More than 1,000 priests have signed a letter voicing concerns that same-sex marriage will threaten religious freedoms in a way that was last seen during centuries of persecution of Catholics in England.
In the letter published in the Daily Telegraph, the priests claim that same-sex marriage could even lead to Catholics being excluded from some professions, such as teaching.
The letter, signed by 1,054 priests as well as 13 bishops, abbots and other senior Catholic figures, raises fears that the simple acts of practising or speaking about their faith will be severely limited.
Here’s what they meant to say: The more authorities who throw their weight behind rational and compassionate decision-making, the easier it will become for everyone to see that our beliefs are crap, our ideas are bigoted and our God is a non-existent bogey under the bed.
And this is the best bit:
The bishop of Portsmouth, the Right Rev Philip Egan, one of the signatories, told the Telegraph: “I am very anxious that when we are preaching in church or teaching in our Catholic schools or witnessing to the Christian faith of what marriage is that we are not going to be able to do it, that we could be arrested for being bigots or homophobes.”
Well, yes, if you preach bigotry and homophobia when preaching bigotry and homophobia is against the law, you will be breaking the law. That’s the way it is, bish. Clearly logic is not your strong point.
PS: Try telling your congregation to go out and burn witches next Sunday.
Preferably alive, but if he’s dead, just prop him up at the back
A Roman Catholic priest in the Netherlands is to put on display the names and photographs of parish members trying to leave the church in a bid to get them to stay.
“This is a large parish, and I don’t known everyone: by putting up the photos I thought someone might recognise someone they know who they could try to make stay in the church,” priest Harm Schilder told AFP on Tuesday…
Those wishing to leave must send a letter to the priest along with a photocopy of identity papers.
This is where Schilder gets the photos that will be displayed in the entrance hallway of the church in Tilburg in the south of the country.
Apart from being mega-daft, surely this is also an illegal invasion of privacy?
My advice to parishioners? Stay out of Harm’s way!
The Polish [Catholic] bishops criticized a government decision to sign an international convention combating violence against women.
“It’s a pity neither the church’s voice nor the appeals of many other organizations were taken into account,” said Auxiliary Bishop Wojciech Polak of Gniezno, secretary-general of the Polish bishops’ conference.
“Though devoted to the important problem of violence against women, this convention is built on ideological, untruthful assumptions which cannot be accepted in any way,” he said. “This is why the church is forced to protest.”
The ‘assumptions’ being, of course, that people have the right to determine what happens to and in their own bodies.
Pope Benedict used his annual Christmas message to denounce gay marriage, saying that it destroyed the “essence of the human creature.”
In one of his most important speeches of the year, the Pope stressed that a person’s gender identity is God-given and unchangeable. As a result, he sees gay marriage as a “manipulation of nature.”
“People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given to them by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being,” he said at the Vatican on Friday. “They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves.”
The Pope has said that gay marriage, like abortion and euthanasia, is a threat to world peace.
Because they will give birth to and raise vast armies of gay children, who will rise up in their millions and…
A Catholic priest has sparked outrage in Italy by claiming women bring domestic violence on themselves by dressing provocatively and neglecting housework, Italian media report.
“How often do we see girls and mature women going around scantily dressed and in provocative clothes?” Piero Corsi said in a Christmas message posted on the door of his church in the small town of San Terenzio in northwest Italy.
Speaking personally, not nearly enough.
“They provoke the worst instincts, which end in violence or sexual abuse. They should search their consciences and ask: did we bring this on ourselves?” it read.
The leaflet, a copy of which was posted online sparking a wave of outrage across the country, said the 118 women killed in acts of domestic violence in Italy in 2012 had pushed men to their limits.
And Ol’ Crazy Piero may have personal knowledge of what he speaks:
an elderly female resident told Sky Italia television that Corsi “should keep a low profile as he has lots of secrets he would not wish to come out”.
He’s really God, dressed up.
Children at a north Kerry school who became upset after a visiting priest implied there was no Santa Claus have been reassured by parents and staff that the priest was mistaken, and Santa does indeed exist.
The Irish Times
Weird old bearded man you’ve never seen, lives in a place that doesn’t exist, constantly watches everyone’s behaviour, descends on people all over the world but never shows up on radar.. of course he doesn’t exist. Are you kidding?
Pope Benedict XVI has been pictured giving a blessing to Rebecca Kadaga, the Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament, who has promised to pass the country’s notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill as a “Christmas gift”.
Yesterday, Kadaga was at the Vatican to meet the Pope and to attend a human rights conference.
The topic was “Human Rights: how to remove them”.
Former Catholic brother Bernard Kevin McGrath has been granted bail while he considers his stance on 252 fresh sex abuse charges on which he faces extradition to Australia.
The 65-year-old flew back to the city from Sri Lanka on Thursday and was arrested on Friday after fresh charges were laid in Australia.
The new charges allege he repeatedly raped, molested and abused dozens of young boys at church-run institutions in the Newcastle-Maitland diocese over several decades.
And of course, none of his colleagues or superiors in the Church noticed a thing…
Adam Lee has done the research, so you don’t have to.
“Just give back the plate, Kate.
Sock the man in the frock, Jock.
Walk out of the church, Lurch!
And set yourself free…”
– apologies to Paul Simon.
The Irish Catholic Bishops have seen fit to clarify the church’s view on gynecology given Savita Halappanavar’s death from sepsis at 17 weeks in her pregnancy and the concern that evacuating her uterus was delayed because the fetus still had a heart beat. The full statement is here, but this is the excerpt I find most troubling:
- Whereas abortion is the direct and intentional destruction of an unborn baby and is gravely immoral in all circumstances, this is different from medical treatments which do not directly and intentionally seek to end the life of the unborn baby. Current law and medical guidelines in Ireland allow nurses and doctors in Irish hospitals to apply this vital distinction in practice while upholding the equal right to life of both a mother and her unborn baby.
I spent quite sometime trying to understand how one could possibly translate this statement into medical care. I’ve been a doctor for 22 years and an OB/GYN for 17 years and I admit that I am at a bit of a loss…
Dr. Jen Gunter
That’s polite medical-speak for ‘these people are barking mad’.
Pope Benedict XVI has called on Christians not to heed doomsday warnings that the world will end on December 21.
During his weekly Angelus address from the window of his Vatican apartments on St Peter’s Square, Benedict spoke of extracts from the Bible that speak of ‘‘the sun and moon going out, the stars falling from the sky’’.
But they’re only metaphorical. Whereas the bits about virgin births, resurrections, miracles and demigods floating up to heaven are obviously literally true.
Asked whether parents or police might have been interested in the files, a spokespriest said: “Oh, do you really think so?”
THE Australian Catholic Church holds thousands of pages of documents containing the psychosexual profiles of dozens of clergy accused of sexually abusing children and vulnerable adults.
The profiles, often sent to bishops, were created as part of the church’s little-known 1997-2008 rehabilitation program for those it described as ”sexual boundary violators”.
Hey Bernie! Because of your insane beliefs, a beautiful healthy young woman is dead. How do you sleep at night?
A YOUNG woman died of septicaemia in Ireland after Catholic doctors refused to terminate her miscarriage because abortion was against the country’s law and religious beliefs.
Savita Halappanavar, 31, died last month in University Hospital Galway after three days of agony, the Irish Times reported on Wednesday.
Doctors told her she was losing her 17-week pregnancy, as her cervix had dilated and the amniotic sac had broken, and that the foetus would not survive.
Her husband told the newspaper she begged for birth to be induced but was told this was not possible because the foetal heartbeat was still present “and this is a Catholic country”.
Praveen Halappanavar said that his wife, a Hindu, said, “I am neither Irish nor Catholic,” but they said there was nothing they could do.”
Mr Halappanavar said his wife was left in extreme pain for another two-and-a-half days until the foetal heartbeat stopped. The dead foetus was then removed but Mrs Halappanavar was soon taken to intensive care where she died on October 28.
Update: An inquest reveals more details of this poor woman’s horrific ordeal.
David Edwin Rapson, 59, is accused of abusing boys between 1973 and 1990, including at the Salesian College Rupertswood in Sunbury where he was a teacher…
In a statement tendered today, one of the boys alleges he was molested by Rapson in the school infirmary when he was in year 10….
He said he saw Rapson, whom he called Brother Rapson, going to each bed and lifting up the blankets and making derogatory comments about the boys’ penises.
He alleges another priest came into to the room and asked Rapson what he was doing.
Rapson replied: “You know what we do here.”
To which the other priest said: “You’ve really got to resist.”
Rapson replied: “God made us this way and it’s his fault.”
His morals may be questionable, but you can’t fault his theology.
…because we sure as hell won’t.
…The children huddle together waiting for breakfast, which on a good day is pan de sal, or Filipino salt bread, which they dip into hot instant coffee. Mrs Cabiya-an works part-time as a laundry woman and home help.
”It’s tough when you have so many children,” she says, with a shy smile. ”I have to count them before I go to sleep to make sure no one’s missing.”
At one time Mrs Cabiya-an had access to contraceptives but the Manila mayor, Jose Atienza, a devout Catholic, swept them off the shelves of city-run clinics in 2000. Since then she has struggled to limit the size of her family, resorting to illegal abortion more than once.
Mr Aquino, a Catholic, is strongly backing a reproductive health bill before the Philippines Senate that aims to give poor couples free access to family planning methods, including contraceptives and condoms, and would require schools to teach sex education.
The legislation was first drafted 14 years ago but proved too difficult for previous governments as the country has grown to be the world’s 12th most populous nation with almost 100 million people…
But the Catholic Bishops Conference has vowed to oppose the bill, even though legislators have watered it down to appease the church, removing references to a two child per family policy. ”We are still for scrapping the bill. It is not necessary,” Archbishop Jose Palma, the conference president, says. Some priests have even branded support for the bill a ”serious sin” punishable with excommunication, reflecting how conservative the church has remained in the Philippines, the sole Catholic nation without a divorce law.
A GROUP of religious brothers led by an ”alpha paedophile” are suspected of the unreported bashing deaths of two boys and the sexual abuse of more than 40 wards of the state and others at homes for the mentally impaired over three decades in Victoria, an inquiry into child abuse is expected to be told on Friday.
The 15 suspected paedophile brothers from the Hospitaller Order of St John of God have never been charged in Victoria because of a lack of police resources, said Wayne Chamley, a researcher for the church sex abuse victims group Broken Rites.
The ‘police resources’ that were lacking being guts and compassion.
Update 2012-11-09: Catholic Labor politicians try stalling and prevarication, but NSW Premier is undeterred.
Update 2012-11-10: More details of the horrific treatment meted out to children in their care.
Update 2012-11-12: Cardinal Pell implicated in a loan to pedophile order. Over 70% were molesters, says psychologist.
Bad luck if you’re a Catholic.
An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that implants outside of the uterus. It occurs in approximately 1% of conceptions. It typically grows in the fallopian tube, but rarely an ectopic pregnancy grows into the ovary or cervix….
This is how women die from ectopic pregnancies, they bleed to death…
The recommended treatment for an ectopic pregnancy is surgical removal or systemic methotrexate (a cancer drug that kills the rapidly dividing trophoblasts, which are in many ways like cancer cells)…
An ectopic pregnancy is not destined to be a baby. It can never, ever grow to viability. It will, however, grow to injure the pregnant woman. So you’d think treatment shouldn’t be controversial…unless of course you want care at some Catholic hospitals.
Yes, some Catholic ethicists argue that the catholic “Directives” preclude physicians at Catholic hospitals from managing ectopic pregnancies in a way that involves direct action on the embryo. So a woman can have her whole tube removed (an unnecessary procedure that could reduce her future fertility), but she can not have the pregnancy plucked out (as is done with the standard therapy, a salpingostomy, where a small incision is made in the tube and the pregnancy removed) and she most certainly could not have the methotrexate.
How common is this practice? Well, it is pretty sad that someone had to study it. According to a study from 2011 by Foster e. al., (Womens Health Issues, 2011) some Catholic hospitals refuse to offer methotrexate (three in this study of 16 hospitals). The lack of methotrexate resulted in changes in therapy, transferring patients to other facilities, and even administering it surreptitiously. All of these expose women to unnecessary risks, expense and are, quite frankly, wrong.
Dr. Jen Gunter
“Wrong” here being polite medical terminology for ‘insanely fucking stupid’.
Misogyny, cover-ups and bizarre rituals involving bodily fluids.
When a degrading initiation ritual left a teenage girl clinging to life in hospital, the fallout was supposed to bring order and cultural change to Australia’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic college, St John’s.
Eight months on, nothing has changed. Police have been called to investigate widespread vandalism including smashed windows and doors, furniture broken or set on fire, and graffiti. Faeces are routinely found in common areas and bedrooms. Every second Friday, the student committee has decreed that all Johnsmen not speak to any female students – who are known as ”Jets”: the term is an acronym for ”just excuse the slag”.
Freshers are still being forced into initiation rituals, including the consumption of toxic drinks. And some senior students are showing a cavalier disregard for the fallout from the poisoned girl’s near-death, and have even printed T-shirts that celebrate the incident.
The college’s honorary dean and a member of the college’s executive have quit in disgust, with many former executives and existing students calling on Australia’s highest-ranked Catholic, Sydney Archbishop George Pell, to intervene and ”rescue” the 150-year-old institution from ”a crippling disease”.
Pell do something useful? I’ll believe it when I see it.
Fairfax Media understood St John’s would start next year with a zero-tolerance policy towards outdated rituals, excessive drinking and anti-social behaviour.
So, not Catholic any more, then?
Update: The Rector has jumped ship — or been pushed.
What if God just wanted to go paddling?
As Hurricane Sandy barges through the northeastern U.S., what are people of faith to make of it? Is it a punishment from God, as some pastors have already declared? It it a test? Will everything be OK? Pastors, rabbis, imams and other clergy have been inundated with these kinds of questions and requests for prayers. The answers are complex, and vary among faiths.
But they all have one thing in common: none of them make any sense.
“Nature is value-free,” said Kushner, a rabbi of the conservative Jewish tradition. “It can’t tell the role between the deserving the undeserving. God’s role is not to decide where the hurricane goes and how severe it is. God’s role is to motivate people to help neighbors and improve methods to predict hurricanes. God is found not in the problem, but in the resilience.”
See, God’s just a regular guy like you and me, except for knowing everything and being all-powerful.
And when in doubt, obfuscate:
Martin, the Catholic priest, said Christians should have a similar outlook. “Suffering is never the last word in the Christian world view. “There is no cross without resurrection.”
Schoolboy George Pratt had attended his local Scout group for ten months, and was expecting to invest in the group along with his friends.
But, after being required to swear the traditional promise, he found himself unable to join as he does not believe in God.
George, 11, said he was “very disappointed” in the decision, calling it “very unfair” and claiming he feels left out from experiences and trips his friends are attending.
His father Nick Pratt, 45, has accused the Scout movement of being “narrow minded” and “intolerant”, saying his son is being “excluded because he doesn’t believe”.
To become a full member of the 1st Midsomer Norton Group in Somerset, which meets in a hall opposite his home, George must take the Scout Promise.
This reads: “On my honour, I promise that I will do my best, To do my duty to God and to the Queen, To help other people, And to keep the Scout Law.”
Different versions of the oath are available for different faiths, such as the use of ‘Allah’ to replace ‘God’ for Muslims.
So it doesn’t matter what Invisible Friend you think you have, as long as you have one? What about Harvey, the six-foot rabbit? I’m sure he could teach a twelve-year-old boy all sorts of things.