One day this woman will be a saintTwo weeks ago a young Italian mother gave up her life for her unborn child in a stunning act of saintliness, says Paul Williams
Chiara Petrillo was a 28-year-old Italian mother who apparently refused life-saving cancer treatment that would have damaged or destroyed her baby. Her baby, Francesco, was born perfectly well. Chiara died.
Chiara’s funeral took place a few days ago in Rome. But Francesco was not her first baby. Her first, Maria, was found in the womb to be terribly disabled. Chiara and her husband Enrico refused repeated advice to abort Maria. The baby lived for 30 minutes, and was baptised, loved and mourned. Chiara and Enrico’s next baby, David, was found in the womb to have no legs. Further complications followed and once more he died soon after birth, cherished, loved and celebrated to the end. Then Chiara became pregnant with Francesco. Chiara was found in the fifth month to have cancer, but she would not accept any treatment that would harm her baby. Sometimes love is like that.
But in terms of Catholic moral theory Chiara was not obliged to refuse life-saving treatment. Continue reading at Catholic Herald