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.
It’s exciting when there’s big news at the Vatican. Everyone tunes in, Catholic or not. I get excited for a few reasons – I am Catholic, I follow the Pope and what he’s up to, and I just love reading the ignorant dribble that emerges from those who take the liberty to call themselves “Vaticanologists”.
Or in this case, a historian. Dr Geoff Nathan from UNSW wrote his thoughts on why the Pope had to go, as if it was a fait accompli that his days were numbered. While you expect the usual complaints from another “informed observer”, you certainly don’t expect a blatant disregard for facts, which should be bread and butter for a historian.
Mistaking John Paul II’s election year (it was 1978, not 1981) was a schoolboy error, and a taster for greater oversights.
Masturbating nuns have been in the news a lot lately. Not in the form of yet another tacky Nude Nuns with Big Guns-style Godsploitation movie. But as the frontline assault unit of a feminist Christian pensioner sexual revolution.
Sister Margaret Farley is a 77-year-old professor emeritus at Yale Divinity School in the US. She looks like someone’s poodle permed nana – which she probably would be if she wasn’t, you know, a nun and all.
Back in 2006, Farley wrote a book called Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics which includes a steaming hot sealed section on self-pleasuring (and by steaming hot sealed section, I mean one-and-a-half soberly toned and not in the least bit difficult-to-access pages concluding that masturbation is probably morally neutral).
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When former Members of Parliament are handed plum overseas diplomatic appointments they are usually for services rendered as paybacks for loyalty to the ruling political party.
Kevin Rudd has turned that one on its head – he’s been glad handing Liberals like there’s no tomorrow kicking off with the incredible appointment of Tim Fischer as our ambassador to the Vatican.
Traditionally, that post is “cross accredited” – the ambassador to Ireland is also our man in the Vatican – the Church will not accept ambassadors appointed to Italy and resident in Rome to the Vatican post.
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