Monday, October 25, 2010

Notes: Saturday-Monday, October 16-25, 2010 (part 1 of 2)

1. Some recent media items on abortion

1.1 "Abortion legalised [in Queensland] by pair's acquittal"

1.2 "Anti-abortion while remaining firmly pro-choice"

1.3 A little snapshot from Australia's abortion culture

From time to time one hears reported that some certain huge proportion of women will have an abortion at some point in their respective lives or that some similarly huge proportion of pregnancies will end in abortion, but such figures, appalling yet abstract and impersonal as they are, perhaps don't sink in in such a way as for us to understand the culture of abortion which they involve (and perpetuate). The following paragraph in a recent news/opinion article helps to 'personalise' one's understanding of Australia's squalid but widespread abortion culture:

[Tegan Leach] turned to boyfriend Sergie Brennan, now 23. They agreed to abort. Together they told their parents. Both had sisters who’d been through a suction curette and told them, if a little bluntly, “it gets sucked out and scraped out’’.

1.4 Mr. Schütz contra Ms O'Brien on abortion

A mostly good fisking of some pro-abortion nonsense published in the Melbourne Herald Sun:

1.5 Dr. Durie (Anglican minister) on late-term abortions in Victoria

2. Msgr. Fellay on, among other things, Vatican policy on the S.S.P.X as a policy of "contradictions"

See also

3. Interesting series of items in the Herald regarding Catholic womenpriests

The first was a letter published, with other letters, under the heading "Lapses - and laps - of Catholic faith":

I think many Catholics saw the irony of the Mary MacKillop celebrations in a church in which women are still excluded from full participation. As I said at Mass last Sunday: "Today we celebrate a woman's canonisation; hopefully it won't be too long before we celebrate a woman's ordination."

Father John CrothersSt Declan's Church, Penshurst

Then came a response published, with other letters, under the heading "Where science meets miracles" the next day:

Father John Crothers (Letters, October 20) will rejoice if women are ordained priests. Frankly I will celebrate when, as a Catholic priest ought, he upholds definitive Catholic teaching on non-ordination of women, instead of encouraging dissent and scandalous confusion.

Father John George Randwick


The day after that came two (or three) more letters, published, with one other, unrelated letter, under the heading "Grassroots Catholics ready for change":

Thank you, Father John George (Letters, October 21), for reminding me how fortunate I am to be a parishioner of St Declan's, Penshurst. Father John Crothers understands we can think for ourselves and, far from encouraging dissent, I expect he reflects the views of most Catholics in the universal church, practising and non-practising. That is why his church is packed every Sunday, many people travelling from other parishes because their own parish priests express views such as those of Father George.

Mary Lawson Mortdale

No good deed goes unpunished, it seems. According to Father John George, Father John Crothers, by advocating the ordination of women in the Catholic Church, is spreading ''dissent and scandalous confusion''. Some said Our Lord spread a bit of dissent in his time, too.

Hugh Sturgess Balmain

Apparently it is not just atheists who find diversity of opinion discomforting. The letters page is full of Christians who seem to find diversity of opinion among other Christians discomforting. Maybe we all need to be a bit more relaxed about what other people believe.

Robin Herbert Hornsby


On the same day, the Herald also published an opinion piece, brought to my attention by a post by Terra, by Dr. Laura Beth Bugg:

Interesting how the Herald has facilitated the debate.

4. New tactic for ethics classes advocates to neutralise opposition

[...] The Australian Christian Lobby called for more consultation with the government following Ms Firth's announcement.

Its NSW director, David Hutt, said nothing in the report allayed fears of church groups that having ethics classes at the same time as scripture classes would mean that scripture students ''will be forced to forgo ethics teaching''.

However, Ms Firth said ethics course material would be made available to scripture teachers.

Simon Longstaff, the executive director of the St James Ethics Centre, which ran the trial, said providing the material would ''help ensure that no child is drawn away from scripture simply to explore material provided in the ethics course''.

[my emphasis,]

Quite clever, from a P.R. perspective, but it still fails to invalidate the (in my opinion cleverer, again from a P.R. perspective) objection of ethics class opponents that pupils and their respective parents will be forced to choose between S.R.E. and the ethics classes, because the same trade-off between S.R.E. content or ethics class content remains.

5. Latest figures on Australian popular support for so-called gay marriage

MORE than three-quarters of Australians support a conscience vote on same-sex marriage and an increased majority want gay and lesbian couples to be able to marry.

Findings from a new poll of 1050 respondents came as the independent MP Andrew Wilkie called on the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, to move on the issue, saying she was ''out of step with the people''.

[...] The Galaxy poll showed support for same-sex marriage increased from 60 per cent of respondents in 2009 to 62 per cent this year.

The survey, which was conducted over two days earlier this month, showed uniform support for a conscience vote across party lines with 80 per cent of Labor and 75 per cent of Liberal voters agreeing to the idea.

While supporting a conscience vote, Liberal voters were much less likely to agree to allow same-sex couples to marry, with less than half supporting the change. Nearly three-quarters of Labor voters and four out of five Greens voters support same-sex marriage.

The survey also shows that younger Australians are more likely (80 per cent) to support same-sex marriage than those aged over 50 years (46 per cent). [...]

6. Impending naming-and-shaming of insufficiently pro-G.L.B.T. businesses by a new initiative of the Sodomites' League

One can't even read the careers section of a newspaper these days without finding gay propaganda. An article on page three in the public sector section of The Weekend Australian's "Weekend Professional" supplement last Saturday entitled "'Homophobia keeps employees in closet'" (apparently not available on-line) brought an interesting new initiative to the attention of readers:

The Pride in Diversity program was created by community-based LGBT health and HIV/AIDS group ACON , in partnership with Diversity Council Australia and Stonewall, a London-based LGBT advocacy group. Since being launched in February, a broad range of employers have signed up as foundation members, including the Australian Federal Police, the Department of Defence, Telstra, KPMG and IBM.

So KPMG goes LGBT. A double serving of alphabet soup.

[...] Pride in Diversity will launch the first workplace equality index in November, whereby employers will be able to measure how inclusive their workplace is of LGBT staff.

Something to look forward to.

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of Sts. Chrysanthus and Daria, Martyrs, A.D. 2010

1 comment:

Cardinal Pole said...

Add another to that list of Herald items on womenpriests (this one would be the first in the list):

"Canonisation demands a more inclusive church

"The canonisation of Mary MacKillop is a wonderful celebration for many Australian Catholics, especially the Sisters of St Joseph. Two experiences arising from the canonisation on Sunday prompted me to reflect on the future direction of the Catholic Church.

"Watching the canonisation, the lack of female presence in the service was stark, with men dominating particularly at the front of the procession. At Sunday evening Mass, just before the canonisation, the parish priest asked HSC students to stand to receive a blessing for their exams. In a church of about 250 people, one young woman stood.

"The enduring commitment of St Mary of the Cross to inclusivity, community and humanity is difficult to reconcile in a church in which women are excluded from full participation and young people are disengaged. I hope Australia's first saint can inspire the Catholic Church to reflect on her values and deeds and to take the opportunity to move towards inclusion, accountability and the provision of a place where safety, humility and justice are commonplace.

"Maxine Evers North Epping
[Letter of October 19, 2010,]