On Wednesday, in the Italian city of Rieti, a 31-year-old nun experienced severe stomach pains, and went to the hospital. A few hours later she gave birth to a healthy baby boy.
As the Torygraph reports:
The discovery of her pregnancy has embarrassed the Catholic Church in Italy, with the local bishop saying that she will have to leave her convent in Rieti, north of Rome, after breaking her vow of chastity.
“It would be preferable that she now lead a secular life with her baby, away from religious institutions,” said a spokesman for Delio Lucarelli, bishop of Rieti.
The nun, who is from El Salvador, had kept her pregnancy a secret and even as she was being taken to hospital in an ambulance denied that she could be pregnant.
“It’s not possible, I’m a nun,” she told doctors, according to the Italian press.
The nun, who has not been named, had been working in an old people’s home attached to the Campomoro convent near Rieti. She was a member of the Little Disciples of Jesus order.
The convent’s mother superior, Sister Erminia, said: “It seems she was not able to resist temptation.”
The kicker in all this is what she’s calling the kid:
She named the baby boy, who weighed 7.7lbs, Francesco – apparently in tribute to Pope Francis.
What is telling is that the Church isn’t willing to see this as a miracle. After all, the nun is married to Jesus, and made the implicit claim that she was chaste. If DNA tests don’t turn up a human father, why couldn’t this be the first miracle in the inevitable canonization of Pope Francis?
It seems to me that this is really an advance in rationality, even in the Church: the immediate assumption that that was not a miracle but an unchaste nun, and the Church’s stand that she will have to leave her order because she must have copulated with a human. If that’s the case, why couldn’t you say the same for the “Virgin” Mary?