By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

SAO PAULO, March 19, 2009 ( – A Brazilian priest and medical expert is denouncing statements made recently by a Vatican official who defended an abortion given to a nine-year-old girl, supposedly to save her life.

Fr. Berardo Graz of the Diocese of Guarulhos has issued a statement asserting that “if Msgr. Fisichella had received more correct and detailed information about what happened in the case he would not have written what he wrote.”  Graz is on the board of directors of Stela Maris Hospital in Sao Paulo, and was trained as a physician in Italy.

Fischella, the President of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life, made headlines recently when he denounced the decision of Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho of the Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife to announce the excommunication of doctors and others who assisted in the abortion of an unnamed nine-year-old girl (see

Fr. Graz writes that Archbishop Fisichella was seriously misled about the case, and said that in fact the girl’s life was not in danger, which was publicly admitted by the hospital that was treating her.

“It isn’t true!” writes Graz. “Even IMIP (Child Maternity Institute of Pernambuco), after the intervention of Jose Cardoso Sobrinho, Archbishop of Recife, declared that the child ran no risk of death and for that reason permitted her to be transferred.  The risk would rise at the end of the pregnancy, but it is for that reason that the birth … would be by cesarean section, as happens in the vast majority of the almost 30,000 pregnancies … in adolescents younger than 14 years old, every year in Brazil.”

Responding to Fisichella’s assertion that the girl “should have been defended in the first place,” Graz points out that Archbishop Sobrinho strove vigorously in the days before the abortion to prevent it from happening.

“This is exactly, and effectively, what Dom Jose did, because he required the director of IMIP to reveal the truth regarding the false risk of death to the child, a lie through which [pro-abortion groups] were seeking to capture public opinion, in its great majority opposed to abortion, so that it would favorably receive this crime against life,” writes Graz.

“This lie continues to dominate the media, and through it the population in general, so that soon the vast majority will agree with abortion during adolescent pregnancy, because it carries the risk of death,” he added.

“These are the strategies of the pro-abortion movement that for fifty years has been internationally influencing all governments, so that by 2015 abortion will be legalized in all counties and practiced as a human right, with the support of the United Nations Organization.  This is the climate that has existed in Brazil in recent years, thanks principally to the current government, which is complicit and a collaborator in these strategies.”

Previous LifeSiteNews coverage:

Archbishop Announces Excommunication of Doctor and Family Members for Abortion on Nine-Year-Old Girl

Vatican Prelates Disagree Publicly over Excommunication of Brazilian Doctors Who Aborted Twins of 9-Year-Old Rape Victim

Full Text: Brazilian Diocese Responds to Archbishop Fisichella Article in L’Osservatore Romano

Vatican Backs Bishop Who Excommunicated Doctor and Family Involved in Abortion