefer it to the messes that USA obstetricians make of women and children by trying to avoid C-section. I also know of women who avoided having any children for fear of “natural” labor and delivery, so I am thankful to God that safe C-section is not only possible but it seems indicated in more cases than which it is used in the USA.

    As for family size, If one is following the Church’s teaching and leaving all marital acts open to conception, and using NFP only where indicated according to church teaching, then one should not be obsessed with family size since there are good and bad examples of children from both large and small families. Fr. Frank Pavone of Priest’s for Life seems from his bio’s to have been an only child unless his siblings are just not being mentioned, while Margaret Sanger considered responsible for forming the Planned Parenthood of America was one of 11 surviving children of her mother’s 18 pregnancies. St. John the Baptist was an “only”, as was Jesus.

    • Senora Avila,

      Your argument about some single children being better than some coming from large families is irrelevant to this beautiful article. By that logic you’d avoid having ANY children because there’s always a risk that one could be a serial killer.

      God bless,

    • My comment is exactly relevant because of the sentence that precedes it, I repeat that sentence , “As for family size, If one is following the Church’s teaching and leaving all marital acts open to conception, and using NFP only where indicated according to church teaching, then one should not be obsessed with family size since there are good and bad examples of children from both large and small families. ” Sometimes it is even God’s will that people have one or even no children, what is important is that each couple cooperate with God in following the Church’s teaching re their marriage intimacy and openness to children, and do their best to raise any children they have according to God’s laws. Children from large families are not necessarily more virtuous, and people with large families should not look down on small family or only children as if it were better they had not been born, which is the impression one can sometimes get from
      large families.

  5. Amen, amen, amen… God bless this amazing woman and her beautiful family!
    It is terrible that she sees herself now not only obliged to defend herself to the criticism of the world,
    but also our pope… unbelievable!

  6. We love you Patricia

  7. NFP. What a foul mothed hypocracy. Under no condition is having recourse to the infertile period in order to have conjugal relations while desiring to avoid to conceive acceptable. It is a mortal sin. Although grave reasons can exist to postpone pregnacies it is only through complete abstinence. Wake up and smell the coffee. I am so so sick of the blindness and hypocracy.

    • All popes, beginning with Pope Pius Xll , and perhaps before him have written that NFP or its pretecessor, known as the Rythm Method are acceptable to use in certain circumstances. Even these methods have a slight chance of not preventing pregnancy ,so in cases that are the most extreme, complete abstinence would be the most reliable method.

      If one has a circumstance where NFP is indicated and permissible according to the teachings of the Popes, then one should consider that the use of NFP can prevent other occasioned serious sins against marital purity .

  8. Bravo, Sra. Medina. Yo nomas tuve cinco pero se de donde viene. (mis cinco nacieron en espacio de 6 años). Los mismos commentaries recibi en mis excursiones a las tiendas. Entiendo Italiano y escuche la entrevista del Papa en el avion. Dijo que regaño a una señora en cinta con su hijo #8, habiendo tenido 7 hijos anteriormente por cesária. Dijo que esto es tinter a Dios. No me explico, siendo que Dios es creador de todo ser humano. Como judo haber tenido la culpa la mujer, solo que estuviera contra-ceptando, cuando esto es contra la ley de Dios.
    Hay que rezar mucho por nuestra Iglesia y por el Papa para que Dios lo ilumine.

  9. Thank you for this! I have 8 children so far, and none by C-section, but I have several friends who have had 9.

    God Bless from Martha in Minnesota!

  10. Bravo Madame, Bravo!

  11. I hate neocon jargon. It’s intellectually dishonest and representative of a nascent unCatholic ultra-montanism. Popes have always done and said horrible things. I think of St. Peter, who denied Christ three times and acted like a hypocrite needing private rebuke by Paul. If that was the first pope, how much more his successors. I never let my charity for the Pope wane, in fact when he does stunts like these, I only pray for him harder, but we needn’t agree with him unequivocally. That’s not dogma. That’s human esteem and affection. The Pope is the VICAR of Christ, he is NOT Christ. He holds his place, but he is a mortal human who can say silly mortal human things. They can have bad personal theology too, think of the Renaissance popes, who believed themselves lords of the Church, who like temporal lords, owned all the spiritual properties and powers and had a right to sell them to the highest bidder at his pleasure. And the clergy and te laity at that time probably felt they had to conform to that modus operandi too because the pope favoured it.

  12. Mrs Medina said it ALL right here:

    Notwithstanding, me, my husband and my six children will not defend him. We will defend what the Church has always taught. I will never perform intellectual pirouettes to publicly excuse Peter whenever he assaults what has been always true and holy! I rather look up to heaven than to bury my head in the sand.

    IF only Mr. Bergoglio understood Catholic theology as well as Mrs. Medina.

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