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Question 359

My first pregnancy ended at 12 weeks. ..I had a miscarriage. After 40 days it was custom for me to go to my church and I stood outside while the priest read a passage to me. In this passage the word 'murderer' was said. I was grieving already and to hear this just broke me down even more. 27 years have passed and I went on to have 4 healthy and beautiful children but I still don't know why to this day I am a 'murderer'.....for a long time I blamed myself. Thank you for listening.       



Answer to Question 359


The prayers we have for miscarriages are the same for voluntary abortions and are very outdated. They should be rewritten because they were written at a time when people did not understand about miscarriages. In times of old even a miscarriage was considered an abortion and the fault of miscarrying was placed on the woman for not taking enough care of her body during the pregnancy, and therefore considered a murderer. Today, with advanced medical knowledge, we know that many things can go wrong with a pregnancy even in the healthiest of women. Thus, because of the content of the prayer, today it would not be appropriate to be read for women who have involuntarily miscarried. Nowadays most priests when reading this prayer leave out the words referring to a murderer. You were just very unlucky that the priest read the prayer as it still stands, but as you say 27 years have passed and most priests are now more sensitive to peoples suffering.