Friday, October 15, 2010

Notes: Friday, October 15, 2010

Queensland couple acquitted of abortion-related charges

I was interested, and perplexed, to learn from that article that

In his closing directions, Judge Bill Everson told the jury it needed to be satisfied the drugs Ms Leach had taken were noxious to her own health. This was a significant direction: the drugs needed to be harmful to her, as distinct from the foetus.

I haven't read the text of the relevant section of Queensland's Crimes Act, but I would have thought that if 'procuring one's miscarriage' were a fair description of the crime then the question of whether the drug's direct effect was to harm the mother's health, with miscarriage as an indirect effect, or whether the miscarriage was the direct effect, would be irrelevant. The Australian has more information:

The jurors returned their not-guilty verdict after Cairns District Court judge Bill Everson instructed them that in order to convict 21-year-old Tegan Simone Leach, they had to be satisfied that the drugs she took were harmful or noxious to her own health, rather than the fetus.

[...] In summing up the two-day trial, Judge Everson explained to the jury that Ms Leach could be found guilty regardless of whether she had been pregnant or not when she attempted to procure her own miscarriage.

As a result, he said, the jury must be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the drugs Ms Leach took were noxious to her health, rather than to the health of her unborn child.


If so, then it would seem that the description of the charges as "procuring an abortion and supplying drugs for the abortion" is inadequate.

Interesting mix of Herald letters on God, miracles, and religion

A better balance than one might have expected. Under the heading "Consensus on divine power would be the miracle":

Also interesting was the pair of letters under the heading "An abortion always takes a life".

More from Mr. Hitchens on morality

But [Christopher] Hitchens is weaker on the personal and ethical challenge presented by atheism: of course we can be good without God, but why the hell bother? If there are no moral lines except the ones we draw ourselves, why not draw and redraw them in places most favourable to our interests? Hitchens parries these concerns instead of answering them: since all moral rules have exceptions and complications, he says, all moral choices are relative. Peter Hitchens responds that any journey becomes difficult when a compass points differently at different times.

[...] At the Pew Forum, [Christopher] Hitchens was asked: What positive lesson have you learned from Christianity? He replied, with great earnestness: the transience and ephemeral nature of power and all things human. ...

"Bugnini: "I am the liturgical reform!""

I would be interested to obtain and read that book by The Rev. Fr. Anscar Chupungco O.S.B.

(Here's an interesting comment by Dr. Brown talking about what 'I am the liturgical reform' refers to.)

Mr. Rudd still a Catholic?

One of the items in yesterday's edition of CathNews drew from a Sydney Daily Telegraph article on The Hon. Kevin Rudd M.P. and his connection to Bl. Mary of the Cross (née Mary MacKillop). That CathNews article did not mention (understandably, given its desired context) the most interesting thing to be learnt from that Tele article, which I learnt from reading the print edition before reading CathNews: Mr. Rudd still identifies as Catholic:

Mr Rudd, who is Catholic but attends an Anglican Church, also revealed that he carries an image of Australia's first saint in his wallet.

[...] Mr Rudd was raised a Catholic but now attends an Anglican Church with his wife Therese Rein.

His acceptance of communion at Mary MacKillop Chapel last year sparked controversy.

"I certainly grew up as a Catholic, the only reason I go to Anglican Church is because my wife is Anglican," he said.

"For me denominational questions have never been terribly important, so I have maintained close connection with Christians of all sorts of denominational affiliations. The most important thing is whether people are of faith, that they are serious about their faith and what they try to do with their lives.
That CathNews item linked to the wrong article's web-page.]

Interesting comment by "gpmtrad" at AQ:

St. Ephrem the Syriac, Doctor of the Church, explains that what most provoked God concerning Cain was the latter's indifference to sacrifice.
[italics in the original,]

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Teresa of Avila, Virgin, A.D. 2010

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