1. Zugzwang
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    02 Mar '14 00:04
    Sosefina Amoa, a 26 year old Catholic postulant (aspiring nun) has pleaded
    guilty to voluntary manslaughter in an American court. After giving birth in
    a convent, she smothered her baby to death. Her lawyer has claimed it
    was an accident, while the prosecution has argued it was a deliberate act.
    Apparently, she was worried that, if her baby had been discovered, she
    would be rejected and punished for having sinned (lying about her sexual
    past and giving birth out of wedlock) and be deprived of her hope of
    beginning a new life in service to God.

    How tragic for both her child and herself. If she had confessed the truth
    before her child's death, then would (or should) she have been shown
    tolerance, understanding, and forgiveness?
  2. SubscriberSuzianne
    Misfit Queen
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    02 Mar '14 01:07
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Sosefina Amoa, a 26 year old Catholic postulant (aspiring nun) has pleaded
    guilty to voluntary manslaughter in an American court. After giving birth in
    a convent, she smothered her baby to death. Her lawyer has claimed it
    was an accident, while the prosecution has argued it was a deliberate act.
    Apparently, she was worried that, if her baby had been ...[text shortened]... s death, then would (or should) she have been shown
    tolerance, understanding, and forgiveness?
    Good question. I don't know if anyone but a Catholic would be equipped to answer, and yet one might assume that a Catholic might have more reason to answer in a way meant to not make their religion seem deficient.
  3. Standard memberRJHinds
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    02 Mar '14 03:43
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Sosefina Amoa, a 26 year old Catholic postulant (aspiring nun) has pleaded
    guilty to voluntary manslaughter in an American court. After giving birth in
    a convent, she smothered her baby to death. Her lawyer has claimed it
    was an accident, while the prosecution has argued it was a deliberate act.
    Apparently, she was worried that, if her baby had been ...[text shortened]... s death, then would (or should) she have been shown
    tolerance, understanding, and forgiveness?
    Committing a murder is no way for an aspiring nun to act. She got plenty of mercy by pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter.
  4. Subscribersonhouse
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    02 Mar '14 13:41
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Sosefina Amoa, a 26 year old Catholic postulant (aspiring nun) has pleaded
    guilty to voluntary manslaughter in an American court. After giving birth in
    a convent, she smothered her baby to death. Her lawyer has claimed it
    was an accident, while the prosecution has argued it was a deliberate act.
    Apparently, she was worried that, if her baby had been ...[text shortened]... s death, then would (or should) she have been shown
    tolerance, understanding, and forgiveness?
    It wouldn't have mattered one way or the other, the bottom line is the baby would be alive.
  5. Zugzwang
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    02 Mar '14 20:441 edit
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    It wouldn't have mattered one way or the other,
    the bottom line is the baby would be alive.
    How can you say "it wouldn't have mattered one way or the other?"
    If Sosefina Amoa had expected to receive tolerance, understanding, and
    forgiveness rather than (apparently) hostility, condemnation, and rejection,
    then wouldn't she have been more likely to confess the truth and therefore
    her baby be more likely to be living today?

    What would Jesus have done if Sosefina Amoa had come to him?
  6. Joined
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    02 Mar '14 20:583 edits
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Sosefina Amoa, a 26 year old Catholic postulant (aspiring nun) has pleaded
    guilty to voluntary manslaughter in an American court. After giving birth in
    a convent, she smothered her baby to death. Her lawyer has claimed it
    was an accident, while the prosecution has argued it was a deliberate act.
    Apparently, she was worried that, if her baby had been ...[text shortened]... s death, then would (or should) she have been shown
    tolerance, understanding, and forgiveness?
    Confessing before her baby's death, means confessing instead of killing, right?

    I am willing to bet that many a pregnant young catholic girl has shown up at a convent and been accepted, so long as the male priests in the parish weren't told and so could go on in blissfully righteous ignorance and/or plausible deniability. The baby would be reported as a foundling that appeared on the doorstep one morning.

    And given the situation, this would be as it should.

    Edit: If she had become pregnant after becoming a postulant, the situation might be different.
  7. Zugzwang
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    02 Mar '14 21:291 edit
    Originally posted by JS357
    Confessing before her baby's death, means confessing instead of killing, right?

    I am willing to bet that many a pregnant young catholic girl has shown up at a convent and been accepted, so long as the male priests in the parish weren't told and so could go on in blissfully righteous ignorance and/or plausible deniability. The baby would be reported as a fou ...[text shortened]...
    Edit: If she had become pregnant after becoming a postulant, she would probably be kicked out.
    "Confessing before her baby's death, means confessing instead of killing,
    right?"
    --JS357

    Yes. It does *not* mean first confessing and then killing her baby.

    Evidently, she already was pregnant (which she concealed) when she was
    accepted as a postulant, presumably having lied about her sexual past.
    So was she a calculating criminal (as the prosecution has claimed) or
    just a tragically confused young woman (as the defense has claimed)?
    If I had been an unwed pregnant Catholic young woman, then I would
    have thought that becoming a postulant would be about the least effective
    way of covering up my unwanted pregnancy and its consequences.

    "Lord, grant me chastity and continence, but not yet."
    --St Augustine (of Hippo)

    As a young man, Augustine reportedly enjoyed sexual intimacies with many
    women. He abandoned his longtime concubine (who had given birth to his
    son) in order to prepare to marry an heiress. There's a biological 'double
    standard' at work here. A young man can enjoy a sexually promiscuous
    life with little risk of exposure because he cannot be impregnated.
    In contrast, if a young woman loses her virginity and happens to fall
    pregnant, then (traditionally speaking) her reputation has been ruined.

    I don't know the circumstances in which Sosefina Amoa fell pregnant.
    I believe she showed poor judgment, to say the least, in deceiving the
    convent. And I believe she was wrong to kill her baby, even though her
    lawyer has claimed it was an accident. Yet I find it hard to condemn her
    as whole-heartedly as some smug self-righteous people have done.
    Who among us should be so eager to cast the first stone?
  8. Joined
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    02 Mar '14 21:52
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    "Confessing before her baby's death, means confessing instead of killing,
    right?"
    --JS357

    Yes. It does *not* mean first confessing and then killing her baby.

    Evidently, she already was pregnant (which she concealed) when she was
    accepted as a postulant, presumably having lied about her sexual past.
    So was she a calculating criminal (as the prose ...[text shortened]... smug self-righteous people have done.
    Who among us should be so eager to cast the first stone?
    One report says, "When 26-year-old Sosefina Amoa traveled from Samoa to a convent in Washington, D.C., she says she had no idea she was pregnant. But alone in her room one night she felt abdominal pains and eventually gave birth to a 6-pound, 2-ounce baby."

    http://thestir.cafemom.com/in_the_news/162814/apprentice_nun_who_killed_her

    She was new to the US, and possibly based her predictions on how her pregnancy would be seen and treated, on misconceptions.

    I know of (or did, years ago) one example of a convent/home that would assist single pregnant women in their pregnancy, delivery and adoption out, and welcome those later having a vocation for the convent.
  9. Zugzwang
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    02 Mar '14 22:011 edit
    Originally posted by JS357
    One report says, "When 26-year-old Sosefina Amoa traveled from Samoa to a convent in Washington, D.C., she says [b]she had no idea she was pregnant. But alone in her room one night she felt abdominal pains and eventually gave birth to a 6-pound, 2-ounce baby."

    http://thestir.cafemom.com/in_the_news/162814/apprentice_nun_who_killed_her

    She was new to ...[text shortened]... pregnancy, delivery and adoption out, and welcome those later having a vocation for the convent.[/b]
    As far as I can tell, the prosecution, if not also the police, seem to
    doubt Sosefina Amoa's claim to have been unaware of her pregnancy.

    On 15 January 2014, a nun (originally from El Salvador) gave birth in Italy.
    She denied having any awareness of her pregnancy until she began
    having severe abdominal pains in her convent.

    God (if one exists) knows if these religious women were telling the truth
    about being ignorant of their pregnancies.
  10. Joined
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    02 Mar '14 22:15
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    As far as I can tell, the prosecution, if not also the police, seem to
    doubt Sosefina Amoa's claim to have been unaware of her pregnancy.

    On 15 January 2014, a nun (originally from El Salvador) gave birth in Italy.
    She denied having any awareness of her pregnancy until she began
    having severe abdominal pains in her convent.

    God (if one exists) knows if these religious women were telling the truth
    about being ignorant of their pregnancies.
    Well, getting back to your original question, I don't know what would have happened. What should have happened depends on how far we rewind the situation, all the way back to Samoa 9 months earlier. I can only guess that she had a perceived fear of being sent back to Samoa and who knows what fate, and she was ignorant of how the convent leadership would react.
  11. Standard memberRJHinds
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    02 Mar '14 22:20
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    As far as I can tell, the prosecution, if not also the police, seem to
    doubt Sosefina Amoa's claim to have been unaware of her pregnancy.

    On 15 January 2014, a nun (originally from El Salvador) gave birth in Italy.
    She denied having any awareness of her pregnancy until she began
    having severe abdominal pains in her convent.

    God (if one exists) knows if these religious women were telling the truth
    about being ignorant of their pregnancies.
    It is possible she did not know she was pregnant, but she had to know something was wrong and should have went to a doctor to find out what.
  12. old pueblo
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    02 Mar '14 22:51
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    It is possible she did not know she was pregnant, but she had to know something was wrong and should have went to a doctor to find out what.
    Actually, she may not have been able to go to a doctor. The rest of the situation depends on the order she entered. Very few have realistic expectations that every woman entering will be a virgin. Many aspirants today were even married at some point. Most communities won't take young girls (girls who haven't been out of high school for at least a couple of years). Cloistered (you never or rarely leave) communities are more apt to expect virginity and youth, because those are the women who will have an easier time adjusting (going from parents' house to another lack of freedom). Many communities, even more "modern" ones, aren't big on medical care in some ways. For example, if she was a postulant, she might have to explain to the formation director why she wanted to go to the doctor, and then receive permission or not. In other communities she might be able to go without permission but since she'd be expected to account for her time, she might still be expected to explain why she was going to the doctor. There are many symptoms to pregnancy. It's hard to believe she never felt the baby move or kick her or hiccup, didn't notice her breasts getting large, sore, and leaky, didn't notice that she could no longer see her feet, walked funny, was puking for two months, and missed her period for nine months, and that this somehow coincided with that one night with that cute guy. I agree with whoever suggested she was afraid of being sent back to Samoa.
  13. Standard memberRJHinds
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    03 Mar '14 02:53
    Originally posted by Sahuaro
    Actually, she may not have been able to go to a doctor. The rest of the situation depends on the order she entered. Very few have realistic expectations that every woman entering will be a virgin. Many aspirants today were even married at some point. Most communities won't take young girls (girls who haven't been out of high school for at least a couple ...[text shortened]... with that cute guy. I agree with whoever suggested she was afraid of being sent back to Samoa.
    I believe it is clear to everyone that the murder of the innocent baby was not the solution.
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