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View Diary: Irish abortion tragedy already happening here (59 comments)

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  •  This has been a problem for a very long time (37+ / 0-)

    My grandmother died in childbirth, at a Catholic hospital. As a result, when my parents started having children, they specifically refused to use a catholic hospital. In the early 1960s, that decision turned out to be very important, as my mother miscarried in the parking lot of the hospital on her way in to be induced. It turned out she had what is known as a "ghost twin" - a second, empty, placenta. That second placenta ruptured as she was walking into the hospital, causing massive hemorrhaging. They immediately did the necessary surgery to save her life.

    If she had gone to a Catholic hospital, they would have let her continue to bleed to death while they tried to save the baby.

    The baby died.

    However, in what will ring out as an astonishing irony to anyone listening to the hypocrites in the church today, a baby back then was considered not to have a soul unless it had literally been "inspired" with a soul by god at the moment it took its first breath outside the womb. As such, they were not allowed to bury their lost baby in consecrated ground. They appealed all the way to the Pope (an uncle was a monseigneur), and were denied.

    Everything hinged on which medical professional the church chose to believe: the doctor who said she was stillborn or the nurse who said she was breathing, then died.

    My parents eventually found a priest who would agree to bury her in consecrated ground, but only if they bought 6 graves in the desolate part of the cemetery between the railroad tracks and the new interstate.

    The whole "has a soul at conception" thing is an entirely new invention of the church, and has only been doctrine for 30ish years.

    •  Very interesting... (7+ / 0-)
      The whole "has a soul at conception" thing is an entirely new invention of the church, and has only been doctrine for 30ish years.

      The sh*t those people [republicans] say just makes me weep for humanity! - Woody Harrelson

      by SoCalSal on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 03:53:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's been around longer than that. (6+ / 0-)

        My mother had me in a Catholic hospital, and because she had certain health issues, Dad told her doctor (blessedly an enlightened and competent Jewish practicioner) to save her life, not the child's, if it came to that--and the doctor agreed.  The nuns didn't like this doctor because he used anaesthesia with his patients. The whole idea was to deliver the baby and baptize it.

        FYI, this was in 1949, which means the attitude was around 63 years ago.

        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

        by irishwitch on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 04:27:20 PM PST

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        •  It's gone back and forth for centuries (11+ / 0-)

          It was Pope Pius IX, in 1869, who made it official Catholic dogma that "ensoulment" happened at conception.

          Subsequent Popes repeated the ban, and tightened the restrictions on even emergency medical treatment for pregnant women, culminating in the notorious Humanae Vitae by Paul VI in 1968, which forbade ANY attempt to control a woman's fertility in ANY manner except the calendar-dodging "Vatican roulette".

          Be it noted that Paul VI was an extreme reactionary who did everything he could to revoke the reforms instituted by John XXIII - reforms which, if allowed to continue, might have humanized the Catholic Church and allowed it to adapt to the modern world. (But John XXIII apparently never touched the hot potato that Paul VI had no hesitation in grabbing with both bare hands.)

          If it's
          Not your body,
          Then it's
          Not your choice
          And it's
          None of your damn business!

          by TheOtherMaven on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 05:01:48 PM PST

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          •  No, Pope Pius IX did not make it dogma (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            radical simplicity, FarWestGirl

            He issued a Papal Bull re-instating automatic excommunication ... which is a different thing ...

            And Pope Paul VI was not an extreme reactionary .. he was very interested in social justice and promoting the causes of the poor, workers, those oppressed... he was extremely open with non-Catholics, welcoming the Archbishop of Canterbury (a first) .. he wanted communication and dialogue with all non-Catholics... including Jews, Muslims, non-believers ... in this regard, he was more radical than many of our own countrymen ...and he didn't excommunicate people who questioned Church traditions like celibacy and the role of women.. he allowed dialogue on these issues ...
            During his reign as Pope, I attended many Masses concelebrated by Roman priests and non-Roman ministers of other Christian denominations ....

            "If you want peace, work for justice" .... Pope Paul VI

            yes, he continued  the same mind set of his predessors regarding human sexuality .. but for those of us who grew up in the Pre_Vatican II church, Paul VI was heroic in his efforts to open the Church to the modern world ... and that was a hard task .. he had tremendous opposition to his social teachings, to the liturgy changes, to his openess to non-Catholics ... these represented earthquakes to many Catholics ...

            It was the Polish Joke that started turning things back

            Give your heart a real workout! Love your enemies!

            by moonbatlulu on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 08:18:01 PM PST

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            •  I lived under Paul VI's reign. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              And he STANK when it came to anything to do with women. He was very clear on banning birth control.  I think your idea of an extreme reactionary and mine are rather different. But then I left the church at age 20, attempted to return at age 25, and realized I couldn't  belong to a church which treated women as second class citizens and incubators on feet, was anti-sex and anti-gay and anti-contraception...all of which are PART of the social justice you state he was so good at.

              Sorry, don't buy it. I left the church in 1969 but kept tabs on what was going on since my parents were faithful Catholics and I was expected to attend Mass when I visited them.  I didn't come out as a Wiccan  until I was 35--and finally reached the point where I couldn't sit through yet another asinine sermon on abortion and birth control. I respected their faith, but they didn't respect mine, though they didn't force me to go to Mass any longer.

              The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

              by irishwitch on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 09:25:18 PM PST

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              •  Yes, Paul VI was not progressive in birth control (0+ / 0-)

                but he did allow women religious great leeway in setting their own rules... he was not insistent on the traditional habits and semi cloister rules ...

                He also expanded roles for lay women in the Church ... yes, it was only baby steps but at least it was something ..
                Yes, he was insistent on the traditional views regarding birth control, but under his leadership, priests were allowed to counsel women that sometimes artificial birth control was alright (and with most young US priests that meant all circumstances)  

                At the time of Paul VI there were not these fixations that are now in the Church where everything is about sexual sins .... and he was not the reactionary who tried to end the reforms of Vatican II ... the problems is that Vatican II was not an end, but the beginning, and had someone more like Paul VI followed John paul I (or even JPI Had lived longer), women's voices would have been heard more and more changes would have come about and still be coming.   An institution that is 2000 years old doesn't change easily ...

                the actual regression began with John Paul II and the current occupant is even worse .. he is determined not only to turn back Vatican II , but the Reformation too

                Give your heart a real workout! Love your enemies!

                by moonbatlulu on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 03:19:27 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Yup. You'd never guess based on the current (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LilithGardener, tardis10

        mantra of the ultra-reactionaries. We have Pope Paul VI and the 1968 Humanae Vitae to thank.

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