Monday, January 31, 2011

Notes: Monday-Monday, January 24-31, 2011

1. Projections for Muslim population growth

Labels: demography, Islam

2. On abortion and suicide

2.1 Some figures on abortion in the U.S., South Australia, and Russia


South Australia:


2.2 Mr. Obama and the European Court of Human Rights on the implications of a 'right to privacy' for, respectively, abortion and suicide

Today marks the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that protects women’s health and reproductive freedom, and affirms a fundamental principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters.

Of course, to be more precise, what Mr. Obama meant to say when is he said that "government should not intrude on private family matters" is that 'government should not intrude on some but not all private family matters'--presumably he thinks, despite the logical inconsistency, that a father should be prevented, where feasible, from committing infanticide.


The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the “respect for private life” found in the European Convention of Human Rights includes the right of individuals to choose freely to commit suicide.

(See this AQ comment for a different, but still valid, perspective on Mr. Obama's comment.)

Labels: abortion, Barack Obama, demography, E.C.H.R., human rights, morality, suicide

3. "SCIENTISTS are getting closer to finding a non-physical definition of the kilogram"

Labels: physics

4. Various letter-writers on so-called gay marriage and related questions

Below is my transcription of four letters, apparently not available on-line, which were published in The Weekend Australian Magazine's "Feedback" section (page 4) last Saturday. I don't necessarily agree with the whole content and/or expression of each of these letters, but each makes at least one good point:

"Tying the Knot" (Jan 15-16), eulo-gising "same-sex" marriages, is sugar-coating a poison pill. The usual anec-dotes are presented about happy homosexual unions. We are beguiled with images of beautiful babies with same-sex "parents". Wait for the posion pill to act on these babies. Then we will see a little girl wrapping herself around a male father figure, or a male young-ster crying, "I wish I had a mother."
Ian Seccombe
Epping, NSW

Most people probably have no serious objection to same-sex relationships or legalised unions, but expropriating the word "married" so that its traditional meaning is lost is another matter.
Rob Davies
Point Lonsdale, Vic

I have been in a male gay relationship for 31 years and my partner and I both agree that marriage is a binding commit-ment between male and female. How I would have preferred to be born a heterosexual and to be able to have had children of my own, but I recognise they are my wants only, without considera-tion for the child. I believe that a child needs that father and mother parenting role model to have the opportunity to achieve the best for their life. Same-sex parenting must surely have a confusing influence on a child's development.
Roger Phillips
Adelaide, SA

It is wonderful that couples, gay or straight, who are unable to conceive children naturally have the opportunity to become parents but please consider the rights and feelings of their offspring. They may not want to know their full identity now but I can assure you they will at some time in the future. Surely it is everyone's basic human right to know their full identity.
Bronwyn Vincent
Macgregor, ACT

Labels: families, G.L.B.T., marriage, morality, parenthood

4. "Gays vow respect in marriage debate"

Labels: G.L.B.T., marriage, morality

5. Blog comments by me

Two which I've submitted at Joshua's blog here and here, and this one at Terra's blog:

Cardinal Pole said...

"[Felix is] disconcerted by the lack of fairness in referring to the SSPX.

"As whenn Father Gerald says that "the Lefebvre group stresses Latin for the Mass ...", trivialising their actual concerns."

I agree that Father trvialises the S.S.P.X.'s concerns about the N.O.M. Isn't Msgr. Lefebvre on record as saying something like that if the T.L.M. had simply been translated into the vernacular without any other modification then the S.S.P.X. could not justifiably have rejected such a Mass? (I don't ask that rhetorically; is my recollection accurate, and if so where might it be verified?)

February 1, 2011 2:39 AM
Your comment has been saved and will be visible after blog owner approval.


I address the questions which I've asked there to my readers here, too.

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. John Bosco, Confessor, A.D. 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

Notes: Thursday-Monday, January 20-24, 2011

Labels: Catholic schools, education

3. "Program to take on homophobia in schools"

I wonder whether, amid moves against "homophobia" and, so to speak, "Holocaust"ophobia, we could see some action against the kind of Catholicophobia which motivated the two anti-Catholic letters published, under the respective headlines of "Vatican bluster" and "Saintly hiatus", in the Herald on the same day as this story was:

[...] The Education Minister, Verity Firth, has announced a $250,000 program to tackle homophobia in schools. The program, ''Proud Schools'', will be trialled at 12 high schools in Sydney and the Hunter and on the Central Coast.

[...] The program will include teacher training and workshops with students and parents.

[...] The 12 schools to trial the program this year will be announced after consultation with school communities.

The Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society is preparing a paper that will identify how schools can improve support for young gay people.

A committee comprising government and non-government agencies will monitor the program and report back to Ms Firth's office.

A spokesman for Ms Firth said while strategies to tackle homophobia were embedded in welfare programs, this was the first homophobia-specific initiative to be developed.


(Today Mr. Muehlenberg has published a blog post dealing with similar recent developments, though apparently he is not aware of the "Proud Schools" programme.)

Labels: education, G.L.B.T., Proud Schools

4. (Part of) Mr. Coyne's curriculum vitæ
(in the paragraph which begins with the words "My own involvement")

Labels: Brian Coyne, Catholic schools, education

5. "A Lesson in "Globalism""

Labels: globalism, multiculturalism

6. An amusing letter on areas of workplace inequality which feminists tend to overlook

Labels: feminism, work

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Timothy, Bishop, Martyr, A.D. 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"Lessons from the Holocaust to be shared with Catholic students"

From the on-line version of an article which I read in the print version of last Sunday's Sydney Catholic Weekly:

Lessons from the Holocaust to be shared with Catholic students

By Sharyn McCowen
16 January, 2011

Anthony Cleary, director of religious education and evangelisation for the Catholic Education Office, Sydney, is in Jerusalem this month to develop a greater understanding of the Holocaust which he can then share with teachers and students in Australia.

Mr Cleary received a scholarship from the Gandel Foundation and Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem, to attend an international program.

“I’m very conscious of the significance of the event of the Holocaust as a terrible event in human history but also showing why religious dialogue is so important,” he said.

[...] A former history and English teacher, Mr Cleary previously taught students about the Holocaust from books.

“One thing I really hope to do at the end of it is to educate young people in our schools,” he said. “I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the cradle of Christian religion. I’m also looking forward to an immersion of Jewish culture and come to a greater understanding of something I used to be the teacher of for many years.

[...] The course runs from January 5-24, and Mr Cleary will then return to Sydney to examine the possibility of incorporating this information into the curriculum, and into the education of teachers.

[italics and bold type in the original,]

(That article was also featured in yesterday's CathNews, where a surprisingly good comment, the only one there at the time of posting this post, has been published.) This comes a couple of months after Mr. Cleary represented His Eminence The Cardinal Archbishop of Sydney as a guest at the launch of a revised version of a B'nai-B'rith-produced and -supported anti-racism/-bigotry handbook for schools.

And just now I see that Mr. Cleary has written a piece for The Catholic Weekly, in connection with the upcoming "Holocaust Memorial Day": News&subclass=CW National

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of Sts. Marius, Martha, Audifax, and Abachum, Martyrs, and of St. Canute, King, Martyr, A.D. 2011

Notes: Tuesday-Wednesday, January 18-19, 2011

1. "British gay couple turned away from B&B win discrimination case"

Labels: discrimination, G.L.B.T.

2. Ms Tankard Reist on surrogacy

Labels: parenthood, surrogacy

3. "Abortion Has Caused 300K Breast Cancer Deaths Since Roe"

Labels: abortion, cancer, health

4. Dr. Peters and others on the obligation on clerics to be celibate and/or continent

Dr. Peters has posted at his website a full, searchable P.D.F. version of his Studia Canonica article "Canonical considerations on diaconal continence” (previously only the abstract, which I have brought to your attention already in item 2 of this post, was available there):

Unfortunately I do not have time to read it yet, though.

Labels: celibacy, Deacons, Divine positive law, Ecclesiastical law, Edward Peters, Priesthood

5. "Row over HIV health cash"


A BITTER row has erupted in Sydney's gay community after a group of prominent activists accused the state's leading homosexual health service of squandering millions of dollars in taxpayers' money.

Gay rights campaigner Gary Burns, HIV lobbyist Shayne Chester and journalist Peter Hackney have demanded the state government "demolish" ACON, formerly known as the AIDS Council of NSW.

The trio alleged the service, which specialises in HIV prevention, care and support, received $12.6 million in government funding last year but spent only $800,000 on programs and services. In a scathing attack, the group dubbed the organisation a "gravy train" and called on Premier Kristina Keneally to hand back ACON's work to NSW Health.

[...] Mr Chester said NSW had had high rates of HIV infection for more than a decade, and this was compounded by an increase in unprotected casual sex among gay men.

"Why is this happening?" he asked. "Because ACON, which is chartered with HIV education and prevention, is failing us."

[...] In NSW cases involving HIV infection peaked in the mid-1980s, with 1636 diagnoses reported in 1987. Since then rates have dropped dramatically, with 327 new cases recorded in 2009, although that is a slight increase from 323 in 2008.

Labels: ACON, G.L.B.T., H.I.V./A.I.D.S., health, vice

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of Sts. Marius, Martha, Audifax, and Abachum, Martyrs, and of St. Canute, King, Martyr, A.D. 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

Notes: Thursday-Monday, January 13-17, 2011

1. Some figures on attitudes of mothers towards paid work

From the on-line version of an article which expands on a shorter article which I read in the Sydney Daily Telegraph last week:

... a British survey has found nearly two-thirds of women would love to find a husband with a bigger pay packet than theirs to allow them to care for their kids full time.

The YouGov survey of 922 women found 55 per cent of respondents would like to be home with their children full time if money were not an issue.

And 60 per cent said they felt pressured by society to go out and work.

[...] "Research evidence consistently shows most mothers would prefer not to have competing demands of family work and paid jobs," Dr [Catherine] Hakim said.

Her report arrives as the biggest Australian survey of parents in decades has found a third of women would like to work less, and two-thirds thought working made them less effective as a parent.

But only about 15 per cent of women could afford to be at home full time because their partner earned enough money to support them.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies' Growing Up in Australia study of 10,000 children and their parents shows two-thirds of mothers with four to eight-year-olds worked 20 to 30 hours a week.

Two thirds of these women enjoyed work and thought it made them a good role model for their kids, but they didn't always find it compatible with family life, and would prefer to work less.

[...] Jenny Baxter, Australian Institute of Family Studies senior research fellow, said women might like the idea of being at home full-time, especially if they had young children.

"But many women are highly educated and like working, and would worry about financial dependency given thehigh rate of relationship breakdown," Ms Baxter said.


Labels: families, parenthood, social trends, work

2. Some observations about Mme. Le Pen

If I'm not mistaken, Msgr. Lefebvre regarded M. Jean-Marie Le Pen as the 'least-worst' altervative among French politicians with realistic chances of electoral success. I'm not sure that he would have the same regard for M. Le Pen's daughter and likely successor as leader of the National Front:

She has campaigned against immigration and Brussels but favours a woman's right to have an abortion. She also advocates the return of the death penalty. In a more sober style than her father she has denounced “fundamentalist Catholics” and “those obsessed by the Holocaust”.

“Marine Le Pen portrays herself as a lawyer, a mother, twice-divorced, very liberal on issues like abortion or homosexuality,” said Sylvain Crepon, a sociologist at West-Nanterre University.

“She can woo the working and middle classes, who are worried about crime and immigration and who used to see the National Front as too conservative.”


Labels: Marine Le Pen

3. An interesting discussion at Fr. Zuhlsdorf's blog

With some suprising contributions, such as the first red-coloured interpolation in this comment, by Fr. Zuhlsdorf:

Labels: John Zuhlsdorf, Papacy, theology

4. Dr. Sudlow is blogging again

Labels: blogs, Brian Sudlow

(brought to my attention by this AQ comment)

Labels: State of Israel

6. Cardinal Pell and the so-called Catholic Charismatic Renewal (C.C.R.)

I was interested to read the following in Msgr. Coleridge's eulogy for the late Lord Bishop of Sandhurst (may he rest in peace):

A sign that things were changing in the Church came when Archbishop Pell chose Joe to be spiritual director of the seminary, an appointment which surprised some who either didn’t know Joe or who underestimated him.

I did not know that Cardinal Pell endorsed the C.C.R. so strongly as to appoint one of its major local figures to such a position.

Labels: C.C.R., George Pell

7. Ms Legge on so-called gay marriage

Excerpts (I don't have time to comment on them, unfortunately, so I'm just saving here for future reference the excerpts of most interest to me):

... But when a son or a daughter or a brother or a sister or a niece or a nephew turns out to be gay there’s an inevitable mellowing of suspicion and prejudice. Is there a grandparent on the planet who would spurn a soft, warm bundle of kinship, however tangled the threads?

[...] Days after Liberal frontbencher Malcolm Turnbull spoke against gay marriage, he began to equivocate. He now acknowledges he’s “open” to persuasion. ...

[...] That’s how Tasmanian gay activist Rodney Croome explains the desire for marriage amongst a younger cohort he calls “the Family Law Act generation”. ... The institution of marriage has evolved through no-fault divorce and the rise of de facto relationships. ...

[...] Marriage matters to ["Alex Grimshaw, 30, spokesman for Australian Marriage Equality"]: “It’s important for equality, the symbolism, because it allows us to be more comfortable with who we are.”

[...] Frank Bates, emeritus Professor of Law at Newcastle University, can’t see what’s wrong with another shift to account for the rise of same-sex relationships. Originally seen as a means of securing property rights, marriage became invested with romantic and emotional baggage in the 19th century. “There’s nothing magical about the Marriage Act – it’s just another piece of legislation,” says Bates. ...

[...] Concerns at how these offspring will fare may not be resolved until a generation are well into adulthood. A US study that followed 78 children raised by lesbian mothers for 17 years reported last June that these adolescents demonstrated healthy psychological adjustment. But critics have challenged the veracity of these results. The academic arena is so heavily politicised that one Australian academic who has reviewed the scientific literature for state parliamentary reviews examining same-sex couple adoption now begs anonymity because of the abuse he’s copped for pointing out methodological flaws in the research. He believes work on the children raised in these families is embryonic and suffers from bad science and bias.

Little is known about the impact of donor anonymity on children’s welfare. Much depends on the individual personality of the child and the stability of their adult relationships. There is no rulebook; each couple devises strategies to suit their needs. Australian researcher Dr Ruth McNair shares a three-year-old son, Sam, with her lesbian partner. Sam knows the identity of the man who helped his mothers conceive. The man visits from time to time. Sam calls him by his first name. Eilis Hughes of the Melbourne based Rainbow Families Council says her daughter Drew enjoys frequent contact with the biological father she calls “Dad”. The Mok children can access the identity of their donor father when they turn 17. The Luiciani-Crouts say they have chosen anonymity to limit problems and confusion for their daughter. The Fergusons were concerned to avoid donor intervention down the track.

[...] The couples I interviewed try very hard to bring a mix of genders into their family circle so that male or female family and friends counter the imbalance in their household. Megan and Leanne Ferguson held a “naming ceremony” for baby James where guests were invited to contribute to his lifelong education. ...


Labels: families, G.L.B.T., marriage, morality, parenthood, social trends

Feast of St. Anthony, Abbot, A.D. 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Notes: Tuesday-Wednesday, January 11-12, 2011

1. Mr. Nalliah on the Queensland floods

Apparently Catch the Fire Ministries is a 'Christian Zionist' organisation:
(the latter link found in the combox at this post by Mr. Muehlenberg)

Labels: C.T.F.M., State of Israel

2. "‘Mother,’ ‘Father’ Changing to ‘Parent One,’ ‘Parent Two’ on [U.S.] Passport Applications"

Labels: families, G.L.B.T., parenthood

3. H.H. The Pope on religious liberty

There are good points and bad points in this speech, though unfortunately I don't have time to explain point by point the good and the bad. Anyway, here are the excerpts from the Vatican Information Service (V.I.S.) daily e-mail bulletin item on the speech which (excerpts) I regard as notably good or bad (if you're familiar with the Traditional doctrine on these matters then you'll probably know which is which):


VATICAN CITY, 10 JAN 2011 (VIS) - This morning in the Sala Regia of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, Pope Benedict pronounced his traditional annual address to members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See. ...

[...] Ample extracts of the Holy Father's address are give below:

"Humanity throughout history, in its beliefs and rituals, demonstrates a constant search for God and 'these forms of religious expression are so universal that one may well call man a religious being'. The religious dimension is an undeniable and irrepressible feature of man's being and acting, the measure of the fulfilment of his destiny and of the building up of the community to which he belongs. Consequently, when the individual himself or those around him neglect or deny this fundamental dimension, imbalances and conflicts arise at all levels, both personal and interpersonal".

[...] "The particular influence of a given religion in a nation ought never to mean that citizens of another religion can be subject to discrimination in social life or, even worse, that violence against them can be tolerated. In this regard, it is important for inter-religious dialogue to favour a common commitment to recognising and promoting the religious freedom of each person and community. ...

"In a number of countries, on the other hand, a constitutionally recognised right to religious freedom exists, yet the life of religious communities is in fact made difficult and at times even dangerous because the legal or social order is inspired by philosophical and political systems which call for strict control, if not a monopoly, of the State over society. Such inconsistencies must end, so that believers will not find themselves torn between fidelity to God and loyalty to their country. I ask in particular that Catholic communities be everywhere guaranteed full autonomy of organisation and the freedom to carry out their mission, in conformity with international norms and standards in this sphere. My thoughts turn once again to the Catholic community of mainland China and its pastors, who are experiencing a time of difficulty and trial. I would also like to offer a word of encouragement to the authorities of Cuba, a country which in 2010 celebrated seventy-five years of uninterrupted diplomatic relations with the Holy See, that the dialogue happily begun with the Church may be reinforced and expanded.

"Turning our gaze from East to West, we find ourselves faced with other kinds of threats to the full exercise of religious freedom. I think in the first place of countries which accord great importance to pluralism and tolerance, but where religion is increasingly being marginalised. There is a tendency to consider religion, all religion, as something insignificant, alien or even destabilising to modern society, and to attempt by different means to prevent it from having any influence on the life of society. Christians are even required at times to act in the exercise of their profession with no reference to their religious and moral convictions, and even in opposition to them, as for example where laws are enforced limiting the right to conscientious objection on the part of health care or legal professionals.

"In this context, one can only be gratified by the adoption by the Council of Europe last October of a resolution protecting the right to conscientious objection on the part of medical personnel vis-a-vis certain acts which gravely violate the right to life, such as abortion.

[...] "Continuing my reflection, I cannot remain silent about another attack on the religious freedom of families in certain European countries which mandate obligatory participation in courses of sexual or civic education which allegedly convey a neutral conception of the person and of life, yet in fact reflect an anthropology opposed to faith and to right reason".

"On this solemn occasion, allow me to state clearly several principles which inspire the Holy See, together with the whole Catholic Church, in its activity within the intergovernmental international organisations for the promotion of full respect for the religious freedom of all. First, the conviction that one cannot create a sort of scale of degrees of religious intolerance. Unfortunately, such an attitude is frequently found, and it is precisely acts of discrimination against Christians which are considered less grave and less worthy of attention on the part of governments and public opinion. At the same time, there is a need to reject the dangerous notion of a conflict between the right to religious freedom and other human rights, thus disregarding or denying the central role of respect for religious freedom in the defence and protection of fundamental human dignity. Even less justifiable are attempts to counter the right of religious freedom with other alleged new rights which, while actively promoted by certain sectors of society and inserted in national legislation or in international directives, are nonetheless merely the expression of selfish desires lacking a foundation in authentic human nature. Finally, it seems unnecessary to point out that an abstract proclamation of religious freedom is insufficient: this fundamental rule of social life must find application and respect at every level and in all areas".

[...] "I would like once more to state forcefully that religion does not represent a problem for society, that it is not a source of discord or conflict. I would repeat that the Church seeks no privileges, nor does she seek to intervene in areas unrelated to her mission, but simply to exercise the latter with freedom. I invite everyone to acknowledge the great lesson of history: 'How can anyone deny the contribution of the world's great religions to the development of civilisation? The sincere search for God has led to greater respect for human dignity. Christian communities, with their patrimony of values and principles, have contributed much to making individuals and peoples aware of their identity and their dignity, the establishment of democratic institutions and the recognition of human rights and their corresponding duties. Today too, in an increasingly globalised society, Christians are called, not only through their responsible involvement in civic, economic and political life but also through the witness of their charity and faith, to offer a valuable contribution to the laborious and stimulating pursuit of justice, integral human development and the right ordering of human affairs'.
CD/ VIS 20110110 (2500)

See also the the first two comments, by "Centristian" and "Jason Keener", respectively, in the combox at Fr. Zuhlsdorf's post on this speech.

Labels: Benedict XVI. Ratzinger, Church and State, Confessional State, morality, religious liberty

4. Cardinal Tauran on, among other things, religious liberty

This is an extract from an old V.I.S. daily e-mail bulletin item which I've finally got round to posting at AQ:


VATICAN CITY, 15 OCT 2010 (VIS) - The Eighth General Congregation of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops was held this morning in the Synod Hall in the presence of the Holy Father and of 168 Synod Fathers. ...

Extracts from some of the Synod Father's speeches are given below:

[...] CARDINAL JEAN-LOUIS TAURAN, PRESIDENT OF THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR INTER-RELIGIOUS DIALOGUE. "The Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops represents an opportunity and a challenge. An opportunity, because it could lead to better understanding: (1) that the unresolved conflicts in the region are not caused by religious reasons, as evinced by the presence among us of representatives of Judaism and of Islam; (2) of the urgency for a three-way reflection (Jews, Christians and Muslims) on the place of religions in Middle Eastern societies. It is also a challenge, to give Middle Eastern Christians concrete guidelines. Let us not be shy in reclaiming not only freedom of worship, but also religious freedom. Society and State should neither force a person to act against his conscience, nor hinder him from acting according to his conscience. Let us invest more in schools and universities, which are attended by both Christians and Muslims. They are indispensable places of co-existence. Let us ask ourselves if we are doing enough, at the level of the local Churches, to encourage our Christians to stay: housing, tuition, healthcare. We cannot expect everything from others". [...]
SE/ VIS 20101015 (950)
[bold type in the original, my italics and ellipses]

Labels: Dignitatis Humanæ, Jean-Louis Tauran, morality, religious liberty

Reginaldvs Cantvar

Monday, January 10, 2011

Notes: Friday-Monday, January 7-10, 2011

1. Some figures on attitudes of Jews living in the State of Israel towards non-Jews

Labels: Jews, State of Israel

2. Ms Keneally is pro-abortion?

I was surprised to read the following in the on-line version of an article from last Sunday's Sydney Sunday Telegraph:

[The Hon. Kristina Keneally M.P., N.S.W. Premier] said she disagreed with the Catholic church on some points and with some of its social teachings, including the church's views on abortion.

My understanding was that Catholic teaching on abortion was one of the teachings to which she assented. Was this understanding incorrect?

Labels: abortion, Kristina Keneally, Magisterium, morality

3. More from Mr. Pearson on euthanasia


Ina Borger of Marion, SA, suggests the editor tell me "the inquisition happened a long time ago" and says she doesn't need me "or the pope to make my mind up". This is a gambit known in contemporary politics as "playing the secularist card". It invites disdain towards a policy position because of the advocate's religious affiliation, without entering into debate about the merits of the (in this case, rational rather than faith-based) argument.

[...] Last May the Canadian Medical Association published two important articles on recent experience in the Flemish region of Belgium. The first surveyed doctors involved in euthanasia and found that 66 cases out of a total of 208, or 32 per cent, were without explicit request or consent of the patient.

Of course some of the patients were babies with profound disabilities, as well as other categories, including dementia sufferers. In 77.9 per cent of cases of death without consent or explicit request, the decision was not discussed with the patient. The second study, involving nurses in the same region participating in euthanasia, found that 120 of 248 cases, or 45 per cent, were without explicit request or consent.

Labels: euthanasia, morality, secularism

4. Mrs. Livingstone on, among other things, Sunday Mass attendance by Australian Catholics and Australian Sees to get new Ordinaries as early as this year


... The most recent Australian survey of mass attendance, in 2006, found the number of Catholics attending weekly had fallen to 13.8 per cent.

The episcopal chess board is set for big changes this year with three senior archbishops - John Bathersby in Brisbane, Adrian Doyle in Hobart and Barry Hickey in Perth - turning 75, the retirement age for bishops. A replacement will also be appointed for Sandhurst bishop Joseph Grech, 62, who died in December.

Labels: liturgy

5. Mrs. Shanahan on, among other things, The Greens' policy on relationship recognition


So, for example, with gay marriage - which will obviously take up a fair bit of parliamentary time and effort and popular anxiety, and is meant to cement the Greens' credentials as the party of forward-looking tolerance - there is actually a different agenda. Again, according to the official website, the policy encompasses a bizarre demand that all sexual permutations be given legal relationship status.

In fact, so many sexual permutations are mentioned in this policy - intersex, intrasex and transsexual, up down and round about - that this average heterosexual mum finds it difficult to follow, or to take seriously.

Does the policy include polygamy, I wonder?

Labels: G.L.B.T., Greens, marriage, morality, polyamory

6. "Shock: 41% of New York City Pregnancies End in [surgical] Abortion"

Labels: abortion, morality, N.Y.C.

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Hyginus, Pope, Martyr, A.D. 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Notes: Tuesday-Thursday, January 4-6, 2011

1. "Cardinal George Pell agrees to meet gay marriage campaigners"

Labels: G.L.B.T., George Pell, marriage, morality


Labels: morality, philosophy, St. Thomas Aquinas, theology

3. Mr. Kent on Ms Keneally's behaviour at press conferences

Interesting mainly for its observations on how 'sound bite' culture degrades press conferences:

Over the next 30 minutes, explaining the legal advice in her hand, Keneally repeats the phrase "independent and non-political advice" eight times.

[...] She says it often enough that it begins echoing in the subconscious, the intention all along. She says it even when the question didn't ask for it. Or even require it.

Indeed, she says what she wants, over and over again, because Kristina Keneally realises one of the great truths of the political press conference.

Repeat only your message - ignoring all legitimate answers to all valid and reasonable questions - and reporters are unable to quote anything else.

The wisdom of this is revealed later, when reporters must cut their 90-second news report - and what else can be reported other than her stage-managed message? Her refusal to answer all legitimate questions is lost in the need to report what she did actually say.

Labels: politicians

4. The latest figures on Australians' support for euthanasia

Labels: euthanasia, morality

5. On Muphry's (sic) Law

From the last item in today's edition of the Herald's "Column 8":

Margaret Ruwoldt, of Leopold, Victoria, adds to the Laws Of Inevitable Error discussion of recent days: '' I'm fairly certain that snortee Alan Lloyd on Thursday meant to refer to Muphry's Law, defined in 1992 by John Bangsund of the Society of Editors (Victoria). Under Muphry's Law, if you write anything criticising editing or proofreading, there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written.'' ...

Labels: Muphry's Law

6. Mr. Donnelly on Sir Elton John's procurement of his (Sir Elton's) pseudo-son

Of particular interest to me were these sections:

One Australian who has given the issue of artificial reproductive technology careful thought is Margaret Somerville. Somerville teaches at McGill University in Canada. Earlier this year she presented a paper, "Children's Human Rights to Natural Biological Origins and Family Structure", at a symposium in Slovakia. ...

[...] One Australian who has given the issue of artificial reproductive technology careful thought is Margaret Somerville. Somerville teaches at McGill University in Canada. Earlier this year she presented a paper, "Children's Human Rights to Natural Biological Origins and Family Structure", at a symposium in Slovakia.

Labels: families, G.L.B.T., Margaret Somerville, morality, parenthood

7. On Japanese immigration policy

Could someone please tell me whether it is true that

Japan forbids permanent immigration in order to preserve its homogeneous culture.

Labels: Japan

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord, A.D. 2011

Monday, January 3, 2011

Notes: December 30, 2010-January 3, 2011

(You'll notice that, as well as the list of labels at the end of this blog post, in this and future editions of "Notes" I'll include a list of labels for each item at the end of each item.)

1. "Chimps play on gender lines"

LABELS: gender differences

2. Fr. Zuhlsdorf on, among other things, the origin of Ordinaries signing their respective names with a cross sign in front of those names

LABELS: trivia

3. Prof. George et al. against a critique of their natural-law argument against so-called gay marriage
(brought to my attention by this post at Fr. Zuhlsdorf's blog)

LABELS: G.L.B.T., marriage, morality, natural law, Robert George

4. "[S]exual and reproductive health" (things such as abortion and contraception?) among the priority areas in the Federal Government's National Women's Health Policy 2010:

[The Hon. Nicola] Roxon [M.P., Health Minister] and Status of Women Minister Kate Ellis released the Government's National Women's Health Policy 2010.

[...] Health priority areas identified in the policy include chronic diseases, mental health, sexual and reproductive health and healthy ageing.


LABELS: abortion, contraception, health

5. Cardinal Pell on the incongruity of ostensibly genuine Catholic politicians defying Church teaching

Predictably, this has generated much discussion in a thread at the Catholica Forum. I wonder whether it was self-satire when, after this quotation (which is itself almost satirically over-the-top):

Where I draw the line is when he tries to impose his own Catholic Sharia Law on the rest of the community. He has the right to criticize Catholic politicians for failing to do this, but the good thing is that they are ignoring him, just like everyone else seems to do. That's the triumph of secularism.

"desi" wrote:

All together now for a great big chorus of:

'And so say all (well, a huge number anyway) of us, and so say.....'!

LABELS: George Pell, morality

6. Mr. Sheehan on Aboriginal over-representation in the criminal justice system:

I don't believe most Australians feel ''shame'' that Aborigines are 15-times over-represented in the criminal justice system. I believe they feel anger, as the victims of crime. Australians are sick of the chasm between rhetoric and reality, and the idea that the only acceptable public narratives for Aboriginal people are that of victim or artist or noble custodian. The percentage of incarcerated Aboriginals would be even higher if so many were not given a free pass by the justice system, which in turn has led to a self-perpetuating culture of violence.


7. As the Cloister closes its doors (not necessarily forever), a Window opens

So Coo-ees from the Cloister "will close in 2011":

though not necessarily forever:

and there is a successor blog (whose blogger is no 'novice'!):

LABELS: blogs

8. A Holy Roman Emperor asking for respect for religious freedom for Christians subject to the Shah of Persia?

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- For almost 400 years, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples has sent missionaries around the world. Now, in the new Propaganda Fide Missionary Museum, the public can see many of the items they sent back to Rome. The new museum also documents how certain challenges to faith recur. For example, there's a letter written in the mid-1600s by King Leopold of Germany, the Holy Roman Emperor, to the Shah of Persia asking him kindly, but forcefully, to respect the religious freedom of Christians in Persia. ...

I would be interested to read (an English translation of) that letter.

LABELS: Leopold I. Habsburg, Persia, religious liberty

Reginaldvs Cantvar