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Archive for the ‘Roman Catholic Church’ Category

News from the Great White North

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(Updared 9:32 pm, September 9, 2006)

This post is for anyone who is tired of hearing about The Path to 9/11, The Senate Intelligience Committee report that concludes Bush lied and other U.S. political news.

How about some refreshing commentary about some cool and bracing Canadian news?

Vatican Scold Sticks his Nose Where It Don’t Belong
The CBC reports that Pope Bennedict is upset with Canada for allowing gay marriage (also known to some as equal marriage) and abortion. He says the policies “resulted from Catholic politicians ignoring the values of their religion”.

Or maybe they were doing what they thought was best for all Canadians. Canada does not have the constitutional separation of church and state that the U.S. does. In fact,as an example, Catholic and other confessional schools are publicly funded insome provinces. But religion and electoral politics are kept very far from each other by public sentiment. It is bad form to ask about a candidate’s religion there. Here, candidates have to wear their religion (figuratively) on their chests.

Sadly, the Catholic Church in Canada has recently started to interfere coercively in public affairs. Catholic Members of Parliament have been denied communion because of their votes in the House of Commons.

Hey, Popy! Render unto Caesar, eh?

Yukon Premier Acts Like a Real Dick – Nixon That Is
Canada has three territories, governments that aren’t quite provinces. Just east of Alaska is the Yukon Territory, right where Jack London left it. The Yukon Premier, Dennis Fentie, has called an election for October 10.

At the dissolution of the legislature, three parties held seats there: the governing Yukon Party (the local branch of the right wing Conservatives) the oficial opposition centrist Liberals and the centre left New Democrats (NDP). Two seats were held by independents.

Yukon districts range in size from around 150 voters to close to a thousand. Candidates have a chance during a campaign to talk to every voter over and over and over. I know. I have been a campaign manager in Yukon elections. It is so very different from American elections because there is no tv advertising, and no polling because a large chunk of the electorate have neither phones nor internet access.

Elections are like family feuds, because everybody knows everybody, even though everybody is really spread out geographically.

But get this; the NDP Leader is under treatment for leukemia. No breaks for sickies, I guess.

Many people speculated that Fentie would not call the election until NDP Leader Todd Hardy had completed treatment for his recent diagnosis of leukemia. But the premier was unapologetic.

“There’s absolutely no guarantees that if we waited until Nov. 4, Mr. Hardy would be able to conduct a campaign,” Fentie told a news conference after his speech.

Harsh, dude. Very harsh.

Toronto Film Festival Excitment Reaches Fever Pitch
The Toronto Film Festival
opened on September 7. Highlights include:

  • Bill Clinton will get a 60th birthday party with entertainment by Billy Crystal and Tim McGraw.
  • The Dixie Chicks, are expected in town soon to help launch the documentary devoted to them called Shut Up and Sing.
  • Michael Moore will speak as part of the festival. And will be sneak-peeking parts of his newest doc, Sicko — a reported takedown of the U.S. health care system.
  • A new movie called Bobby about Robert F. Kennedy is being marketed as a look back to a more innocent, long-lost, and notably liberal era.

Hey! These are all Americans. Oh well, Sarah Polley has her first directorial effort on display, a film called Away From Her. Break a leg, Sarah.

OK, That’s enough Canadiana for now.

Written by slothropia

September 8th, 2006 at 11:14 pm

RC Horrors

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One of my favorite websites is this digest of anthropology related news compiled by the Texas A&M anthro department. Yesterday I found this little tidbit by John Hooper there. It seems that the Pope is preparing to go all Scopes trial on us.

There have been growing signs the Pope is considering aligning his church more closely with the theory of “intelligent design” taught in some US states. Advocates of the theory argue that some features of the universe and nature are so complex that they must have been designed by a higher intelligence. Critics say it is a disguise for creationism.

If I may be so bold as to quibble with the Guardian, intelligient design is not a scientific theory because it has neither been derived from scientific observation nor subjected to scientific scrutiny. It is an assertion which may someday serve aas a hypothesis if someone wants to test it through experimentation.

But the fact that the Pope is considering breaking the peace between science and the Church of Rome would be disturbing if the Church were not declining in relevance so precipitously. Herr Ratzinger seems ready to lead his flock to a new, pre-Galileon dark age. What’s next? Will he declare that the Sun revolves around the Earth? Will the Inquisition make a comeback?
He’s in a stupid contest with some (some mind you) U.S. evangelicals and some (only some) Islamic clerics.

But wait – there’s more. ON the Canadian lefty site, Babble, I found a link to another Gurdian story by Sibylla Brodzinsky about the Church in Colombia excommunicating the medical team that performed an abortion on an eleven year old girl.

A Vatican official has said the Catholic church will excommunicate a medical team who performed Colombia’s first legal abortion on an 11-year-old girl, who was eight weeks pregnant after being raped by her stepfather.Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, the president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family, said in addition to the doctors and nurses, the measure could apply to “relatives, politicians and lawmakers” whom he  called “protagonists in this abominable crime”.

Later in the same story:

Carlos Lemus, the director of Simon Bolivar hospital where the abortion was performed, said he respected the church’s decision but did not share its view.

“We acted within the constitutional framework,” Dr Lemus said. “We were faced with the petition of a girl who wanted to go back to playing with her toys.”

He said Cardinal Trujillo “calls the doctors and nurses ‘evildoers’. I think the person who raped her is the evildoer”.

A senator, Gina Parody, said: “The Vatican has the right to excommunicate whomever they choose. But I would hope that they also excommunicate priests when they rape boys or girls.”

OOOh! That one must have hurt.

Written by slothropia

September 5th, 2006 at 2:32 pm