I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed by a gruff demand to “come with me” in Turkey, but I managed to get away. I’ve never found myself pregnant against my will. I’ve never had to ask myself - could I bear and rear a child of my rapist? But plenty of women do.
Since my childhood, I’ve had access to sex education (while it’s come far since the early 80s, we did learn the basics of contraception and pregnancy), free reproductive health care (courtesy of the government’s family planning clinics, I could get free pap smears and advice on and access to contraception), and education and employment, which has given me some freedom and say over my own life, and hence my body.
But then there’s millions upon millions of young women and girls, both here in Australia and elsewhere, who don’t have these things.
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It’s in the Catholic Rulebook, more commonly known as the Bible, that any Catholic can be Pope. The next one should totes be me.
To those who say, ‘Why you?’
I reply, ‘Why not?’
Just in case that flawless argument isn’t enough, let me expand.
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As the Christian world begins the season of lent in preparation for Easter, there could be no greater surprise than the news that Pope Benedict XVI will step down from the Papacy on February 28.
Even though the reasons of deteriorating health are valid for an 85 year old pontiff, having not seen a Papal abdication since Pope Celestine V in 1296, (and even before then they were rare), the decision has met with expected shock.
Pope Benedict is the 264th successor of the Apostle Peter in a line that has seen empires rise and fall and dynasties come and go. No institution is able to claim a more ancient status than the Catholic Church and the papacy.
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In a major global exclusive, The Punch has received a sneak glimpse into the Twitter feed of Pope Benedict XVI.
Despite boasting hundreds of thousands of followers since joining Twitter with the handle @pontifex overnight, His Holiness is yet to tweet.
However, the Pontiff is said to have a dozen or so pithy 140 character pronouncements ready to roll, just as soon as he can find a biblical passage to prove that God, not science, is relaying his Tweets to the world.
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I can see why the new atheist commentators Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins want to take on the Pope. Here is someone who fears what Gareth Evans called “relevance deprivation”. He fears it for himself as Pope, he fears it for the Church. To bolster the declining authority of the Church, he has set up the straw man of “aggressive secularism” and sets his adherents against it.
Religion, the Pope told Britons in his trip this month, is being “marginalised”, relegated to the “purely private sphere”. Believers holding public roles are being asked to act against their conscience, he claims. Secularism, Britains were warned, no longer values or tolerates their traditional values such as honesty, respect and fair-mindedness.
Your Holiness, this is rubbish – ideologically motivated rubbish.
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Welcome to Friday @ The Punch
Today in 1978 the Vatican elected a non-Italian leader for the first time in 455 years. Polish Cardinal Karol Wojtyla became Pope John Paul II. At only 58 years of age he was also one of the youngest popes in history.
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One of the logical difficulties in being an atheist is the body of well-documented cases where individuals have used faith and prayer to defy the odds when science and reason suggested that all hope was truly lost.
Atheism holds that all religion is fantasy and that its adherents have deluded themselves into believing in the existence of an all-powerful being with whom you can communicate via prayer.
On paper it sounds absurd. The only difficulty is – and I write this as a non-believer – it sometimes seems to work. If I were Sophie Delezio’s Dad I would probably regard the fact that this poor little girl had been hit not once but twice by a car as an argument against the existence of an all-powerful, all-loving God. But for the Delezios, whose faith was already strong before these two crashes, their convictions were strengthened by their ordeal.
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I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
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