Pope urges breastfeeding in Sistine Chapel

(403 Posts)
marmitecat Sun 12-Jan-14 21:30:07

http://news.sky.com/story/1194030/pope-urges-breastfeeding-in-sistine-chapel

Go Pope Francis grin

I have to admit I felt a bit awkward feeding in church with dc1 so this is pretty much the ultimate way of dispelling that worry.

marmitecat Sun 12-Jan-14 21:30:28
AuntieStella Sun 12-Jan-14 21:33:34

A longer Papal quotation from that article:

"Today the choir will sing but the most beautiful choir of all is the choir of the infants who will make a noise.
"Some willcry because they are not comfortable or because they are hungry," he said in a familiar, relaxed tone to the parents.
"If they are hungry, mothers, feed them, without thinking twice. Because they are the most important people here," he said.

I think is Pope is turning out rather well.

willyoulistentome Sun 12-Jan-14 21:41:16

Ooooh ooh. He's far more informed than my ever so Catholic Mum then, who objected to me feeding in front of brothers. I'd thought me and the 'church' were pretty much finished. Will be interested to see what else he has to say.

Methe Sun 12-Jan-14 21:43:14

It'd be a miracle if one could find room to breast feed in there.. When I went we were squashed in like sardines!

ToddleWaddle Sun 12-Jan-14 21:47:21

As a very lapsed catholic nice to see he is being progressive.

Longdistance Sun 12-Jan-14 21:54:10

I got my boobs out to feed my dd's in church. Right in front of the priest once when dd2 was baptized. Meh, he didn't even flitch.

Quite frankly, I don't think the Virgin Mary popped to Boots to get milk for baby Jesus. They have no cause to ever complain, seen as there are lots of painting/statues of Mary feeding Jesus, and it wasn't with a TT bottle grin

CallieG Mon 13-Jan-14 10:46:38

The most sensible thing that has ever come out of a mans mouth.

I never felt awkward feeding in churches, CofE, Catholic and Cathedrals. If anyone wanted to say anything, I did have a retort about reading up on St. Bernard, but no one ever did.

This pope is proving to be a bit of a radical - can't see him lasting long!

Meglet Mon 13-Jan-14 10:54:54

longdistance Baby Jesus wasn't covered with a muslin cloth in all those paintings was he smile.

I have never heard of anyone having issues from a priest or other religious person for feeding in a place of worship. I remember as a child going to church and people were feeding babies any way necessary, and bored toddlers got up and ran around. The priest (Catholic) used to stop the service and tell embarassed parents to just let them run around as church at that age should be fun. I think in fact it is the only place I ever saw women other than my mum breastfeeding.

I do remember other parishioners tut tutting and grumbling though at both feeding and noisy toddlers.

I am no longer religious but this Pope does seem far more relevant than his predecessors. He is upsetting the reoigious conservatives which is a good thing imo.

AuntieStella Mon 13-Jan-14 11:02:32

Pope Francis is putting a great deal of emphasis on compassion in society in general, and on assistance to the poor; and is putting thought about the right things to do ahead the trappings of religiosity. These are important changes.

TalkativeJim Mon 13-Jan-14 11:09:20

A welcome approach.

'In another apparent first in the Vatican, he agreed to baptise seven-month-old Giulia Scardia, even though his parents married in a town hall.

Such a civil service is not technically recognised by the Catholic Church.

But the pope has said several times since his election that the Church must not make children of couples in "irregular situations" feel like "second-class faithful".'

A step in the right direction maybe!

I have breastfed in the Sistine Chapel! Went there when my now 12yo DD was 4 months old, and as we were looking round she started fussing and fretting, so I sat on the base of a pillar and fed her. If anybody had dared to object I would have had plenty to say on the matter, but nobody batted an eyelid :-)

I am not Catholic, but I love this Pope!

Rooners Mon 13-Jan-14 11:29:33

We need him to say something decent about homosexuality next.

My mother sees him as Very Important and this would help a lot.

Thankyou!

Halfling Mon 13-Jan-14 11:36:14

This is what he has said on homosexuality - "If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?" [[ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-23489702 BBC]]

I so far like him and hope he lasts.

Halfling Mon 13-Jan-14 11:36:34
Rooners Mon 13-Jan-14 11:37:49

OH WOW.

I will pass that on! Thanks smile

He can't change everything but he is making baby steps. With the next one they'll choose either someone to keep up the good work or they will pick someone who'll drag them back 100 years. Depends how many senior people he pisses off with his perfectly reasonable statements.

JugglingBackwardsAndForwards Mon 13-Jan-14 11:44:26

I do like him and he has been saying some good and much needed stuff.
Lovely that he took the name Francis, my (everyone's ?) favourite saint smile
But I'd like to see him accepting contraception as a positive thing too. Especially condoms!
Good family planning can bring many benefits for women, families, and the world.

Bollard Mon 13-Jan-14 11:46:39

The sermon on Christmas Day at the Mass I went to was about the Pope's statement "who are you to judge", with specific reference to homosexuality. This new Pope is wonderful smile

AuntieStella Mon 13-Jan-14 11:50:31

He has said condoms can be permissible to prevent disease.

JugglingBackwardsAndForwards Mon 13-Jan-14 12:06:45

Oh good. That's a really important start, just needs to be applied as widely as possible ?!

Lemele Mon 13-Jan-14 12:32:32

As a Christian myself I am always pleased when common sense and religion are put together.

likeit Mon 13-Jan-14 12:33:58

Good to hear it!

pinkreindeer Mon 13-Jan-14 12:36:09

Churches in Italy were amongst my favorite place to nurse when I was taking part of my mat leave in Florence. Cool, quiet, benches.
Sadly in London I got awkward looks from British store clerks and waiters all the time when nursing in public. In Florence as soon as the baby started to fuss I got offered chairs, glasses of water, etc. as they assumed baby was ready to nurse. There are many issues with the pressure put on "mamas" by Italian society of course, but on the nursing count Italy won.
And here, here papa. Sometimes it is important for messages to come from the top.

Have you seen his New Year resolutions? Again, good plain common sense.

Longdistance Mon 13-Jan-14 14:01:30

Meglet neither did I have a muslin cloth wink

TunipTheUnconquerable Mon 13-Jan-14 14:04:28

This is great.
The benefits will go beyond the Sistine Chapel and even beyond the Catholic church - it's something else that will help normalise public breastfeeding for everyone.

Weegiemum Mon 13-Jan-14 14:08:58

I've fed my (now much older) dc in several churches.

I only got a seat in the Sistine Chapel (which was a massive disappointment!) as I was in my wheelchair.

Suspect it's a long time since Pope Francis, much as I'm impressed with him, (as a Protestant) has been in the Sistine chapel during tourist hours!

That's great! grin

xfilefan Mon 13-Jan-14 14:12:54

pope francis is fantastic, really making great big steps in the right direction.

So delighted with this latest statement, from a Pope who is starting to give the church a bit of hope, compassion and future!

MissBetseyTrotwood Mon 13-Jan-14 14:38:26

He is just brilliant. I'm not a Catholic. Is is OK to love this Pope as much as I do? grin

ProfondoRosso Mon 13-Jan-14 14:38:33

Good on him. I like Pope Francis.

But I admire anyone who manages to BF in the Sistine Chapel - I was there last year and it was bloody rammed! We were just one big slow-moving queue. grin

meganorks Mon 13-Jan-14 14:46:27

Good on him. I wasn't keen on feeding my little one in church at friends wedding. But she woke up hungry just as the bride arrived. Figured feeding was preferable to her crying throughout. Although she did manage to do a really loud poo just as it went quiet!

AdoraBell Mon 13-Jan-14 14:48:39

I'm quoting that to my MIL next time she spouts her poison about homosexuality too Rooners

He rocks doesn't he?

Just what the Church and the world needs.

scortja Mon 13-Jan-14 14:50:35

I love the new pope!

thenicknameiwantedisgone Mon 13-Jan-14 14:51:16

That's good to see.

Didn't realise there was an issue with baptisms of children when parents not married in church. Both DSs were baptised in Catholic Church despite us having a civil wedding followed by catholic blessing (due to DH having been married before).

Human-being-says-other-human-beings,-gay,-straight,-baby,-adult,-should-be-treated-with-respect-shocker.

Don't get me wrong, it's great and all, but blimey, what a situation to get into where finally saying sensible things gets you enormous kudos...

JugglingBackwardsAndForwards Mon 13-Jan-14 15:03:17

Yeh, well said PaulMcGannsMistress

And I'm slightly annoyed that Pope said the baby's were the most important people there.
What, more important than their mothers ?

Sincerely, picky pedant smile

sonlypuppyfat Mon 13-Jan-14 15:04:41

I think he's fab and I'm not a Catholic.

minipie Mon 13-Jan-14 15:15:08

Hurrah!

Although, to be pedantic, he didn't actually refer to breastfeeding. Just feeding.

I feed a wee bit sorry for the woman pictured bfing her baby. She looks like she's trying to be discreet and some photographer's splashed her across sky news!

minipie Mon 13-Jan-14 15:15:49

feel a wee bit sorry

curlew Mon 13-Jan-14 15:17:10

Well, he certainly has a much better PR machine than the last one........

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Mon 13-Jan-14 15:48:26

"Don't get me wrong, it's great and all, but blimey, what a situation to get into where finally saying sensible things gets you enormous kudos..."

Yes - ^^ that.

The Catholic Church has one hell of a public image problem to overcome, if anyone in charge has half an eye on survival they'll be rolling out lots more touchy feely PR and holding back on the fire and brimstone.

perfectstorm Mon 13-Jan-14 16:03:55

Juggling I thought that at first too, but then when I read the article I realised he said that (about the babies being the most important people there) at their baptism. I think that's akin to saying a bride and groom are at their wedding - don't think he meant it in general.

TunipTheUnconquerable Mon 13-Jan-14 16:06:18

I really don't think this is about better or worse PR machines - I think he and the last pope had very different priorities.

PaulMcGannsMistress makes an excellent point.

JugglingBackwardsAndForwards Mon 13-Jan-14 16:07:42

Ah, that's interesting perfectstorm - I thought it could be OK in a "the least amongst you" OR "the last will be first" sort of way too?

curlew Mon 13-Jan-14 16:17:17

I don't think he's said anything the others haven't said- he has just said it in simpler words and not while wearing Gucci shoes.

TunipTheUnconquerable Mon 13-Jan-14 16:20:22

It's what he does as much as what he says - Gucci shoes speak louder than words....

picnicbasketcase Mon 13-Jan-14 16:20:46

He is saying good things and seems a lot more sensible than previous ones. It's a little sad that talking sense and being inclusive is seen as radical though.

curlew Mon 13-Jan-14 16:24:51

He is not saying anything new. Still no possibility of women priests. Still gay people only acceptable if not sexually active. Still sanctioning of condom use in sub Saharan Africa where HIV is rife.......Don't be taken in by the absence of glitz.

LauraBridges Mon 13-Jan-14 17:33:27

He's very good. My mother used to be cross at other ladies complaining about noise in church - she said the children were the future of the church. I have breastfed in church. Why not?

meditrina Mon 13-Jan-14 17:39:11

"And I'm slightly annoyed that Pope said the baby's were the most important people there. What, more important than their mothers ?"

As it was said at a Baptism, then for this specific occasion, yes.

DavidHarewoodsFloozy Mon 13-Jan-14 17:56:17

My dd 6, wrote to him last year (she had practise her handwriting), she loves this Pope, as her favourite Uncle is Francis. I think she thinks its a sign grin.

Anyway she insisted on posting it, thought no more and about 6 weeks later he sent her a hand written reply and photo shock.

He,s a cool dude but no-one worked the Ermine like Benedict.

I loved it when he said any child of an unmarried mother refused baptisim, he,d do it himself!

I read a great book about him, not a hagiography, he has his demons, but I truly think he is a good man.

ProfondoRosso Mon 13-Jan-14 18:02:38

That's brilliant, David, how lovely for your DD! smile

I want to write to Papa Francesco too.

DavidHarewoodsFloozy Mon 13-Jan-14 18:05:53

The Catholic Church is still hugely influencial, rightly or wrongly, so what he says does matter.
I think it,s a huge pity the Caliphate went with the wind after ww 1, I think the world might be a different place today, if the many strands pf Islam had one unifying voice to look to.

JugglingBackwardsAndForwards Mon 13-Jan-14 18:08:47

"I loved it when he said any child of an unmarried mother refused baptism, he'd do it himself"

Yes, that's great! Someone should take him up on it if they get the opportunity.

Jesus was, after all, born to an unmarried mother.

DavidHarewoodsFloozy Mon 13-Jan-14 18:15:09

His Holiness Pope Francis
Apostolic Palace
00120 Vatican City.grin

hope I don,t get banned by Mnhq for putting an address out.

LauraBridges Mon 13-Jan-14 18:27:05

"Jesus was, after all, born to an unmarried mother." Not really - she was married although the child was not her husband's so she wasn't an unmarried mother.

TeacupDrama Mon 13-Jan-14 18:35:41

the bible actually says that while Mary was unmarried at time of conception the angel said to joseph in a dream "do not be afraid to take mary as your wife because that which is conceived in her is by the holy spirit... so joseph took mary to be his wife but knew her not until the child was born"

not commenting on whether you believe this or not but according to bible they were married when jesus was born

TeacupDrama Mon 13-Jan-14 18:36:22

people assumed that Joseph was his father

Trooperslane Mon 13-Jan-14 18:36:50

I'm a catholic atheist and I'm thinking pope F is reasonably cool.

JugglingBackwardsAndForwards Mon 13-Jan-14 18:37:57

OK, fair enough, I was thinking they were "betrothed"

Oh I don't doubt that what he says matters, DavidHarewoodsFloozy. I just find it faintly ridiculous that when he says things which most right-minded people think, he's getting lauded for it like he's philosopher of the century.

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Mon 13-Jan-14 19:36:19

Yes, he'll probably come out with something profound like 'make love not war' next. (Adding caveats about ignoring this advice if you're gay or a Catholic priest, of course.)

DavidHarewoodsFloozy Mon 13-Jan-14 19:42:17

Smudge think he got there before you in his Christmas address, asking all sides in the Syrian conflict to peace out. grin

Daykin Mon 13-Jan-14 19:56:12

He can't change everything but he is making baby steps. With the next one they'll choose either someone to keep up the good work or they will pick someone who'll drag them back 100 years. Depends how many senior people he pisses off with his perfectly reasonable statements.

Hopefully he will be Pope for a good long while, and then the next one will be chosen fro the Cardinals appointed by him, rather than Benedict's crowd.

Disappointingly, there are 2 alleged paedophile priests wanted in the Dominican Republic who are being protected by the Vatican's anti extradition laws. Disappointingly is rather a weak word.

teenmum3 Mon 13-Jan-14 20:01:14

I ADORE our Pope. He is a living saint, God bless him.

Daykin Mon 13-Jan-14 20:02:15

My last post isn't right. Only one priest (archbishop) Jozef Wesolowski

NotCitrus Mon 13-Jan-14 20:04:45

Back when Pope Benedict was elected pope, people said they'd probably gone for a really elderly reactionary then to pave the way for a more liberal pope in the near future - glad that seems to have been the case.

(child of an excommunicated Catholic)

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Mon 13-Jan-14 20:14:49

I suppose having someone as a moral arbiter who isn't quite as misogynistic and homophobic as his predecessors is a step forwards of sorts confused

Indeed smudge

sorry smudgy...

gussiegrips Mon 13-Jan-14 20:46:11

I'm worried. I've long since lapsed, and if this guy keeps going I shall have no reason NOT to return to the Church.

My objections to Catholicism are reduced down to "no female priests".

Condoms, homosexuals, preaching what Jesus did, being simply kind - well, I'm going to have to go back...mind, I did always covet that black lace headscarf thingie, I think I could rock that look.

moggiek Mon 13-Jan-14 20:55:44

gussie you and me, both!!

curlew Mon 13-Jan-14 20:56:52

He hasn't actually said anything of any substance that's any different to any of the others- he's just said it in different words. And, as I said, without the Gucci shoes.

endlesstidying Mon 13-Jan-14 21:04:49

I agree this pope is saying great things.

I've breastfed in church and had mixed reactions. Interestingly on one occassion the Vicar heard some parishoners tutting and broke off his sermon to say

"I'd just like to remind you all that Jesus said "let the little children come to me and do not hinder them" then he smoothly carried on with his sermon. Think my local vicar would get on well with the pope grin

WillBeatJanuaryBlues Mon 13-Jan-14 21:36:53

good on him, I went to a carol service on xmas eve, my baby made a few, like maybe 4 loud noises, not cries just sort of grunts, the looks we got, we had to leave after two carols.
I had already said to my DH if she cries or makes a disturbance we will take her out, try her again then if no joy, go...

however she wasnt making a disturbance, the glares and looks we got, it was awful.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Mon 13-Jan-14 21:39:43

I do like this Pope. Gussie, you mean the mantilla.) They are now only worn by very old or very devout women!! :0

willyoulistentome Mon 13-Jan-14 21:41:56

Gussie and Moggie .. me too.

curlew Mon 13-Jan-14 21:50:03

What great things has this pope said?

TeacupDrama Mon 13-Jan-14 21:57:10

juggling they were already betrothed ( which back then was much more than an engagement), Joseph could have divorced her for adultery but he did not want to make a public example of her "adultery" hence the idea of a private divorce but following the angels visit they concluded the full wedding part at that point she would have moved to his or his parents home and the marriage would normally have been consummated so when they travelled from nazareth to bethlehem Joseph and Mary went as husband and wife

Have to admit, this Pope is growing on me. A Pope who quotes Jesus 'suffer allow/permit the little children to come unto me' is a vast improvement on his predecessors.

Let's hope he hands over the priests accused of child abuse. Then we will know whether he means it.

(Sorry 'allow/permit' should have been in brackets, because I've realised in the past the word 'suffer' can be misinterpreted.)

gussiegrips Mon 13-Jan-14 23:26:36

Amother - thank you, I never knew it's name!

I used to admire the black lace scarves as a kid. Just looked so elegant. Also, handy for a bad hair day.

Am going to practice looking devout and old. One of them shouldn't be a problem, at least!

hottiebottie Tue 14-Jan-14 00:29:22

Curlew The best thing he's said lately was in a message he left on a convent answering machine, wishing the nuns a happy new year and asking what they were doing that they weren't able to answer the phone... grin

happytalk13 Tue 14-Jan-14 01:32:00

It irks me that somehow, parents need "permission" to feed their children.

I think he sounded pompous.

Josie314 Tue 14-Jan-14 04:17:57

Emailing that article to my father, who said "why can't you just bring a bottle?" when we were going to church. He was appalled I would even consider breast feeding there.

Daykin Tue 14-Jan-14 08:10:04

I agree that it's irksome that parents need permission to feed babies but given the number of 'will I be able to feed my baby in church?' threads we get on here it seems that it is necessary. You would think that people who are getting their babies baptised would, perhaps, go to church enough to know that breastfeeding in church is normal, but some will be very new parents and some babies may be non church-going guests. Incidentally, those threads usually have a few posters who think you can't breastfeed in church, it's a relatively common myth.

Farewelltoarms Tue 14-Jan-14 09:23:06

My catholic mother used to make me feed in the toilets. I'm sure she didn't see it as part of her Catholicism, but it definitely tallied up to the whole body shame thing that she had going on.

Farewelltoarms Tue 14-Jan-14 09:24:18

Btw she didn't make me feed in the toilets rather than at church, just anywhere in public. If we were in a cafe (in North London so hardly unused to it), she used to lean over me screeching 'discreetly, discreetly' which really helped.

curlew Tue 14-Jan-14 09:24:33

So. Wow.

Pope leaves answer phone message for old friend.
Pope says it's OK to feed babies in the Sistine Chapel.
Pope says it's OK to be gay so long as you don't actually do anything gay.

What an incredibly free thinking, liberal, wonderful human being. Presumably he'll get round to child abuse, the use of condoms, the Vatican Bank and the role of women shortly?

tombakerscarf Tue 14-Jan-14 09:49:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

curlew Tue 14-Jan-14 09:53:07

That "wow" should have been in an Ironic Type Face.

My point was that, apart from the "humble" trappings he has actually not done or said anything that any of his predecessors have done or said.

But his PR machine is better. He is a sort of Apostolic Boris Johnson.

newyearhere Tue 14-Jan-14 09:53:55

> He is not saying anything new. Still no possibility of women priests. Still gay people only acceptable if not sexually active. Still sanctioning of condom use in sub Saharan Africa where HIV is rife.......Don't be taken in by the absence of glitz.

Curlew I couldn't agree more. How sad that this church has gone so far, that even just one comment about breastfeeding makes the Pope appear so incredibly enlightened...

newyearhere Tue 14-Jan-14 09:54:19

i.e. it's all relative!

specialsubject Tue 14-Jan-14 10:07:14

he's also just spoken out on the evil of abortion.

as usual, without offering to personally adopt all the unwanted babies (including those that will die at birth or need 24 hour care for life). Funny that anti-abortionists never offer practical help..

HoneyandRum Tue 14-Jan-14 10:11:17

If you are reading the news you will see he is "getting round" to the Vatican Bank and the role of women. I know absolutely no Catholic who is on the side of any priest/bishop/person who is responsible for or covers-up any form of child abuse/torture. The Catholic congregations in the world-wide church have let their local churches and the Vatican know their thoughts and anger on this kind of criminal activity. Pope Francis has pulled together a group of cardinals from all over the world to advise him on big changes in structure and policy. One of them is Sean O'Malley who had the unenviable task of coming into Boston to serve the community after all the devastation of the child abuse scandals there.

In my own experience in the USA the bishops had put in place a series of child protection policies since this whole thing blew up. In our parish no one could work with children without a police background check and a course from the Diocese in child safety and appropriate behavior. Anything inappropriate should be reported immediately to the police.

In the Catholic church Bishops do have a certain amount of autonomy for their diocese, so local law and custom would also have to change (there are Catholics on all continents and most countries). But the Vatican should do everything in their power to enforce from the church's side (Canon Law) the protection of children as the first priority. I know no Catholic who thinks differently.

HoneyandRum Tue 14-Jan-14 10:25:17

Cardinal Sean O'Malley announced on December 5th 2013 a Pontifical (Papal) approved commission for the protection of minors and to prevent clerical sex abuse. Cardinal O'Malley stated that although there had been an emphasis worldwide on the judicial prosecution of the accused (as there should be) the Pope and commission wanted to also focus on the pastoral care and support that would be appropriate for the victims and their families.

This follows on the work of Pope Benedict, who though getting less publicity than the charismatic Pope Francis also worked for justice and healing (as well as prevention) for victims of abuse within the church.

curlew Tue 14-Jan-14 11:02:36

Oh, good. A commission.

Oh and oh, good. CRB checks for Catholics working with children.

HoneyandRum Tue 14-Jan-14 11:11:33

If you're being sarcastic don't forget the whole concept of apparently trustworthy people possibly sexually abusing children was not on the radar for many people in many contexts - a la Jimmy Saville. I'm not defending anyone but Catholics have not been the only people caught off guard.

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Tue 14-Jan-14 11:22:17

As well all the commissions, might it not be helpful if people took responsibility for their own morality, rather than relying on unelected, wealthy, powerful and self-interested institutions with an implied 'hotline to God' to tell them right from wrong? And when things go wrong, bully them into silence for the greater good of the institution?

curlew Tue 14-Jan-14 11:39:05

"I'm not defending anyone but Catholics have not been the only people caught off guard."

No. That makes the behaviour of the Catholic hierarchy better exactly how?

aciddrops Tue 14-Jan-14 12:09:33

Curlew why don't you just shut up? Bringing up sex abuse so predictable. We know all about it. Do you have any evidence that this Pope protects paedo's? In fact, Pope Francis is to set up a Vatican committee to fight sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church and offer help to victims. www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25235724

HoneyandRum Tue 14-Jan-14 12:10:04

I can only speak from my own local experience which has been a good and loving one and in which everyone at all levels has taken this very seriously. The response has been ongoing for a long time now. How when you have an organization that is worldwide can you not spread ideas and experience on how different dioceses have responded to the child abuse in the church without such things as a commission? If it didn't happen then there would be voices saying "Well, there's never been a Papal commission so the church doesn't take it seriously." Seems the Vatican is damned if they do and damned if they don't.

As just a regular Catholic, the parishes and dioceses I have been part of in three countries all took this very seriously. That's all I can say.

aciddrops Tue 14-Jan-14 12:11:14

Sorry, just noticed that this has already been mentioned by HoneyandRum but Curlew wishes to close his/her mind to this.

curlew Tue 14-Jan-14 12:15:29

This thread has become about all the wonderful things the current pope has said and done.

I asked for examples. All that has been put forward is a commission into child abuse. "Why don't you just shut up" does not strike me as a particarly constructive contribution!

JugglingBackwardsAndForwards Tue 14-Jan-14 12:21:08

When you say "caught off guard" I hope you mean in not having adequate procedures and the right culture within the church institution to prevent child abuse becoming the too widespread tragedy that it was (for many years) Other institutions have evidently had similar problems, for example things were evidently wrong (not as robust and effective as they should have been) at the BBC.

aciddrops Tue 14-Jan-14 12:44:13

As well as saying "shut-up" I provided you with a link to the story. That is an example. Presumably you want other examples of what other wonderful things the current Pope has said and done. Well, here are a few others.

He sells his Harley Davidson to raise money for a soup kitchen:
news.sky.com/story/1194458/pope-sells-his-harley-davidson-for-charity

Pope Francis has recruited eight cardinals to help him reform the Vatican bureaucracy and has acted to address mismanagement in the Vatican bank.

He refuses to live in the papal apartment or to wear the regal clothes that go with his office.

He washed the feet of young offenders last Easter - leading by example to embrace the less favoured members of society.

What do you want Curlew? He is not changing the Church's teachings on homosexuality, abortion or euthanasia but he does not condemn people who have engaged in any of these things either. He is also clearly speaking up for the poor and vulnerable.

curlew Tue 14-Jan-14 12:47:42

I want something real as opposed to spin that marks him out from his predecessors. His statements about abortion, the role of women and homosexuality suggest that there is no real difference.

checkmates Tue 14-Jan-14 12:52:12

Good for him. If he keeps speaking up for the poor of the world

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Tue 14-Jan-14 12:57:07

The issue isn't whether the current Pope does 'nice stuff' though - or whether Catholics in general are 'nice people' - I'm sure most are.

The problem is that the institution is structured in a way (unelected, rich, influential, powerful, free with its opinions) which completely lends itself to abuse of power, corruption, guilty secrets, cover ups etc.

That's before you even get started on the homophobia, misogyny and contraception issues.

aciddrops Tue 14-Jan-14 13:03:58

His actions are very real - He is much more "in the community" than his predecessors. If you want to put that down to "spin" then so be it. I think he is leading by example. Have YOU done anything good for others lately?

You won't get any change in doctrine in respect of the role of women in the church, homosexuality and abortion. I do not dispute you on that point. Yes, Catholic doctrine remains as it was but there is much more to being a Catholic than the doctrine.

However, you chose to raise the usual paedo stuff. That is just lazy.

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Tue 14-Jan-14 13:06:19

"Yes, Catholic doctrine remains as it was but there is much more to being a Catholic than the doctrine."

confused Is believing in the doctrine not the point of following a particular religion?

curlew Tue 14-Jan-14 13:09:26

"However, you chose to raise the usual paedo stuff. That is just lazy."

Why? Best forgotten?

aciddrops Tue 14-Jan-14 13:13:59

Yes, best swept under the carpet, obviously.

Yawn.....

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Tue 14-Jan-14 13:15:51

Re the good deeds, surely it's his job to be the 'holier than thou' figurehead. You wouldn't expect him to go around publicly punching grannies and kicking puppies, would you?

HoneyandRum Tue 14-Jan-14 13:16:34

Back on topic Maria Lactans is the image of Mary nursing Jesus which you find in the Christian church from very early days. I nursed three kids, each for two and a half years and up and never had any negative comments from anyone in church. I was one of many anyway as there were always plenty of nursing mothers in our parish - and there wasn't a "crying room" for rambunctious younger children so this was in the main congregation.

aciddrops Tue 14-Jan-14 13:16:42

Sorry, being flippant. The answers are above but you are dismissing them.

aciddrops Tue 14-Jan-14 13:20:32

I think it is good that the Pope says it is OK to feed in church. There are debates all the time about breastfeeding in public so he has ended that debate in respect of breastfeeding in Church. Well done to him. It is not about "giving permission" it is about allowing women to feel comfortable.

fromparistoberlin Tue 14-Jan-14 13:28:21

I got to say, I kind of LOVE the new pope at the moment

curlew Tue 14-Jan-14 14:02:43

Yep. I dismiss publicity stunts and spin.

JugglingBackwardsAndForwards Tue 14-Jan-14 14:04:01

HoneyandRum - you can say "back on topic" but personally I think it's a broad topic, as it says in the DOTD header "thoughts?"

I mean after we've said, oh yes, jolly good, what are we going to discuss then?

PS I also BF my two for what some might call an extended or natural term.
It's always helpful when people make it clear that BFing your baby/child in a particular place is welcome/encouraged.

HannahG315 Tue 14-Jan-14 14:05:36

I'm always frustrated by people who claim to hold Christian values and say we should love everyone 'except for <insert stereotype here>'

I believe in Christian values but lost faith in the Catholic Church when I couldn't wrap my head around 'everyone is loved by god, except for X, Y and Z' it's nice to see that changing though!

See this is what I don't get. It genuinely perplexes me. He's a nice man, that much is clear. He's said some nice things. But he's not going to do anything about homophobia, sexism or the contraception issue. I don't understand the plaudits for a man who only a little bit bigoted. This makes no sense to me.

JugglingBackwardsAndForwards Tue 14-Jan-14 14:19:02

Exactly Hannah - very worrying what's happening in Uganda ATM with new homophobic laws. I think it's the pentecostal churches that are having a big influence on the culture and decisions there?

JugglingBackwardsAndForwards Tue 14-Jan-14 14:26:35

I think it's interesting ... can we even say he is a nice man PM (though I probably would usually join most people in saying he was) ....

But he has a lot of power now (but probably only given to him because so far he's followed the party/church line on most things)

But if he was truly nice maybe he'd have a re-think on women, contraception and AIDS, gay people - those huge issues would be a good place to start ....
and he would be much more radical than he has been (so far!)

There's just so much that is wrong and needs changing IMHO sad

curlew Tue 14-Jan-14 14:30:53

A cynic would say that he was chosen because of the image he projects- people think he is nice and progressive because of the smaller car and the non Gucci shoes- and therefore won't notice that actually nothing changes. I think this mindset has already been shown on this thread.

aciddrops Tue 14-Jan-14 14:58:27

One of the Popes (I think it was JP 2) already said that it was OK to use condoms to avoid the spread of disease.

aciddrops Tue 14-Jan-14 14:59:00

Although he did say that it would be preferable to not be promiscuous in the first instance.

DuskAndShiver Tue 14-Jan-14 15:00:22

It has always been the case that many men* of the RC hierarchy have practised with more compassion and acceptance than canon law sets out. Much as the touchy-feely Francis is very appealing, let's not forget that this is the dude who could actually change canon law. Let's see if he does.

*and some of the sweetest, most loving people I have ever met have been nuns, but I am not counting them in the hierarchy because they are not in the establishment in that authoritative sense.

I'd be interested in finding out more about that... I've heard cardinals and bishops say that about condom use, but not head honcho - and he's the one with the final, ex cathedra, say, on matters pertaining to faith and morals, after all.

curlew Tue 14-Jan-14 15:08:33

"One of the Popes (I think it was JP 2) already said that it was OK to use condoms to avoid the spread of disease."

Only in the specific case of male prostitutes. Absolute not in any other case.

JugglingBackwardsAndForwards Tue 14-Jan-14 15:19:47

And isn't it slightly odd for the Pope to be giving advice to male prostitutes ?
Though good that he's thinking of everyone and covering every eventuality I guess .... a principle it would be nice to see them employ on other issues, such as abortion.

aciddrops Tue 14-Jan-14 16:08:18

He used male prostitutes as an example of where it would be better to use a condom than spread HIV. He did not restrict it to male prostitutes. Oh, and it was Benedict XVI (sorry, my mistake).

curlew Tue 14-Jan-14 16:20:48

No, it was restricted to male prostitutes. If it had been for the prevention of disease generally it would have been a massive doctrinal shift- which it wasn't.

curlew Tue 14-Jan-14 16:33:12

Because using a condom during PIV sex might have a contraceptive consequence. Which is definitely not allowed.

Pan Tue 14-Jan-14 16:40:50

I rather like this pope. The Church is a massive tanker that needs re-directing and he is demonstrating great leadership skills and bravery by leading by example and making nice and clear where the church must incrementally make changes.

aciddrops Tue 14-Jan-14 16:42:58

I'm not clear about this, Curlew. According to this article, there was some confusion about whether the gender of the prostitute was relevant - something to do with the Italian language. As I have not read the book I cannot know for sure. www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12053610

curlew Tue 14-Jan-14 16:57:55

Are you retracting the "shut up" then, acid drops?

Annunziata Tue 14-Jan-14 17:06:49

Oh I love this man. I think he's wonderful.

Pan Tue 14-Jan-14 17:13:37

I think the 'in the community and see how people live in reality' comes from his Jesuit history, and obv taking the name of Francis is significant. With this level of support and popularity inside and outside of the Church it's difficult to see how the reactionary (or at least those less willing to accept change) will be able to resist progressive initiatives.

curlew Tue 14-Jan-14 17:22:42

Why, Annunziata?

Pan Tue 14-Jan-14 17:24:20

And luuuurve the image of him being driven round in a Ford Focus rather than a Vatican limo.

Annunziata Tue 14-Jan-14 17:37:40

Because of his humility and the way he properly connects with ordinary people. I love that he took a selfie with teenagers, and all the other stories.

He's bringing people back to the church, definitely. My MIL is Roman and the rumour is that he is going to have audiences three times a week so he can meet even more people.

Obviously I am biased, but there's a different feeling about Francesco, any Catholic will tell you.

curlew Tue 14-Jan-14 17:56:56

As I said- PR and spin. What's solid?

ProfondoRosso Tue 14-Jan-14 18:02:26

Faith and solidity aren't really equal, curlew. Spirituality, for me, isn't about tangible proof, but about our experience of being. I can't speak for Annunziata, but as a Catholic myself, I feel something good from Francesco. I feel like he has good intentions, will work to help the poor and needy and to make the church a more compassionate and tolerant institution. I really, really hope so.

Pan Tue 14-Jan-14 18:19:31

A mark of good leadership is the quality and breath of the people you choose to have around you. The article refers to 17 new cardinals, the majority of whom appear to come from less-developed countries where poverty and all of the ills that brings will be part of their 'faith make up and experience'. To provide a lasting transformation the Pope can't manage it from his apartments in the Vatican - he seems to have a really good agenda on how to ensure 'change' is managed.

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 14-Jan-14 18:21:00

Perhaps the vatican could start by disentangling itself with shady dealings and money laundering activities of the Mafia and maybe consider spending some of the £170 Billion Pounds that the church owns ( making it the single biggest private asset owner in the world) actually helping the poor rather than just encouraging them to procreate beyond their means.

Rotten to the core.

Pan Tue 14-Jan-14 18:51:41

I think in that particular regard re the money, I've been reading since Pope Francis' time there's been quite a shake up in the organisation of the Church's finances and accountability - i.e. former firms and individuals have been 'let go' and he has spent a lot of his time focussed on this issue.
As I said though this is a tanker, of massive global influence and change takes time.

gussiegrips Tue 14-Jan-14 18:56:00

I think the change is that Pope Frankie is not a career priest, in that, he's not a theologian. He has a secular past, called to priesthood later in life and has worked his way up by being a bloody good priest.

THAT'S why I like him, my impression is that he's not a manager, he wants to do what Jesus said.

Apparently, there's some sort of "worldwide review" by the Catholic Church - looking for opinions over some of the doctrines. I thought I'd go and ask our priest (whom I've never met) - because, seriously, if the contraception nonsense (which isn't even Biblical) were changed then I'd give thought to going back. And, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool lasped Catholic, I can't be the only one who can see a way for me to go back.

Though, this may also have something to do with me having a Thorn Birds crush on my Grandma's priest <sigh>

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 14-Jan-14 18:59:38

Any pope is a puppet- it's the cardinals who hold the real power.
Woe betide any pope who tries to shake the boat. There is a lot of power and money invested in the vatican.

Pan Tue 14-Jan-14 19:03:11

Well quite atthe which is why upthread I referred to him as being brave. But also, it was the cardinals who voted him in, knowing what was in store. So I wouldn't be too miserable.

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 14-Jan-14 19:06:51

Brave- or stupid perhaps.

Pan Tue 14-Jan-14 19:12:02

Why stupid? He knows what's possible, seems to be well-intended and effective. And I'd hitch my wagon on his more than any other papacy I've know. And obv I'm not the only one.

aciddrops Tue 14-Jan-14 19:21:20

Curlew the "shut-up" was to do with the old predictable chestnut of sexual abuse which is always thrown into any discussion about anything to do with Catholicism. It winds me up in the extreme as I do not believe that sex abuse is an intrinsic part of the Catholic faith but anyone with anti-catholic tenancies seems to focus on this one thing and totally ignores anything good about the institution. Also, I think that the Church is trying to address the issue. I will not deny the atrocities of the past, neither will I try to suggest no priest would engage in such despicable behaviour. However, it does not define the church.
So, to answer your question - yes, I will withdraw the shut up now as we have moved on smile

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 14-Jan-14 19:21:31

Stupid maybe because he underestimates the risk he is taking, or because he wants to be the figurehead of such a corrupt organisation in the first place. more likely power hungry like the rest of them.

Pan Tue 14-Jan-14 19:23:49

ah I see! You're in the reactionary brigade then? Be suspicious of any change.smile

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 14-Jan-14 19:25:35

I am in no brigade.

Just have a low opinion of religion generally.

Pan Tue 14-Jan-14 19:33:25

yes, lots of people do. Which is a real shame imo. Sharing your morals and best life practices with folk who think and feel similarly is such a good thing to do.

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 14-Jan-14 19:37:26

Oh I agree, but that's not what religion does- it dictates, controls & subjugates women, - why no woman pope? Using fear and false promises.

The church is not open to hearing your views and "best life practices"- we are not talking about a democratic organization here.
The church tells adherents exactly what to think.

aciddrops Tue 14-Jan-14 19:42:29

atthestroke I'm interested in what you have to say about Mafia connections. I've heard this before. What is all this about?

I am surprised, however, about your saying that the Pope is a puppet for the Cardinals. Given that he must be their boss, where do you get this assertion from?

aciddrops Tue 14-Jan-14 19:46:42

Also, I'm not sure how the Catholic Church dictates to me. It offers me a guide and I can take it or leave it. How many Catholics in Europe follow the Church's teaching on contraception? I don't know a single one. Hardly a dictatorship. In a dictatorship there are penalties for not adhering to the rules. There are no penalties in the Catholic church.

Pan Tue 14-Jan-14 19:53:25

I think the 'dictates' idea comes from being' on the outside looking in'. ime it;s nothing like that - a very good friend of mine, my longest term friend, was in the English College in the Vatican for 6 years. An insider as it were - we have/have had searing discussions and challenges with each other over the years. He would, rightly, recoil at the notion he ever dictated to someone.

JugglingBackwardsAndForwards Tue 14-Jan-14 20:01:40

"There are no penalties in the Catholic church" ...

Hmm, excommunication (happened to my MIL I think on divorce ?), not being given a Catholic funeral, refused baptism for your children, being ostracised from the community, not getting your DC into the favoured school, 10 Hail Mary's ... all the way up to not getting into heaven/ going to hell (if people still believe in that place - and probably some do)

And it's hardly a pick and mix type religion is it aciddrops ?

aciddrops Tue 14-Jan-14 20:02:18

I agree with Pan. You have to be in it to really know what it is like. There is a lot of press but you can't understand it unless you have studied it in a lot of depth. (and even then you can't understand it!)

aciddrops Tue 14-Jan-14 20:05:13

Hmm, excommunication (happened to my MIL I think on divorce ?), not being given a Catholic funeral, refused baptism for your children, being ostracised from the community, not getting your DC into the favoured school, 10 Hail Mary's ... all the way up to not getting into heaven/ going to hell (if people still believe in that place - and probably some do)

I'm divorced and none of this applies to me. This is not something that I recognise. All of my children go to a Catholic school and I'd say that at least one quarter of the kids there are from single parent families. They are all members of our Catholic community.

Pan Tue 14-Jan-14 20:09:26

Yes my Catholic father was divorced, and none of those 'penalties' were visited upon him. I have little idea what 'excommunication' actually means in practice, but those things seem 'misreported'. Not saying you are being untruthful just that I don't have any recognition of them.

JugglingBackwardsAndForwards Tue 14-Jan-14 20:15:17

I'm not saying my MIL experience all of those things. In fact she did start going to church again in later years, and when she died they gave her a lovely funeral at her Catholic parish church.
I was just saying (rather badly) that any faith community does have a number of penalties it can bestow on those stepping out of line - chief amongst them I suppose is not letting someone belong anymore/ not making them feel welcome.

Pan Tue 14-Jan-14 20:23:51

That's quite a different take on your first post Juggling if I may say.
I'd say overall the Church has quite a strong theme of pastoral care - I've experienced it - and 'stepping out of line' isn't something that is dwelt upon. IF someone considers that the Church is no longer for them, brutish punishment isn't a practiced option.

hamneggs Tue 14-Jan-14 20:47:36

Lovely to read. Although I have never felt uncomfortable feeding in church anyway.

HoneyandRum Tue 14-Jan-14 20:55:43

There are over a billion Catholics in the world, the majority in South and Central America and Africa. The British press only seems to mention some aspects of the church, the fact that John Paul II condemned any invasion of Iraq and that has continued to be the church's position did not get much emphasis. The huge humanitarian work of the church such as helping refugees the world over is also often ignored. I remember watching coverage of the Tsunami in Asia a few years ago and how the local Catholic parishes were being used as staging areas for all the aid that was pouring in from many governments and agencies worldwide. Catholic organizations and local churches are very often already on the ground with local networks of aid organizations.

As Sean Callahan COO for managing overseas operations for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) the humanitarian arm of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops said regarding helping Syrian refugees:
"We don't help people because they are Catholic - many that we help aren't. We help people because we are Catholic."

JugglingBackwardsAndForwards Tue 14-Jan-14 21:09:48

Well I did acknowledge that that particular post hadn't been very clear Pan - in fact I went as far as to say "I was just saying (rather badly)" so trust you can accept my apology for that.
It wasn't my first post on the thread though - I've probably written at least ten of quite varying content and tone.
To me it's a big topic (broadly The Pope and the Catholic church) which brings up a number of different thoughts and feelings
Honestly I think I have very mixed feelings about the whole thing - it's a very mixed bag

Pan Tue 14-Jan-14 21:22:00

oh sure, no probs. It seems this Pope is quite a shift in difference, and a bit of time will tell if he is the real deal that millions have been wishing would come along.

Annunziata Tue 14-Jan-14 21:23:31

Curlew these are solid things. The church moves slowly, it isn't going to turn around this year or next and say it is okay to be gay and women can be priests. One day, it will come, but the way has to be prepared first. I really do feel this is the start.

Apparently the cardinals wanted him last time, but he said he wasn't ready.

DuskAndShiver Tue 14-Jan-14 21:24:27

aciddrops "I do not believe that sex abuse is an intrinsic part of the Catholic faith"

no, but there are things intrinsic to the Catholic hierarchy and structures (as an institution in the world) that promote sex abuse:
secrecy and protection of their own
traditionally, absolute authority in the community
weird ideas about sexuality

Trying to brush away what happened, so often, in so many different places as "not intrinsic" is not possible for many. It may look to you like a series of failings on the part of individuals but to me, and many others, it looks like a vast, horrific and violent logical conclusion of the way they run things - and an absolute barrier to taking the RC church seriously as a possible spiritual home

HoneyandRum Tue 14-Jan-14 21:42:48

The Number One place children are most likely to experience sexual abuse is in their own home or with family acquaintances. "Family structure is the most important risk factor in child sexual abuse. Children who live with two married biological parents are at low risk of abuse. Children without either parent are 10 times more likely to be abused. Children with a single parent and a live in partner are at the highest risk of sexual abuse. They are 20 times more likely than children living with two biological parents to be victims of sexual abuse" Sedlack et al 2010

Therefore the sexual abuse of children living with a single parent is due to the horrific and violent logical conclusion of how the parent runs things?

curlew Tue 14-Jan-14 22:10:04

Oh, don't be silly, honeyandrum!

Pope condemns abortion Suppose it was too much to hope he would keep his nose out of other people's wombs.

Gotta love Catholics who talk about child abuse as 'that old chestnut'. Yeah, right, tens of thousands of victims in every continent occupied by human beings, paedophile priests still being protected from the law, but it's only an 'old chestnut' so what are we all worrying about...

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Tue 14-Jan-14 22:48:15

HoneyandRum - if married couples are the optimal form of social and family care, why is the Catholic church so big on celibate single people being in charge?

kobacat Tue 14-Jan-14 22:52:45

Being Catholic isn't about ticking off agreement to every point of the Church's official line. It's about the theology at the heart of it -- the sacraments. Sick to death of both non-Catholics and right-wing ones labelling as "cafeteria Catholic" anyone who agitates for change or exercises his or her right to an informed conscience.

For me (and I'm about to convert: I've felt strongly Catholic for several years and now, with this Pope, feel truly welcome) it's actually less important whether Francis agrees with me about gay marriage than it is that he is giving common sense a chance to filter up from the rank and file and into the hierarchy. He's modelling a proper sense of priorities and placing concern for the poor, social justice etc. at the heart of it -- and yes, together with serious institutional reform. He might think of the pastoral care of gay people or, as recently, the adoptive children of gay couples as a matter of mercy. I don't, because I don't believe there's a sin to forgive there, but he's showing sound practice. And of all the Catholic faithful, the people he's singled out for rebuke are the ones who want to declare others unworthy -- who strip the joy from the process and try to act as moral arbiters (see Evangelii Gaudium).

So yep. Don't agree with everything he says -- not by far. But seriously in favour.

HoneyandRum Tue 14-Jan-14 22:52:51

I did not quote the Catholic church I quoted a social scientist.

kobacat Tue 14-Jan-14 22:54:42

PS And I really, really hope this commission is going to be the real deal. People (Catholic people, btw) like Bishop Geoff Robinson have been doing incredible work, sadly on the margins, and I hope that this too will be brought into the centre.

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Tue 14-Jan-14 22:57:40

Perhaps the vatican could start by disentangling itself with shady dealings and money laundering activities of the Mafia and maybe consider spending some of the £170 Billion Pounds that the church owns ( making it the single biggest private asset owner in the world) actually helping the poor rather than just encouraging them to procreate beyond their means.

This bears repeating imo. It's so obvious that religion is just another branch of politics. and all about social control, I'm utterly bemused as to why people can't see this confused

kobacat Tue 14-Jan-14 23:00:05

Because maybe people who engage with religious institutions have some kind of theological perspective that means they identify with the faith community, in the way that people identify with other imperfect and often corrupt institutions like political parties, governments, nation states...

Honeyandrum - those statistics are meaningless without knowing what the absolute figures. 20% higher than what? How many children do Sedlack et all think have been abused (and on what basis?) and how many of them came from homes with one parent, or two parents, or two married parents who were both the biological parents? How reliable is the reporting of child abuse (I believe the answer is 'probably under-reported' which would skew the figures rather.)

What's more, we know full well that many allegations of abuse have surfaced post-Saville. Which wouldn't have been included in a 2010 report. Presumably all the kids in care homes who reported abuse but were told to shut up weren't included in those 2010 stats.

I believe it is true that children are more likely to be abused by someone known to and trusted by the family. That's how so many priests have been able to get away with it. (Not just RC, either.)

aciddrops Tue 14-Jan-14 23:03:31

Gotta love Catholics who talk about child abuse as 'that old chestnut'. Yeah, right, tens of thousands of victims in every continent occupied by human beings, paedophile priests still being protected from the law, but it's only an 'old chestnut' so what are we all worrying about...

But as mentioned earlier, the church is taking real steps to address this. I like to see the whole picture, not just a part of it.

Would you stop watching TV because of Dave lee Travis, William Roache, Rolph Harris and Jimmy Saville?

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Tue 14-Jan-14 23:18:43

"Because maybe people who engage with religious institutions have some kind of theological perspective that means they identify with the faith community, in the way that people identify with other imperfect and often corrupt institutions like political parties, governments, nation states..."

But being a member of eg the Socialist Worker party isn't the same really - they aren't going to threaten you with damnation for eternity if you go private for your ingrowing toenail. However a comparison with oppressive totalitarian regimes is possibly more apt.

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Tue 14-Jan-14 23:26:24

"But as mentioned earlier, the church is taking real steps to address this. I like to see the whole picture, not just a part of it."

The whole picture is that the institutional structure is perfectly designed to create corruption and scandal, unfortunately. Yes steps can be taken to fire-fight aspects of it, but it will be a losing battle unless the whole organisational structure and doctrine is changed - which won't happen.

DuskAndShiver Wed 15-Jan-14 00:05:58

Honeyandrum - actually I do have severe misgivings about traditional family structures which in origin are about allocating women and children to men to do as they like with.

society is gradually mitigating this by putting structures and support into place to allow women to leave abusive men and to provide children with people outside their families to talk to, and be protected by - but this is all relatively new stuff. As a woman or child, not being abused at home used to be a matter of pure luck, because of patriarchal authority, which is always potentially abusive, that is what it is designed for

CheerfulYank Wed 15-Jan-14 04:31:36

I like the Pope a lot. And I'm a bit hmm at the "oh it's all PR, amazing that a camera just happened to be there" folks. He's the POPE, there are cameras everywhere he goes!

CheerfulYank Wed 15-Jan-14 04:33:06

Also what Koba said, right down to the converting. (I'm thinking of it)

mathanxiety Wed 15-Jan-14 04:47:32

Maybe it's an indication of how bad things were and how ripe for change that Francis is seen as such a breath of fresh air?

Iirc, his name was thrown about as a contender at the time Benedict was elected, so there has been some sort of a shift in the hierarchy for some time.

I find myself agreeing with Pan here, and HoneyandRum and Kobacat. What I find especially encouraging is the survey of Catholic opinion on various matters pertaining to family life, and also the rebuke to those who concentrate on matters of sexual morality to the exclusion of pretty much all other areas that came at the start of his papacy. Kobacat's comment -- 'the people he's singled out for rebuke are the ones who want to declare others unworthy -- who strip the joy from the process and try to act as moral arbiters (see Evangelii Gaudium)' is really pertinent here.

Here is Francis' take on certain kinds of Catholic:
(from Evangelii Gaudium)
'...the self-absorbed promethean neopelagianism of those who ultimately trust only in their own powers and feel superior to others because they observe certain rules or remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style from the past. A supposed soundness of doctrine or discipline leads instead to a narcissistic and authoritarian elitism, whereby instead of evangelizing, one analyzes and classifies others, and instead of opening the door to grace, one exhausts his or her energies in inspecting and verifying. In neither case is one really concerned about Jesus Christ or others. These are manifestations of an anthropocentric immanentism. It is impossible to think that a genuine evangelizing thrust could emerge from these adulterated forms of Christianity.

95. This insidious worldliness is evident in a number of attitudes which appear opposed, yet all have the same pretence of “taking over the space of the Church”. In some people we see an ostentatious preoccupation for the liturgy, for doctrine and for the Church’s prestige, but without any concern that the Gospel have a real impact on God’s faithful people and the concrete needs of the present time.'

I think that constitutes a criticism of the tendency to groupthink and even before that, to form groups, whose aims end up pushing aside 'Jesus Christ and others'. It is also a criticism of groupthink in the church as a whole, overidentification with the group and allowing the institution to develop its own dynamic that runs roughshod over those it was intended to serve.

MidniteScribbler Wed 15-Jan-14 05:39:24

I think this is an overall idealogical shift that is really just reflecting what has been reality at the grass roots level for quite some time. Over 20 years ago when I was a Catholic school girl we got both the "official" sex education rhythm method class, as well as the 'use condoms, go on the pill, etc' class. I teach at a Catholic school and we have staff who are gay, staff who are in de facto relationships, staff who are divorced, and single parents. Our priest went to the house warming of a member of staff moving in with his same sex partner and blessed the home and their relationship. I'm a single mother by choice and my son was baptised by the bishop. The reality of what happens in individual parishes has long been out of step with the official line from the Vatican.

curlew Wed 15-Jan-14 06:52:19

"Would you stop watching TV because of Dave lee Travis, William Roache, Rolph Harris and Jimmy Saville?"

So are you equating the BBC with the Catholic Church? hmm

HettiePetal Wed 15-Jan-14 06:55:36

As usual, the only person speaking a jot of sense on this thread is Curlew.

The "infallible" leader of the most corrupt, morally abominable organisation in the world is slightly less stupid than the last one - and you're all falling over yourselves saying how perfectly marvelous he is.

If he said anything truly sensible like...."Look guys, it's 2014. This God character probably doesn't exist, and if he did we have no reason to suppose that he wants us sticking our noses into other people's sex lives - so let's sell off the art works worth billions & distribute it to charity, and all embrace reality without these medieval delusions", he might be worth applauding.

So, he encourages breast feeding? So what? So does the NHS but it doesn't presume to do so on the say so of a fictional sky dwelling autocrat who is more fussed about where people stick their penises than the pleadings of mothers holding their starving babies all over Africa.

I won't have time to come back to the thread, so if you want to tell me you're offended & I don't understand Catholicism be aware that a) I already know and b) yes, I do.....that's why I don't like it.

curlew Wed 15-Jan-14 06:55:57

"Pope Francis has issued his strongest condemnation yet of abortion, calling it a "horrific" symptom of a "throwaway culture" that placed too little value on human life.

He said it was was "frightful" to think about early pregnancy terminations"

Pope Francis on abortion.

FreddoBaggyMac Wed 15-Jan-14 06:59:47

I think Pope Francis is a very human Pope. Catholic ideology is based on creating heaven on earth, but Pope Francis acknowledges that none of us are actually saints as yet and our all people should be dealt with compassion rather than condemnation. Benedict was a much more scholarly type of person and put the rules before the people, Francis seems to always put people first... I like him!!

curlew Wed 15-Jan-14 07:05:13

It is amazing how little you have to do to make yourself popular! Good choice, Holy See!

meditrina Wed 15-Jan-14 07:26:04

It's not a popularity contest.

Pan Wed 15-Jan-14 07:48:31

yes, abortion is horrific, traumatic and destructive to all concerned, and is a symptom of lots of things unpleasant things. And yes it is frightful too.

Anyone with any humanity about themselves would know these things. A Pope saying it shouldn't be a shock.
curlew, you are appearing like a mixture between a sulky child and an annoying squeaky pup. We all know now how much you disagree, to a tedious degree. So how about fucking off. Or change the record.

atthestrokeoftwelve Wed 15-Jan-14 07:53:04

"yes, abortion is horrific, traumatic and destructive to all concerned, and is a symptom of lots of things unpleasant things. And yes it is frightful too."

It isn't though for many. It is the best of the bad options that women in those situations have.
We are lucky to have the option of safe regulated abortion, which the church would see forced underground endagering women's lives.

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Wed 15-Jan-14 09:36:14

Anyone who has been through a pregnancy knows just how much it literally takes out of you - physically and emotionally. To be forced to endure that time after time after time, in for example a country where health care isn't easily available and women have to carry on working as well as look after children in poverty - go through that and then tell me that contraception and abortion are such dreadful options.

ethelb Wed 15-Jan-14 09:37:08

"Oh and oh, good. CRB checks for Catholics working with children."

Curlew you do realise Catholics working with children have had to have CRB checks, like everyone else, since they were introduced?

Or have you invented a conspiracy in your head where this wasn't the case?

Iwannalaylikethisforever Wed 15-Jan-14 12:03:12

I feel very moved by this.
I hope his messages reaches many places.
Some people are so rude about breastfeeding it can be very hurtful and give a feeling of being unwelcome and dread when baby cryies to be fed.

Iwannalaylikethisforever Wed 15-Jan-14 12:26:18

What smudge said.
Furthermore girls/women suffer if they do or don't terminate sometimes.
What does religious consenus think about pregnancies as a result of rape? I'm not trying to be argumentative I'm not a particularly religious and am genuinely interested. I sadly knew someone who went through this as a teenager, she was sent away and came back a year later, no baby. Very very sad. I understand about having principles but how do they fit with reality some times?

aciddrops Wed 15-Jan-14 12:26:32

"Would you stop watching TV because of Dave lee Travis, William Roache, Rolph Harris and Jimmy Saville?"

So are you equating the BBC with the Catholic Church? hmm

I'll equate the church to apples now - There are bad apples in every barrel.

JugglingBackwardsAndForwards Wed 15-Jan-14 12:42:08

Contraception and abortion, both very important issues, including for the Catholic church, but I do feel they are better looked at separately to some extent.

Basically the Catholic church could start with contraception and realise that there need be no problem at all with it. Families having the number of children they wish to have, and people wanting to have sex without getting pregnant (including young people) - all good!

Then, the more challenging issue of looking at the issue of abortion could be considered with compassion.
Two main issues here I think .... firstly the importance of considering the breadth of situations women are experiencing, including problems with the fetus, and the individual circumstances of the woman and the pregnancy.
These issues often seem to be rather ignored or over-looked.
Secondly early abortion has to be better for all concerned than later abortion, and I feel there is much that could be done to enable this, including for example better access to the morning after pill and better access to health services for women.

Taking such an absolutist stance, even to the extent of being against contraception, and also of surpresing open discussion about sex and contraception, only contributes to suffering in this area.

I think the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has recently done some good work in this area - promoting the benefits of contraception throughout the world

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Wed 15-Jan-14 13:01:24

"I'll equate the church to apples now - There are bad apples in every barrel."

Yes, but some circumstances encourage rotting more than others.

atthestrokeoftwelve Wed 15-Jan-14 13:31:46

How can someone compare the church to the BBC?

Surely the whole point of the church is to uphold so called moral values- the BBC is a broadcasting company.

I would expect priests cardinals and bishops to at least stand up to their own debateable standards which they clearly can't.

The BBC is not a religion.

newyearhere Wed 15-Jan-14 13:43:08

The Catholic church likes to tell women (and men) what to do with their own bodies, whether that it's to feed a baby, contraception, abortion, disallowing gay relationships, disallowing married priests, or what jobs you can apply for depending on whether you have a male or female body.

"Encouraging" breastfeeding isn't going to be anything to do with women's rights in this case, it's to do with being like the Virgin Mary and a "good mother" and just one of many ways in which the Catholic Church thinks it gets to tell women what to do.

JugglingBackwardsAndForwards Wed 15-Jan-14 13:44:11

"How can someone compare the church to the BBC?"

Hmm, I think I might have been the first to mention the BBC on this thread - relating to child sex abuse and problems within institutions.
Seeing the front page of some papers today I see that these issues are ongoing for the BBC (regarding past crimes by high profile broadcasters)

But actually I think it's easy to compare the two institutions more broadly as being very influential in the culture of our society.

curlew Wed 15-Jan-14 13:46:46

"curlew, you are appearing like a mixture between a sulky child and an annoying squeaky pup. We all know now how much you disagree, to a tedious degree. So how about fucking off. Or change the record."

Oh, I do like a good, well reasoned debating point! grin

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Wed 15-Jan-14 13:50:56

I'd agree that the BBC and the major religions (not just Catholicism) are culturally influential, and that their internal cultures will affect what they 'broadcast'.

That's why openness, public scrutiny and accountability are so important with all influential organisations. Especially those which presume to tell people how to live their lives, on pain of going to hell if they don't.

aciddrops Wed 15-Jan-14 14:24:09

I don't think the Catholic Church is much into threats of hell and damnation these days.

Do any other Catholic's out there know how to get in? I certainly don't. Perhaps the anti Christs Romans out there could let me know as they seem to know more about Catholicism than anyone.

grin

aciddrops Wed 15-Jan-14 14:25:05

Oh, and before anyone corrects my punctuation - I've seen it.

atthestrokeoftwelve Wed 15-Jan-14 14:45:20

So everyone gets to heaven then?

What the point of being a catholic then if we all get gate passes? Why baptise our sinful babies if not to guarantee them ia place in heaven?

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Wed 15-Jan-14 14:48:40

I have heard that it's not so fashionable these days (in the UK, anyway) to threaten people with the devil and hellfire - it's not really great PR, is it.

But a VIP pass to heaven is presumably not to be sniffed at?

atthestrokeoftwelve Wed 15-Jan-14 14:53:32

Not fashionable because it sounds so un PC, but nevertheless one of the basic pillars on which christianity is built.

Just one of the many things the catholic church likes to sweep under the carpet.

Personally heaven sounds a bit dull- I'd prefer a party at Nick's place!!

JugglingBackwardsAndForwards Wed 15-Jan-14 14:59:09

"Personally heaven sounds a bit dull - I'd prefer a party at Nick's place!!"

Well, I don't know about Nick's party - reception might be a little over warm ?

But agree about heaven, no variety, no change, eternal sameness.
What would be the point in that.
All rather unlikely too ?

Life is surprising enough! Just enjoy being here once? Once is enough? thanks

CheerfulYank Wed 15-Jan-14 16:09:05

I agree with abortions being an example of a throwaway culture. I know it's not a popular opinion but it's one I have all the same.

atthestrokeoftwelve Wed 15-Jan-14 16:15:36

Abortions have happened since ancient times.
They will happen whether the church or state sanction them or not.

If they are legal then they are safe. If they are driven underground then many women will die.

The church has no right meddling with what women do with their bodies.

Cheerful I take it you don't agree with the contraceptive pill or coil either?

CheerfulYank Wed 15-Jan-14 16:25:42

I know that, twelve. And fwiw I'm not Catholic.

I don't think abortion should be illegal, nor do I disagree with contraception in any form.

Women have abortions for various reasons; often, as someone said upthread, because it is the best of bad options. I understand that. It's not a choice I can see myself making, ever, for any reason, but I understand why other women do/would.

But I do think some abortions (for instance, of fetuses with DS, or abortions of a twin because you want only one baby) are examples of a society that has become, in a lot of ways, one with a very entitled mindset.

atthestrokeoftwelve Wed 15-Jan-14 16:28:56

Cheerful so you are against abortion yet you are fine to "throwaway" a conception if it happens then is discarded as a result of the contraceptive pill or coil use.

Why is that OK and not abortion?

curlew Wed 15-Jan-14 16:29:56

Why do people always talk about abortion as if the exceptions are the norm? Oh, and as if people take the decision lightly and without due consideration and heart searching?

atthestrokeoftwelve Wed 15-Jan-14 16:40:34

curlew are we? I think abortion is always ddifficult and never a situation a woman wants to find herself in.
It is usually the lesser of two bad situations. I don't think women take abortion lightly, I disagree with cheerfulyank if she thinks it's a symptom of a throwaway culture.

If it prevents unwanted children being porn into bad situations then it is necessary.

CheerfulYank Wed 15-Jan-14 17:03:12

I don't know, why is it okay to stop the heart of an 8 month fetus who hasn't been born but not the heart of a premature baby born at 7 months?

Do you think it's okay for girl fetuses to be aborted based on their sex in India? Why not? We all draw lines in the sand.

I never once said that women treat abortion lightly. Please read exactly what it is I did say. I said SOME abortions.

atthestrokeoftwelve Wed 15-Jan-14 17:09:01

You are a bit of a drama queen cheerfulYank.

So some abortions are OK but not others?

And you are the best person to judge?

CheerfulYank Wed 15-Jan-14 17:15:56

grin I'm actually one of the least dramatic people I know. Though to be fair I do know a great many theatrical types.

No, I am not the best person to judge. What I was saying is that everyone I know thinks some abortions are okay and others not so much. For some people that line in the sand is 24 weeks. For others it's the aforementioned sex selection.

I am not saying that women who have abortions based on things like Down Syndrome, twins when they wanted one, it being an "inconvenient" time, etc, are bad people or that they made those decisions as easily as they'd decide what to eat for breakfast.

What I am saying is that we live in a culture that preaches entitlement. And I feel that many of us make decisions based on that, including but certainly not limited to, abortions for the reasons I mentioned.

atthestrokeoftwelve Wed 15-Jan-14 17:21:27

But women deserve freedom over their reproductive function. The catholic church seeks to remove that completely.

You talk of entitlement - are women not entitled to have power over their own bodies?
I disagree completely that some women are having abortions with as little though as you suggest. Abortion for the vast majority of women is a huge thing and not something women enter into lightly.

CheerfulYank Wed 15-Jan-14 17:29:09

Sigh. Are you deliberately misunderstanding what I'm saying?

I am not saying, nor have I EVER said, that women do not deserve freedom over their reproductive choices. I am not saying, nor have I EVER said, that abortion should be illegal.

What I am saying is that we do live in a culture of entitlement as well as many other things, and -quite naturally- that culture influences our decisions.

And I never said or meant to imply that women who abort for the reasons I mentioned are not putting thought into it. I never said it wasn't a hard or even heartbreaking decision for them.

All I said, and all I meant, is that I think the culture of entitlement influences decisions.

atthestrokeoftwelve Wed 15-Jan-14 17:30:27

I don't see that as a bad thing.

Women have put up with being controlled ( and the church must take a lot of blame for that) for far too long.

CheerfulYank Wed 15-Jan-14 17:37:15

Well, one thing we're certainly both entitled to is our own opinion. smile I doubt we'll change anyone's mind!

But yes, as far as the original quote the Pope made about our "throwaway" culture, I agree and don't think it was terrible of him to say.

aciddrops Wed 15-Jan-14 17:46:24

Juggling Have you been to heaven? What was it like? Why was it boring?

aciddrops Wed 15-Jan-14 17:53:13

I have worked in medical records and there are many women who have had multiple abortions for social reasons. That seemed pretty throw away to me. Whilst there are some very compelling reasons to choose abortion, not all of them are compelling and as CheerfulYank says, where do you draw the line?

curlew Wed 15-Jan-14 17:56:53

The pope said that thinking about early abortions
was "frightful". Interesting to note that people
are as usual talking about the vanishingly small
Number of late term abortions. He wasn't. He was talking about lalll abortion. And that, according to catholic
Teaching includes the MAP.

CheerfulYank Wed 15-Jan-14 18:13:06

Yes, that wasn't the part I was commenting on curlew.

Thank you for understanding what I was trying to say, Acid. smile

aciddrops Wed 15-Jan-14 18:15:05

That is correct, Curlew. When it comes to abortion the Pope is on one extreme end of the spectrum of opinion about it. There is no doubt about that.

JugglingBackwardsAndForwards Wed 15-Jan-14 18:35:47

"Juggling have you been to heaven? What was it like? Why was it boring?"

Well no, like you I'm imagining possibilities.

Perhaps I was there, depends where we are before we enter this world I suppose. Star dust for both before and after is what I tend to imagine smile

As I recall it was a little tedious, as it went on just the same forever ....
like some threads on here (but not this one so much)

curlew Wed 15-Jan-14 18:37:45

Obviously I'm not expecting the pope to embrace the right to choose....

But whatI am saying is that he is not actually saying anything different to his predecessors. His liberal credentials are based entirely on his mod populist approach, and nothing else. His first pronouncement on abortion,which I quoted was at least as hard line as his predecessors. And there is no reason to believe his subsequent statements on contraception and other issues concerning women's bodily integrity will be any different.

JugglingBackwardsAndForwards Wed 15-Jan-14 18:39:27

"When it comes to abortion the Pope is on one extreme end of the spectrum of opinion about it. There is no doubt about that"

Sadly that was probably a pre-requiste for him getting the job

ElenorRigby Wed 15-Jan-14 18:45:00

I was press ganged into the catholic church as baby.

At 16 I left after hearing the many abuses committed by the catholic church.

No pope has swayed me back. Always same old.

However on the limited so far evidence of pope Francis, I think he may actually following Jesus teaching! shock

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Wed 15-Jan-14 19:10:38

"I have worked in medical records and there are many women who have had multiple abortions for social reasons. That seemed pretty throw away to me."

Surely women who have multiple abortions for social reasons must have quite big problems to start with, it's not something you'd choose to do time after time if you had the education / mental health / organisational ability to avoid multiple unplanned pregnancies. Would it be better to force them to bear and raise the children instead?

ethelb Wed 15-Jan-14 19:14:42

I'm not a pro-lifer myself, however, I do think we are looking at Pope Francis' comments about abortion from a fairly sanitised, first-world perspective.

In South America, where he is from and has been a parish priest (ie he has seen the real world, not just been a theologian within the Vatican's walls) abortion probably is pretty horrific as procedures are possibly backstreet abortions, disproportionatly affecting poor vulnerable women.

Not NHS-funded procedures in clean clinics carried out by medical professionals.

ethelb Wed 15-Jan-14 19:17:22

"Surely women who have multiple abortions for social reasons must have quite big problems to start with, it's not something you'd choose to do time after time if you had the education / mental health / organisational ability to avoid multiple unplanned pregnancies."

I wouldn't assume that would be the case for everyone. I think that to support on-demand abortion, is to be prepared to support a system that can and is abused. Anything else is naive.

However, I think there is far too little debate about co-erced abortion in this country, which I think is a real issue.

ethelb Wed 15-Jan-14 19:19:19

curlew of course he was talking about all abortion, anything else would be inconsistant with the Catholic Church's teaching on the death penalty etc.

JugglingBackwardsAndForwards Wed 15-Jan-14 19:25:16

"far too little debate about co-erced abortion in this country"

Yes, I'm sure that must be an issue too, though wouldn't want to confuse the Catholic church with any complexity ....

Was sad though to see the issue in the news today of female fetuses being aborted after screening for sex of baby. So sad when women in any culture are persuaded to prefer boys, and to this extent.

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Wed 15-Jan-14 19:53:31

I would have thought that co-erced sex was a far, far bigger issue than co-erced abortion. That and young women lacking the self-esteem, education and social support to avoid multiple unwanted pregnancies.

JugglingBackwardsAndForwards Wed 15-Jan-14 20:02:22

Yes, I reckon you're right there, Smudgy

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Wed 15-Jan-14 20:03:07

And of course the problem of boys / men at best not taking responsibility for their actions, and at worst exploiting and abusing.

atthestrokeoftwelve Wed 15-Jan-14 20:05:59

Women are easier to exploit in a patriarchy.
Under the church women have been robbed of their power, including their sexual power- resigned to being placid mothers or objectified as whores.

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Wed 15-Jan-14 20:11:56

Yes indeed atthestrokeoftwelve. Patriarchal societies by definition create inequality and therefore exploitation.

atthestrokeoftwelve Wed 15-Jan-14 20:25:06

The church are shit scared of women's sexuality- Eve was the fall guy because of that- and Mary had to be a virgin.

So the church takes charge and makes sure women and their sexuality are firmly put in their place.
Trouble is it all goes a bit wrong- the church is in a state of deep sexual confusion and obsession.

HoneyandRum Wed 15-Jan-14 20:33:55

"placid mothers or objectified as whores" what an old chestnut! Speak for yourself, I don't personally know any "placid mothers" do you? Objectified as whores??? Who is writing this tosh?

Because if there's one thing you'll definitely find outside the church it's noone objectifying women as whores, especially on the Internet.

atthestrokeoftwelve Wed 15-Jan-14 20:36:40

Yes honey because or our patriarchy.
You are not really getting it are you.

HoneyandRum Wed 15-Jan-14 20:45:49

Wow how patronizing. I read Virago books in the 1980s too. Have you got anymore where that came from? You seem to think everything you're saying is incredibly cutting edge and noones ever thunk it before. This I about as original as a copy of 17 from 1982. I'm not agreeing or disagreeing it's just the attitude that you think a 21st century woman has never encountered your groundbreaking revelations.

I know it's horrifying but practicing Catholic women have brains. Engagement is generally more constructive than ranting.

atthestrokeoftwelve Wed 15-Jan-14 20:51:01

I'm sorry I don't share your literary choices.

It is not groundbreaking but certainly worth talking about because it is meaningful.
If you want to collude in the sanctimonius structures that subjugate women that's your choice.
I made no comment regarding your intellect. An interesting angle though.

HoneyandRum Wed 15-Jan-14 21:06:17

Women chose to stay in the church. I am a convert from atheism. A couple of women on this thread are considering converting. Instead of having an openended respectful discussion about why women chose to become and stay Catholic, it is easier to rant and rave. I know your narrative seems to be that we are colluding in our own (and/or others) oppression - however, battering thinking women with very, very old arguments does not seem to have the required effect. Could there be something else that you are missing in women's experience of the church?

Of course, the discourse does not have to be respectful but in that case you may find Christian women unenthusiastic debaters.

atthestrokeoftwelve Wed 15-Jan-14 21:14:17

But the church continues to batter women with very very old ideologies- that's fine then.

I think using these truthful arguments does have a great effect. Church attendance is at an old time low and the reputation of the catholic church is in tatters, the corruption and hypocracy within the church is becoming visible for us all to see.

HoneyandRum Wed 15-Jan-14 21:17:28

Well then, that's all done and dusted - think I'll go and do a spot of kissing children and praying. Goodnight all!

atthestrokeoftwelve Wed 15-Jan-14 21:18:43

Say a few hail marys for me honey.

Pan Wed 15-Jan-14 21:29:57

Another really interesting development is that a very senior Jesuit, I think someone called Keenan, an American, suggested last year that the Pope should ask for possible female candidates to be cardinals. Bear in mind that Keenan would not be speaking 'out of turn'.

Francis is the first Jesuit in history to be a Pope. Why? Because Jesuits have been a right royal pain in the arse to the hierarchy over centuries, most recently in Liberation Theology in South America ( Francis' 'home') and in Vatican II in the 1960s - emphasising poverty, equality, and education.
Many fuckwits on this thread will be unaware that women cannot 'be Jesuits' (otherwise that fact would have been such an easy target for them), though there are numerous congregations of women Jesuits.
So by even thinking of voting in a Jesuit Pope the cardinals knew that they, and the Jesuit Order, were opening a wide and powerful door way into a new world of social responsibility and reacting to circumstance and expectation that they would previously ignore.

Pan Wed 15-Jan-14 21:33:03

atthestroke - do you have numbers for 'attendance at an all time low' for everywhere in the world, or do you just mean in the UK? I think global numbers would be hard to measure.

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Wed 15-Jan-14 21:49:26

"Francis is the first Jesuit in history to be a Pope. Why? Because Jesuits have been a right royal pain in the arse to the hierarchy over centuries, most recently in Liberation Theology in South America ( Francis' 'home') and in Vatican II in the 1960s - emphasising poverty, equality, and education."

Well we're back to the PR reputation-saving exercise then, aren't we. The church's image is becoming worryingly one of being rich, arrogant, rigid and powerful - then in goes New Pope with a big old dose of poverty and humility. Coincidence?

aciddrops Wed 15-Jan-14 21:50:25

St Francis was a man who gave up all his riches to be closer to God. I believe he is an inspiration to the Pope. We shall waist and see.

aciddrops Wed 15-Jan-14 21:50:46

Wait - flipping iPad.

Pan Wed 15-Jan-14 21:52:00

Well if you wish to comfort yourself with that thought, that's up to you Smudgy. Others see it differently. For reasons I explained but you chose to edit out.

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Wed 15-Jan-14 21:52:19

And receives adulation from the devoted - 'New Pope - with your tolerant attitude to feeding babies you are spoiling us'.

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Wed 15-Jan-14 21:53:42

I don't find the thought at all comforting Pan, why should I? I just find it depressing and bemusing.

curlew Wed 15-Jan-14 22:13:52

"Instead of having an openended respectful discussion about why women chose to become and stay Catholic, it is easier to rant and rave"

Can I respectfully point out that they only ranting and raving I have seen on this thread is from the pro pope side? I have certainly been told to "shut up" and to "fuck off". I have also, I think, been called a fuckwit. Certainly an "annoying child" and a "squeaky pup". For daring to suggest that there may not be much substance behind the "people's pope". Worth thinking about?

aciddrops Wed 15-Jan-14 22:16:53

You love it though, Curlew? wink

curlew Wed 15-Jan-14 22:22:06

No. I would actually really like to talk about interesting topics without being insulted and ranted at. But hey ho.

Pan Wed 15-Jan-14 22:25:20

Yes acid, the Jesuit actually owns nothing. Clothing etc and that's it.

JugglingBackwardsAndForwards Wed 15-Jan-14 22:26:47

It's still been interesting though curlew ?

And as atthe said "I think using these truthful arguments does have a great effect"

People should think things through for themselves that's all I'd ask of anyone smile

Pan Wed 15-Jan-14 22:28:17

No you don't like to talk about interesting topics at all curlew. You appear to like to post around interesting topics without saying anything interesting, new or informative.

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Wed 15-Jan-14 22:28:43

I can't see the Vatican boys following suit though, can you?

Annunziata Wed 15-Jan-14 22:29:30

I would actually really like to talk about interesting topics without being insulted and ranted at

I would like to take part in a thread that points out the good things about my faith rather than insults it and declares that it promotes child abuse.

Some of the messages on this thread are shocking.

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Wed 15-Jan-14 22:30:21

My last comment was re giving all the riches to the poor.

curlew Wed 15-Jan-14 22:31:17

Pan- so only "oh pope Francis is so very wonderful, such a forward thinker" is an acceptable opinion? And anything else is the ramblings of a "fuckwit"?

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Wed 15-Jan-14 22:35:02

Annunziata - what is it that you find shocking?

Pan Wed 15-Jan-14 22:37:37

No curlew but anything more than that analysis is beyond you.

I'll remember you in my prayers. night.

curlew Wed 15-Jan-14 22:38:23

Annunciata- please could you tell us what you found shocking?

curlew Wed 15-Jan-14 22:39:04

Pan- why so rude?

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Wed 15-Jan-14 22:42:28

I haven't seen anything pro-Pope on this thread which goes beyond 'New Pope, I'm so impressed, he's almost like a... Christian!!! With humility and everything!!!' And then much brushing of the less palatable stuff under the carpet. Cliched but true.

Annunziata Wed 15-Jan-14 22:46:26

Mostly the hysteria of the anti-Catholic side. It doesn't seem much of an argument, just sectarian bile. In particular I was really disappointed that MNHQ let the post which said the church promoted abuse stand.

JugglingBackwardsAndForwards Wed 15-Jan-14 22:47:58

I'm sure you could start a thread to do that Annunciata - I have met many lovely Catholics over the years, many with a heart for the poor and vulnerable, such as in schools I've worked in.
However I'm slightly surprised you are shocked by anything that has been said here.

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Wed 15-Jan-14 22:54:27

Re sectarian bile - I can only speak for myself but as an atheist I'm certainly not coming from a Protestant perspective.

To trot out a cliche of my own, several of my best friends are Catholic. My beef is with the oppressive nature of organised religion, of which the Catholic church is an outstanding example.

kobacat Wed 15-Jan-14 22:58:59

Problem is, it's hard to have an intelligent discussion when you know that even if you agree with the self-defined other side, you'll get told you're part of the patriarchy, so sod off. Little point attempting to explain (and this shocked me, when I experienced it) that the global RCC (as in, all the members of the church, not just the hierarchy) is massive and politically/doctrinally heterogenous and incredibly complex and that a lot of priests, sensible ones, take the pastoral (commonsensical, compassionate) and not the official line on topics like sexuality. Because it's already been decided that the entire RCC consists of the upper Vatican hierarchy, and that belonging to it makes you ridiculous.

And frankly, if you don't have that inside perspective then what you do see is the hierarchy, and if you don't share the basic theology or have some deep involvement with people who do, there's no reason to look further than that. So there's no real reason to argue, anyway. Nobody's going to be convinced and the anger at the abuses and the incongruities is right and justified in itself.

Still, I'd like to stick my hand up and say that contraception and abortion are not a package of evils for at least some of us (certainly not for me: after all, what better way to lower abortion rates than provide free contraception, oh, and a welfare state, and refuse to stigmatise single mothers); that there are plenty of self-identifying Catholics militating for justice for the victims of clerical child abuse (I already mentioned Geoff Robinson: he is just one, but a very very articulate one); that Papal infallibility only relates to ex cathedra pronouncements which come along about twice a century and relate to theology, not social doctrine; and that, again, I think the value of Francis for a lot of people is quite legitimately in the example he's showing and the way he's, quietly or vocally, encouraging the sensible pastoral approach to filter upwards. We're not all waiting for a signal from the bloody Big Giant Head, you know.

kobacat Wed 15-Jan-14 23:02:41

And I'm really sorry -- that sounds angrier than I intended when I read it back. But I do get annoyed when identities get conflated with issues. Plenty of people on all sides can and should be getting indignant and wanting things fixed when it comes to the official expression of Catholic doctrine. I have, believe it or not, enjoyed reading the discussion a lot.

Annunziata Wed 15-Jan-14 23:03:56

Isn't that what this thread is supposed to be Juggling? I've heard it all before but it still hurts, maybe that is a better word.

My beef is with the oppressive nature of organised religion, of which the Catholic church is an outstanding example. I don't see what this has to do with a comment on breastfeeding.

curlew Wed 15-Jan-14 23:04:38

Annunciata- please could you cut and paste an example of the hysteria?

aciddrops Wed 15-Jan-14 23:07:17

Well said, kobacat. However, all this will be ignored by the brigade as it doesn't suit.

kobacat Wed 15-Jan-14 23:12:12

Thanks aciddrops. I don't suppose Tina Beattie's a mumsnetter, is she? smile

highho1 Wed 15-Jan-14 23:15:10

I thought this thread was in breast and bottle feeding. It has become very derailed.
Sadly this is inevitable as religion is an emotive subject.

Annunziata Wed 15-Jan-14 23:15:57

Some of the worst ones:

The problem is that the institution is structured in a way (unelected, rich, influential, powerful, free with its opinions) which completely lends itself to abuse of power, corruption, guilty secrets, cover ups etc.

but there are things intrinsic to the Catholic hierarchy and structures (as an institution in the world) that promote sex abuse:

Suppose it was too much to hope he would keep his nose out of other people's wombs.

Gotta love Catholics who talk about child abuse as 'that old chestnut'. Yeah, right, tens of thousands of victims in every continent occupied by human beings, paedophile priests still being protected from the law, but it's only an 'old chestnut' so what are we all worrying about…

I would expect priests cardinals and bishops to at least stand up to their own debateable standards which they clearly can’t.

Why baptise our sinful babies if not to guarantee them ia place in heaven?

I was press ganged into the catholic church as baby.

Women are easier to exploit in a patriarchy.Under the church women have been robbed of their power, including their sexual power- resigned to being placid mothers or objectified as whores.

Annunziata Wed 15-Jan-14 23:16:42

I also think koba's post was excellent smile

JugglingBackwardsAndForwards Wed 15-Jan-14 23:18:31

"Isn't that what this thread is supposed to be Juggling?"

I don't know Annunziata - the opening post was mainly a link to an article.
It was left pretty open I think in a "what do you think about this?" sort of way - as picked up by MNHQ in DOTD, where they tag lined it "thoughts?"

I'm sorry if you've felt hurt - but have to say it's just a robust discussion surely?
Of course we are all upset by the thought of child abuse, that is distressing for everyone sad
And probably frustrating to have the issue seemingly always brought up in relation to your own faith community. I can understand that feeling.
But it has been a huge issue for the church which needs to be addressed throughout society, especially in various institutions including the churches.

DuskAndShiver Wed 15-Jan-14 23:57:25

For clarity, my background in criticising the RC church is an ex Catholic, (still Christian) who attended weekly Mass and belonged to Catholic communities for a long time, long after it had started to feel very sad and difficult. I am of course properly aware of the distinction between the hierarchy and the church and I think even mentioned how lovely some nuns are.

It was in great pain that I moved away from this institution and accepted that it is inadequate to be my spiritual home and I resent the implication that anyone who criticises it does so from a superficial, ignorant position.

In fact while there are some whom I hugely respect for staying in the church and fighting for their beliefs, there are others who just seem to do what they want and allow the place to remain unihabitable for those who can't ignore, for instance, the misogyny. So don't even talk to to me, as a Catholic, unless you are one of the following:

whole-heartedly believe that women are less human than men;
actively agitate as a feminist within the catholic church

If you are neither of the above but just choose to stick your head in the sand, you are dead to me

mathanxiety Thu 16-Jan-14 01:21:40

Discussion?
It's hard to discuss non sequiturs such as those C&P'd by Annunziata.

MidniteScribbler Thu 16-Jan-14 05:27:14

Meanwhile, in asking us to respect your position DuskandShiver, you're willing to be openly critical of the choices that others have made. Pot, kettle.

curlew Thu 16-Jan-14 06:18:58

I am very sorry if you find any criticism or questioning of the Catholic Church shocking-but surely on a thread like this you must have expected to see some?

HoneyandRum Thu 16-Jan-14 06:22:52

I have never met a Catholic (male or female) who thinks women are "less human than men". This is not my lived experience and is not church teaching.

DuskandShiver I respect your own experiences and decision to leave the church but that does not make you "dead to me".

The complexity, diversity and localism within the worldwide church precludes saying that all women have to relate to and agree with feminisms as defined by western women, especially those outside the church.

For the record I am a feminist as is DH.

I also believe Jesus was a feminist. Some will agree and some disagree, demonstrating that there are many views and philosophical ideas that can be classed as feminist.

How this is played out in my life does not include standing up in Mass shouting "Help, help! I'm being oppressed!" or saying to my very gentle and loving parish priest "Stop objectifying me as a whore, you bastard."

FreddoBaggyMac Thu 16-Jan-14 06:42:23

I think that what people don't concentrate on when the Catholic Church's views on abortion are looked it is that the catholic view is that a baby is a baby right from conception. ie, in the view of catholic doctrine there is absolutely no difference between killing a two week old foetus and a two week old newborn baby. Based on this view abortion can never ever be justified (Can you think of anything that would justify killing a two week old baby?) and it is horrific and all the things that Pope Francis mentioned. If you wish to challenge the Catholic church's view on abortion what you really need to focus on is challenging the belief that a human life is a human life right from conception, and that's very difficult to do as it all depends on what you personally believe...
I fully support the Church's stance on abortion and can't find fault with a single thing Pope Francis has said, but I respect that other people have different beliefs.

curlew Thu 16-Jan-14 06:54:52

Of course a devout catholic would be completely on board with what Francis says. And of course he is going to be strongly opposed.

My issue is with his characterization as a liberal, a forward thinker, a moderniser. With the thought that people who have left the church because of what the non catholic world thinks of as its reactionary views going back because Francis is somehow "different". He may be, but nothing he has said so far shows him to be any different on issues of social and sexual doctrine than his prdecessors.

curlew Thu 16-Jan-14 07:01:31

Sorry, "of course he is going to be strongly opposed to abortion"

mathanxiety Thu 16-Jan-14 07:07:25

'I am very sorry if you find any criticism or questioning of the Catholic Church shocking-but surely on a thread like this you must have expected to see some'

That's not an honest comment, Curlew.

curlew Thu 16-Jan-14 07:09:53

What do you mean?

mathanxiety Thu 16-Jan-14 07:14:27

'My issue is with his characterization as a liberal, a forward thinker, a moderniser...'

This is a straw man argument.

Anyone who has characterised him as liberal, etc., has projected their own hopes or maybe fears onto him.

It's not exactly fair to him to shoot him down for not being a liberal, or a moderniser, etc., when he himself has not claimed to be any of those things.

And it's not fair either, to shoot him down for not being a liberal or a moderniser or whatever else you think he should be without giving him any credit for saying he wants to see a significant shift in emphasis by the church, a shift he has tried to illustrate by many choices about his personal lifestyle, abode, ministry and personal outreach.

mathanxiety Thu 16-Jan-14 07:17:35

I take issue with your use of the phrase 'I am very sorry if you find any criticism or questioning of the Catholic Church shocking'

-- I do not think anyone here finds 'any criticism of the Catholic Church' shocking.

I don't know why you think this characterisation of opinions that are different from yours is appropriate.

mathanxiety Thu 16-Jan-14 07:19:50

What people object to is the shrill tone. Nobody is saying the RC church is in any way perfect.

curlew Thu 16-Jan-14 07:51:25

Annunziata c and p a whole series of comments which she said she found shocking. They were mostly simply criticisms or comments on the Catholic Church. That is why I said that I was sorry she was shocked by criticisms. I am.

Your point about people projecting is very apposite. That is why I said the characterization of Francis as a liberal, moderniser....etc. My main point on this thread is that he has not at any point said anything which indicates that he thinks of himself in that way- rather the contrary. There are many people who want him to be, and his self deprecating, man of the people personality is very attractive. But it would be a shame if people made decisions based on that, rather than what he actually says.

And shrill? Wow. The only person who could possibly be described as "shrill" is not on the "my" side of the "discussion"!!!!!!!

MidniteScribbler Thu 16-Jan-14 08:02:53

I am very sorry if you find any criticism or questioning of the Catholic Church shocking-but surely on a thread like this you must have expected to see some?

It's expected, because there is a large percentage of the population that claims that their 'enlightenment' makes them open minded, yet the slightest mention of religion leaves them preaching about its evils more fervently than any member of any organised religion.

newyearhere Thu 16-Jan-14 09:09:49

> I have never met a Catholic (male or female) who thinks women are "less human than men". This is not my lived experience and is not church teaching.

They won't phrase it like that, no. They'll say something like "women and men are equal but different". And insist that it's "equal" to deny women from being priests, because of this "difference".

curlew Thu 16-Jan-14 10:08:12

midnitescribbler- my comments, as far as I recall, on this thread have been confined to the attutude of, and the attitudes towards the new pope. I have not said anything about religion generally.

ComposHat Thu 16-Jan-14 10:20:00

What an incredibly free thinking, liberal, wonderful human being. Presumably he'll get round to child abuse, the use of condoms, the Vatican Bank and the role of women shortly?

I agree wholeheartedly.

On a personal level, he seems quite likeable, but it is a measure of how backward and barbaric his predecessors were that the infinitesimally small steps he has taken to reforming the Church can be presented as a radical departure.

atthestrokeoftwelve Thu 16-Jan-14 10:40:31

I think any discussion about the pope inevitably will take religion into account. What is the pope if not head of a church?

curlew Thu 16-Jan-14 10:46:55

An it is incredibly frustrating when people come onto a discussion thread and try to rule out some topics. Clerical child abuse, for example, is obviously one of the hot issues Francis will have to deal with- and how he deals with it is very important for how his pontificate is viewed. Saying that is not accusing anyone of abusing children now, but calling it "that old chestnut" and so on is ignoring the fact that it is a live issue and one that previous popes have not handled well. It wild be nice to be able to say things like this without accusations of "shrillness", "ranting" and being anti religion.

JugglingBackwardsAndForwards Thu 16-Jan-14 10:59:31

And have to pick up on something Freddo said at 06.42 .....

"in the view of catholic doctrine there is absolutely no difference between killing a 2 week old foetus and a 2 week old newborn baby"

Well surely any reasonable person has to take exception to the idea of there being "absolutely no difference" To fail to see the difference is to lack a sense of reality and also of compassion I think.

Perhaps if there was more female input (through having women priests for one thing) the Catholic church wouldn't persist with such out of touch, absolutist, theoretical doctrines, and would begin to show more humanity, compassion, and relevance.

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Thu 16-Jan-14 11:01:38

Annunziata - I do find it difficult to understand why you are shocked that people can be critical of the Catholic church, and express that criticism openly.

Like it or not, religion is like politics - some would even say it IS politics. You aren't going to get everyone agreeing about how marvellous your particular religion/political party is (unless you live in North Korea, I suppose).

JugglingBackwardsAndForwards Thu 16-Jan-14 11:12:18

I think the reason why the thread has developed as it has is summed up quite well in the slightly cynical/challlenging (?) post Compos quotes just upthread ...

"What an incredible, free-thinking, wonderful human being. Presumably he'll get round to child abuse, the use of condoms, the Vatican Bank, and the role of women shortly"

(possibly the development of the discussion would have seemed more acceptable if the thread had started off in chat or AIBU - but I'm not sure it really makes any difference?)

curlew Thu 16-Jan-14 11:24:41

That cynical comment was me. I apologize for it, but I do get so exasperated when people only have to do one relatively normal thing to be lauded to the heavens. "oh, look, Prince William's just like us, he's cuddling his son " " Your husband's so good- I saw him in the supermarket yesterday" "Pope Francis is such a man of the people, he's not wearing the Gucci shoes" (I have to admit to being and bit perversely upset about that- I did love the red shoes........)

FreddoBaggyMac Thu 16-Jan-14 11:32:02

Hi Curlew. I think you are right is saying that Pope Francis is not likely to change church doctrine in any major way. He is 'Different' to Pope Benedict I think because he puts the value of people first, before rules and regulations, and emphasises that God's love is there for everyone. Pope Benedict was not so much a 'people person' and far more hung up on putting rules and regulations before love and people (imo). He was a less popular Pope simply because his priorities were different.

JugglingBackwards, with regard to my point that you picked up on, perhaps I should have said that in a catholic view there is MORALLY no difference. Remember I said that there was 'No difference' BASED on the belief that a child is a human life right from conception - that was the whole point of my post, in Catholic doctrine there is morally no difference between killing a two week old foetus and a new born baby because they are both regarded as human beings in their own right created by God.

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Thu 16-Jan-14 11:37:03

And if the thread was only about the Pope and breastfeeding, the discussion would would be rather short. No one has come on to say 'what a dreadful thing for him to do - encourage women to get their boobs out in public'. Everyone has pretty much agreed that er, yes, women should be 'allowed' and even encouraged to breastfeed wherever they want to.

It was the comments about what a jolly marvellous and liberal person he must therefore be which sparked off the more cynical comments on Catholic doctrine in general, and how this Pope won't and indeed can't change anything very much about that.

JugglingBackwardsAndForwards Thu 16-Jan-14 11:42:45

I get your point Freddo, but tbh I'm not so sure you get mine .... which is basically that it's a nonsense to only look at the issue of abortion from a theoretical (or theological if you like), perspective.
It needs to be considered with some acceptance of realities, and with a much greater degree of humanity and compassion.

FreddoBaggyMac Thu 16-Jan-14 11:59:28

I do indeed get your point Juggling. But if you really think about mine, the view of Catholic doctrine is that abortion is basically killing a completely innocent and unprotected BABY then anyone who believes that would have most of their humanity and compassion focussing towards that baby! I think all Catholics would be encouraged to show compassion towards a mother with an unwated pregnancy (I'm sure Pope Francis would definitely encourage it) but no amount of circumstances or realities could condone killing the 'Baby' if that is what you believe the foetus is.
I appreciate that you might have the view that this is ridiculous, and you may believe that a baby and a foetus are completely different. But as I said in my earlier post Catholic doctrine says they are morally the same. Whilst you may not have this view, it is wrong to dismiss it as 'stupid' or ignorant, as for anyone who really thinks about it it is very hard to determine when a foetus does become a baby. Is it at 12 weeks? 24 weeks? if so, why is it then? Babies are born all the time who are not fully developed or 'perfect' and they are classed as being handicapped but they are still obviously human beings... so it's wrong to say a foetus is not human simply because it's not fully formed.
Anyway, I've said quite enough on this subject...just wanted to add that I do appreciate your viewpoint which is I think based on compassion towards the mother, whereas the Catholic one is based on compassion towards the foetus/ child.

Just because the foetus changes gradually every day during the 9 months of pregnancy from a collection of cells to a fully formed baby at birth, it seems crazy to me not to acknowledge that the baby is fundamentally different from the collection of cells.
I haven't used the words "stupid" or "ignorant" I've simply said that to me it is a nonsense - to look at the issue purely in absolutist, theoretical terms.
And my main point was to pick up on your use of the phrase "absolutely no difference" (in relation to Catholic doctrine on this)

Anyfuckerisnotguilty Thu 16-Jan-14 12:18:11

nth is country SOME people are so odd about breast feeding thinking it should not be done in public etc

So respect and thanks to the pope

ComposHat Thu 16-Jan-14 12:23:10

Actually I don't think what he said in relation to breast feeding is that radical and fits quite comfortably with the church's traditional on the role of women as being baby incubators and rearers. He is just saying that women can practise part of their maternal role in the church.

It doesn't challenge the view that women are second class citizens in the eyes of the Catholic Church.

whichdidyouchoose Thu 16-Jan-14 12:36:50

I initially read the synopsis as 'Pope encourages bling' and thought 'What is the connection?', I have read the thread and I still don't get it.

Beth9009 Thu 16-Jan-14 13:49:56

Sorry, I know this might not go down well, but I can never respect the Pope and I don't understand why anyone else does. It's all just a bit silly, isn't? A man in a dress claiming to be God's representative on Earth? Who would believe such a thing? It's an obvious con.

aciddrops Thu 16-Jan-14 13:57:18

Actually I don't think what he said in relation to breast feeding is that radical and fits quite comfortably with the church's traditional on the role of women as being baby incubators and rearers. He is just saying that women can practise part of their maternal role in the church.

Wow! I argue for a living (I love it) and I get to see some really far fetched arguments to suit people's cases. I'd put this in that category.

On the point of theology, I would be interested to know where it indicates that killing a 2 week old fetus is the same as killing a 2 week old baby. I'm not denying that this is the case, I am genuinely interested in where the particular choice of words "the same" comes from. I know both deeds are against doctrine but I would like to know more about the comparison or lack of. Presumably killing is killing no matter what the circumstances? I have a feeling though that the Catholic church does not condone the death penalty.

I think that "there's no moral difference" thing was one posters way of explaining things aciddrops - it was just something I picked up on and felt I wanted to challenge.
Whether explicitly stated or not it does seem that Catholic doctrine fails to acknowledge the differences (between early pregnancy and an actual baby) with it's argument that life begins at conception and therefore that abortion is always wrong.

atthestrokeoftwelve Thu 16-Jan-14 14:06:49

freddobaggymac

"in Catholic doctrine there is morally no difference between killing a two week old foetus and a new born baby because they are both regarded as human beings in their own right created by God."

And if you argue for a living I'm really surprised you find any problem with ComposHat's post - seems entirely logical to me.

ComposHat Thu 16-Jan-14 14:12:47

Yes, weacid please tell me which bit of my post is problematic or or inaccurate.

aciddrops Thu 16-Jan-14 14:31:02

Because you are drawing such a big conclusion based on something so simple as him saying "Let your children feed in church". Suddenly, these words infer an endorsement of female repression.

If I owned a cafe and put a sign up saying "Mothers welcome to feed their babies" would that sit well with my misogynistic attitude or would it be me just being laid back and saying "yeah that's fine, get on with it sisters"?

atthestrokeoftwelve Thu 16-Jan-14 14:37:35

acid- but it is to do with context isn't it.

If a cafe owner put up a sign saying breastfeeding welcome then we take that at face value.
The same cannot be said of the pope representing the catholic church.

If a Gestapo went around prisoners giving each a biscuit we wouldn't assume he was a really nice guy.
( Note I am not comparing the pope or church to Gestapos- this is merely an illustration)

ComposHat Thu 16-Jan-14 14:39:28

No, but then the cafe owner doesn't head an organisation that prevents women from holding positions of power, controlling their own fertility, condemns them as murderers if these choose not to continue with a pregnancy and tells them the only 'proper' role for them is to produce child after child.

The difference is quite crucial and easy to grasp.

atthestrokeoftwelve Thu 16-Jan-14 14:40:48

Exactly compost.

curlew Thu 16-Jan-14 15:21:26

As compos so wisely says.

Feeding a baby is a traditional "womanly" thing to do- and therefore fits into the traditional role the Catholic Church usually expects of women.

curlew Thu 16-Jan-14 15:23:35

"Suddenly, these words infer an endorsement of female repression."

I don't think it necessarily implies an endorsement of female repression. It just doesn't imply the opposite. You can't extrapolate from that comment to a liberal modernizing pope.

The RC church keeps very quiet about the fact that abortion hasn't always been regarded as wrong. It used to be allowed up to quickening - i.e. when you can feel the foetus move. So anti-abortion teaching clearly isn't absolute.

mathanxiety Thu 16-Jan-14 23:36:34

So he can't win for losing, Compos?

Let's all go over to Breast and Bottlefeeding and howl at women for choosing to be oppressed.

Actually, inviting women to bare their breasts for one of the functions for which they were designed comes across to me as liberating. He asserted publicly that breasts are more than just sexual appendages and that is a significant statement in this hypersexualised world.

As a feminist who has breastfed in public and who agitated for the right for women to breastfeed in public, I can avow that one of the main objections to women bfing in public is the idea that women's breasts are there for men (or other women in the case of lesbians) and are therefore purely sexual, and therefore breastfeeding is a form of exhibitionism.
There is even a group of objectors who believe deep down that women are somehow having sex with their babies when they breastfeed, and that breastfeeding a baby boy is wrong and somewhat creepy on many levels. I first encountered this from my OB/GYN (who was a part time Baptist minister) -- he asked about DS's feeding and sleeping at my 6 week checkup, and I told him breastfeeding was going well, DS was sleeping 3-4 hours at a stretch at night. OB/GYN said 'Oh you'd better not let all his little girlfriends know about that breastfeeding'.. He meant it as a joke but it told something of what he felt all the same.

'I do get so exasperated when people only have to do one relatively normal thing to be lauded to the heavens. "oh, look, Prince William's just like us, he's cuddling his son " " Your husband's so good- I saw him in the supermarket yesterday" "Pope Francis is such a man of the people, he's not wearing the Gucci shoes" ' (Curlew)

Are you exasperated with the commentators who gush this baloney? Or are you exasperated with the pope, who to my recollection, hasn't tooted his own horn or said 'look at me wearing black shoes'? He wears black shoes, he drives a Renault 4, he says women are welcome to breastfeed. Who broadcasts all of this?

Juggling, a foetus is indeed different physically from the initial cells from which it grows, but then so is an individual at 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 from how they were as babies or children or as pregnant women. I have lost some of my cells to operations. An individual with Down's Syndrome has a different number of chromosomes from me. Your point is half baked.

mathanxiety Thu 16-Jan-14 23:42:02

Is it the dress that makes you think hmm about the claim? If so, what is wrong with men wearing dresses, Beth? Do you pour scorn on men whose traditional attire you would call a dress? Are they less manly? Are men supposed to wear suits or jeans or something western? Might Jesus have worn a dress?

DuskAndShiver Thu 16-Jan-14 23:43:14

*Don't read if you find ectopic pregnancy or abortion triggering *

abortion is allowed in cases of ectopic pregnancy.
I don't know why because in no other case can abortion take place to save the mother's life. In the case of ectopic pregnancy it is still a little baby, if any other 6 week embryo is (which I don't think is the case)
Why is something that is supposedly so absolute not that absolute?

DuskAndShiver Thu 16-Jan-14 23:46:05

Also - there is such a thing, in Cathlicism, as a just war. War that is allowed for moral reasons.
sadly all war kills innocents.
It is regrettable but sometimes necessary - apparently.

So - when removing a 6 week embryo would save a woman's health or livelihood or agency, it is not ok. EVERRRRRR. (except sometimes, see above). But killing any number of walking talking innocent human beings is ok if the alternative is that men can't dick about with guns any more.

mathanxiety Thu 16-Jan-14 23:49:02

Annunziata c and p a whole series of comments which she said she found shocking. They were mostly simply criticisms or comments on the Catholic Church. That is why I said that I was sorry she was shocked by criticisms. I am. (Curlew)

She didn't say she found criticism of the RC church per se shocking. Perhaps she finds it shocking that people who to all intents and purposes are well educated and ostensibly contributing to a discussion on a discussion board can deliver such complete non-sequiturs that generate far more heat than light.

Shrillness of the sort that has gone on belongs in some sort of quiche.

mathanxiety Thu 16-Jan-14 23:55:34

An ectopic pregnancy has no hope of ever continuing if nature takes its course. And in a pregnancy where a foetus has certain conditions that will make life impossible upon birth abortion is also permitted afaik.

I have a friend whose foetus was medically doomed, could not hope to survive once the cord was cut even with massive medical intervention, and could in all good conscience have aborted according to the parish priest. She didn't consult him as to what to do about abortion or continuing the pregnancy -- she and her H wanted the baby baptised when she was born and before she was declared dead, and wanted to know how they could arrange for a priest to be at the hospital when needed. They also wanted to make burial arrangements.

mathanxiety Thu 16-Jan-14 23:56:36

DuskandShiver, the idea of a just war is not one peculiar to the RC church.

DuskAndShiver Fri 17-Jan-14 00:05:28

no, it is not, but in the Catholic church its pragmatic nuanced approach sits alongside an unnuanced approach to human life when at the expense of women's agency. It is the contrast in that context which is interesting.

DuskAndShiver Fri 17-Jan-14 00:07:01

I am not really anti-Catholic. I just don't think that it is superficial, silly, selfish, or whatever else has been implied on here, to accept the role that the RC grants women.

mathanxiety Fri 17-Jan-14 00:40:48

You are ignoring the nuanced idea of free will if you think agency is not allowed.

curlew Fri 17-Jan-14 06:41:19

Well, they are non sequiturs when cut and pasted into a single post. Rather less so when read in context!

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Fri 17-Jan-14 09:54:05

Views on abortion are always going to be a very personal thing, in some ways it's pointless debating it.

And the RC church is entitled to have any view it wants on abortion.

What it shouldn't be entitled to do is to force its views by law on entire countries of people who may or may not agree with them.

(and lol at 'shrill'. You'll be calling us harpies next.)

I don't think my ideas about gradual change from cells to embryo etc. during pregnancy was particularly half-baked. They were related to an appeal for a more "pragmatic nuanced approach" as Dusk describes so eloquently, and a hope generally for more compassion.
Obviously in brief posts on a forum not every point will be fully expounded, but hopefully most posters will understand IYKWIM.

curlew Fri 17-Jan-14 10:15:13

The catholic doctrine on abortion is very clear, and obviously the Pope believes it to be right. Nobody would expect any different. It's the influence that the church has on many countries' health policy- specifically policy on women's health- that is the issue.

curlew Fri 17-Jan-14 10:15:50

Oops,cross posted with squdgy. Sorry!

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Fri 17-Jan-14 10:21:56

lol Curlew. Shrill minds obviously thinking alike!

"Nobody would expect any different" curlew

Well, I would hope for different. Interesting to read that Catholic church used to "allow" abortion up to "quickening" - that seems a much more reasonable and compassionate doctrine.
I don't see why these absolutist doctrines should go un-challenged (by some) when as Dusk so wisely says the church is quite capable of being flexible and pragmatic (with more nuanced teachings) when it suits them to be so (such as regarding warfare)

curlew Fri 17-Jan-14 10:55:51

Has anyone posted evidence for the abortion up to "quickening" thing? I've never come across it before.

aciddrops Fri 17-Jan-14 11:08:59

It's the influence that the church has on many countries' health policy- specifically policy on women's health- that is the issue.

I'm not disagreeing here but how, exactly, does the Catholic church influence this and in which countries? I have heard of Sharia law but not Roman Catholic law.

curlew Fri 17-Jan-14 11:10:50

Tried to get an abortion in Ireland recently?

curlew Fri 17-Jan-14 11:13:13

I've just been googling the "abortion up to quickening" thing. Very interesting. As an aside, apparently the a Catholic Church used to teach that boy foetuses become "ensouled" and therefore human at 40 days gestation, and girls at 80.......

ComposHat Fri 17-Jan-14 11:19:16

acid for someone who 'argues for a living' you really don't think things through very thoroughly do you?

Fascinating curlew (that sounds vaguely sarcastic, it isn't meant to be!)
There would have to be a difference between boy and girl foetuses wouldn't there ? hmm
But interesting.

aciddrops Fri 17-Jan-14 11:50:46

But the Church does not make these laws, politicians do. Catholic countries tend to be democracies. Even in France, Italy, Spain, Poland and Portugal, abortions are legal. I'm not aware of the Catholic Church having a direct influence in law making. Yes, it will influence people's opinions and how they might vote but I'm not aware of any state that is forced to take a certain line by the church. Even in Ireland abortion is not unlawful if it is to save the mother's life.

aciddrops Fri 17-Jan-14 11:54:23

The point I am making is that no-one has to accept the Church's views. We are all influenced by all sorts of things and then we draw our own conclusions based on the experiences and knowledge we have before us.

aciddrops Fri 17-Jan-14 12:07:57

Also, it is pretty clear that the vast majority of people choose not to follow all of the church's teachings.

Your argument (Curlew) is that the Church has some very bad aspects to it and it controls people's lives adversely (women's in particular). The Pope is as bad as any other because he is not changing these fundamental issues. Therefore, any good things that he does are simple publicity stunts to gain popularity (more followers?). This even includes his "efforts" to address child sex abuse. There is no good in this man - he is conning the world into making it think that he might be progressive.

The church should not have so many followers because all these people who follow the church are making the world an evil patriarchal and misogynistic place. The Catholics are brainwashing the politicians to pass laws that will harm women. Therefore, the Pope is an evil force.

Is that right?

Who's side are you on aciddrops? wink

curlew Fri 17-Jan-14 13:25:03

Nope- that's not what I think at all. And it's also not what my posts indicate that I think. But hey ho. Why let the truth get in the way of a good story!

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Fri 17-Jan-14 13:26:53

Evil isn't the right word - it implies that the church is full of evil people which isn't the case. It's the rigid doctrine combined with the political power and influence which is the problem.

A bit like calling Margaret Thatcher or George Bush or Tony Blair evil - I don't think they are evil people, but they are/were people with a lot of power who put in place policies which some people say caused harm and were therefore 'not good'. That is not to say that they never put into any 'good' policies though.

But at least they were elected, and could be removed from power when they became too unpopular.

I have no idea whether the new Pope is a genuinely 'nice' person or not, but if I were in charge of PR at the Vatican I'd certainly be putting someone like him out there.

Routergirl Fri 17-Jan-14 21:22:02

Some years back, I was going through an awful lot, and the Catholic priest in my town (I am Protestant) is the reason I am here today. Man, he is so great....just like the Pope, a truly GODLY person. How people can condemn people over the actions of some (let us all condemn men for they commit almost all the crimes, right??) is beyond me.

I have to say, I love this Pope. I am Anglican but the Catholic Church has really helped me. Saved me, by virtue of the good people in it.

atthestrokeoftwelve Fri 17-Jan-14 21:25:17

Because the pope as head of the catholic church bears the responsibility of those within his organisation. The buck stops with him.
That's part of the job. He is judged by the actions of those who work for him.

mathanxiety Sat 18-Jan-14 04:10:57

'What it shouldn't be entitled to do is to force its views by law on entire countries of people who may or may not agree with them.'

I'm not sure what opinion you have on democracy, but iirc, it involves the rule of the majority, and it also involves the right to campaign for an alternative way of doing things.

People have the right to be wrong. Sometimes they get it right.

mathanxiety Sat 18-Jan-14 04:19:11

I would venture to say that the vast majority of people who 'work for the pope' hmm reflect exceedingly well on him. I also have a stellar parish priest. I have only known one parish priest in my entire life who wasn't a really great, hardworking, compassionate individual.

Curlew, everything is a non sequitur when c&p'd. Those particular humdingers are non sequiturs in context too.

atthestrokeoftwelve Sat 18-Jan-14 09:12:17

"I would venture to say that the vast majority of people who 'work for the pope' hmm reflect exceedingly well on him."

And that will be why 600 priests have been defrocked in the past 6 years because of child abuse then.

Sounds a jolly bunch.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25788864

curlew Sat 18-Jan-14 09:15:38

"Curlew, everything is a non sequitur when c&p'd. Those particular humdingers are non sequiturs in context too."

Can I just check that you know what a non sequitur is? No shame if you don't.........

Migsy1 Sat 18-Jan-14 10:39:57

So if 600 priests have been defrocked, the hierarchy is condoning it?

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Sat 18-Jan-14 12:06:05

Math - democracy can be severely undermined by self-interested organisations who believe that their 'hotline to god' gives them the right to tell others how to live their lives, using social control and intimidation tactics to do so.

This is an interesting article:

www.theguardian.com/politics/2011/jul/21/irish-political-classes-lose-fear-catholic-church

From it:

"Once upon a time not long ago Fine Gael leaders were even more strident in their defence of the Catholic church's "special position" within Irish life as drawn up in Éamon de Valera's 1937 constitution.

...

Once upon a time not very long ago politicians feared that denunciations from the pulpit at Sunday mass would end their careers.

Liberal and leftwing TDs had to walk through gauntlets of screaming pickets outside their constituency surgeries and even their homes as rightwing Catholic agitators accused them of being "baby killers" because they were pro-choice on abortion. The latter was still going right up until the early 1990s."

It would have been unthinkable even perhaps back in the 1990s for a leader of Fine Gael to go as far as take on the Vatican. But this is exactly what happened this week and it marks a significant, historic milestone on Ireland's journey away from being a mono-Catholic state into a 21st European republic."

Migsy1 Sat 18-Jan-14 13:16:34

So because a politician spoke up against sex abuse that makes him "take on the Vatican"? I hardly think so.

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Sat 18-Jan-14 13:29:14

The fact that it was reported in a national newspaper gives an indication of how criticising the Vatican was seen as a departure from the status quo at that time and in that situation.

mathanxiety Sat 18-Jan-14 20:06:00

Fine Gael has always had a liberal wing, as have all the other Irish political parties. In the early 80s TDs such as Alan Shatter (a member of Ireland's Jewish community) were notably liberal by Irish standards. Of course, during the 1930s Fine Gael came about through a merger of the Irish Blueshirts/Army Comrades Association (a 'security' group modelled on the Blackshirts -- many members fought in the Spanish Civil War on the Franco side). And ironically, though Fine Gael is considered to be more to the right of Fianna Fail, it has never governed unless in coalition with Labour, which while ostensibly left wing has usually been quite conservative socially.

Fianna Fail has also always had more liberal elements too, and Labour. Irish political parties sprang from the war of Independence and are quite hard to pin down in terms of left and right, liberal and conservative. All parties have had both 'liberal' and 'conservative' wings.

It is possible for individuals to have an opinion without it being forced upon them by any organisation. Either that organisation has done a good job of convincing them their argument is right, or they have got their ideas from elsewhere. Abortion was illegal in most countries including those with little or no RC church influence over voters or politicians up to relatively recently -- within the UK apart from NI, it became legal in 1967. In NI the dominant conservative opinion keeps abortion illegal. Not all conservative opinion there is RC-inspired, obviously. It tends to be a feature of legal abortion that it comes with constraints both wrt reasons for the procedure and stage of foetal development. This is not all because of RC church intervention, or influence.

In the non-democratic Soviet Union abortion veered from legal to illegal and back. In the People's Republic of China abortion has been the regime's method of population control. In a lot of countries where it has become legal, protest and long-fought campaigns both for and against have been features of public life. Japanese opposition to abortion in the late 20th century (abortion legal since the mid 19th century) did not come from the influence of the RC church.

The tradition of taking to the streets to argue your point is one protected in many democracies and while anti abortion protestors may not be shouting the message that many want to hear, protestors do have a right to shout it, and so do pro choice protestors, pro IRA protestors, anti unemployment protestors, opposition to the destruction of Wood Quay, pro and anti British-in-NI, etc. In the US, the nature of abortion protest and many technical points related to the conduct of protests have been fine tuned while still protecting the right to freedom of speech of those wishing to protest abortion.

The 'taking on of the Vatican' comment in the wake of the Cloyne Report (about disregard for child protection measures in the Diocese of Cloyne) arose from Kenny's focus on the Vatican's refusal to alert the civil authorities to the fact that they suspected certain priests of child abuse, preferring to treat it as an administrative matter for the church (if at all) rather than a matter appropriate for the criminal legal system. Irish politicians of all stripes presided over the social policies that allowed the borstals, reformatories, laundries, etc., to operate. Irish politicians also presided over an education system where corporal punishment of children was allowed until 1982.

The idea that children have rights is a relatively new one in Ireland (and in the UK too, where many institutional homes for children became the playground of predators. Celebrity culture has many side effects, and celebrity doesn't always come from being a media star. In Ireland for various reasons, the priest or the bishop was often the celebrity.) Physical punishment of children in both school and home, or one or the other, is still legal in many countries including Ireland and the UK (where school corporal punishment was banned in state schools in 1987 and private schools in 1999 in England and Wales, and in Scotland in 2000 and NI in 2003).

I rather think I do know the meaning of the term non sequitur, Curlew.

There are just under half a million RC priests worldwide.

mathanxiety Sat 18-Jan-14 20:08:39

They also quote the price of hoggets and the racing results, as well as any notable debates in the Dail, reports of various press conferences, etc., in national newspapers, Smudgy. Doesn't prove anything about what was said.

It was a very important speech and one that was necessary. But as speeches go, it got coverage similar to other important speeches.

curlew Sun 19-Jan-14 08:14:52

I honestly don't understand the point you're making in your last posts, mathanxiety.

JennaJayne Sun 19-Jan-14 23:18:03

But if we formula feed in the church (or anywhere else), will we be judged?

I think there is more judgement directed towards formula feeding than towards breastfeeding in public.

I wish more people with influence would come out and support women who formula feed as well.

mathanxiety Sun 19-Jan-14 23:30:38

Regarding the Guardian article and Smudgy's comments above:

Not all anti abortion sentiment comes from the position of the RC church on the matter. Many states where abortion is legal do not allow abortion on demand right up to delivery. There are often restrictions and conditions. Abortion has not always been legal everywhere. In the UK, the campaign to legalise abortion began officially in the 1930s and lasted 30ish years. Did opposition to abortion come exclusively from the RC church in the UK?

Irish political parties have had both liberal and conservative wings for decades. Ireland is not alone in having a broad range of liberal/conservative opinion. Many people in Ireland (especially older people, who tend to vote in droves) vote according to their family 'political religion' regardless of the liberal/conservative appeal of any party, and base their political preference on old issues such as the Treaty that ended the War of Independence and how their parents voted.

People have a right to picket and protest no matter how unpleasantly as long as physical assault or destruction of property or disorder doesn't occur.

This is my main point:
Celebrity culture has many side effects, and celebrity doesn't always come from being a media star. In Ireland for various reasons, the priest or the bishop was often the celebrity.

Abuse of children in institutions in NI and Britain in a variety of institutions and outside of them occurred concurrent with abuse of children in institutions and outside of them in the Rep of Ireland. Abusers get away with abuse when the people supposed to protect them prefer to suck up to the abuser instead, out of deference to their celebrity status. This dynamic was exposed in the Savile case, and I believe it is also the case with Irish clerical abuse of children. I don't think there is all that much difference in the dynamic of abuse-enabling in Ireland and the UK. The RC church is an easy target, and some elements of the media want to portray it as having some mystique, or some sinister hold over people, but what happened to children in NI and Britain was enabled by the same tendency to be overawed by celebrity in the forms it took in both places.
........

How did clergy become celebrities in Ireland?

As elements that marked the separateness of Ireland from Britain, clergy and hierarchy were rock stars. Ditto former Republicans-on-the-run. Part of what kept Fine Gael a minority party while Fianna Fail seemed unstoppable at the polls for much of the 20th century was its identification with an Irish identity of separateness from Britain. As nationalism faded into insignificance with the passage of time, the setting-in of cold, hard reality (continued poverty and unemployment in independent Ireland) and the settling of affairs in NI (and before that, the growing realisation that civil strife wasn't the glorious thing it was painted to be) Irish culture changed.

I think the introduction of free, secular secondary schools in Ireland in 1967 and the ending of corporal punishment in schools of all stripes in 1982 were major watersheds in Irish life. By the 80s, it was no longer unpatriotic to hold opinions that weren't informed by the Catechism -- I think that being unpatriotic was the ultimate sin in Ireland in past decades. It was also ok for grown men to remember publicly and with bitterness that they had been caned and worse by men of the cloth in school.

Historically, Irish people have had periods where they have gone against the RC church in significant numbers -- joining the Fenians, IRB and IRA, killing political enemies in British uniform or police uniform, fighting a civil war and killing fellow Irish people. The RC church itself has had periods of infighting over matters political. I think the yoking together of RC church and Irish voters' opinion that happened in the mid 20th century was an aberration. Commentators who try to posit a clerical vs. secular tension in Irish politics and society have it wrong imo -- they ignore the huge impact of the nationalist movement and the impact of its fading importance on the fortunes of the RC church. Catholic identity in Ireland was largely a case of national identity, with religion as an element of what was 'Irish'. With the need for a national identity dissipating, the RC church has to reinvent itself and pretty much start again, basing its appeal to people in Ireland on its own merits, such as they are.

mathanxiety Sun 19-Jan-14 23:35:37

Jenna, the comments are really not about what method of feeding a woman chooses. The pope said flashing your boobs or potentially flashing them in a church was fine and women need not worry they would be frowned upon if they brought crying/feeding babies to church. This is a significant statement in a church where women were expected to cover their hair in church (and obv their boobs too) up to the 1970s.

JennaJayne Sun 19-Jan-14 23:40:15

Mathanxiety- I realise that. I am just expressing my opinion on the matter.

I understand that breastfeeding has benefits and I understand why it is promoted. But this is often done in a way that undermines a woman's right to choose not to breastfeed for medical or personal reasons.

There are plenty of people now (including the Pope) who have come forward to support breastfeeding in public and breastfeeding in general.

I wish that there were more people who would come forward to support a woman's right to choose formula.

Women who don't want to breastfeed are often forced, shamed and sent on guilt trips- I find this abhorrent.

mathanxiety Mon 20-Jan-14 00:47:37

Jenna, the thing is, he hasn't supported breastfeeding in general, just made it clear that women are free to breastfeed their babies in church.

He hasn't exhorted women to choose breastfeeding over bottle feeding, just made it clear that if that is their choice they do not have to worry about bringing a bottle to the church to feed their baby.

JennaJayne Mon 20-Jan-14 01:19:39

Mathanxiety- Did I say he has?! I don't think you understood my point. I am not implying that the Pope did anything wrong by saying what he did. Nor am I saying that there is anything wrong with breastfeeding in public or in private.

I am simply saying that I wish there were more prominent people who spoke as passionately about a woman's right to choose not to breastfeed as they do about her right to breastfeed in public. That's all.

mathanxiety Mon 20-Jan-14 02:40:19

"I am not implying that the Pope did anything wrong by saying what he did. Nor am I saying that there is anything wrong with breastfeeding in public or in private."

I'm not saying either of those things either.

What you said was:

"I wish more people with influence would come out and support women who formula feed as well "

Wishing more people would come out and support formula feeding as well implies you think he was supporting breastfeeding in general, as opposed to formula feeding, or breastfeeding per se, whereas he was supporting doing it in the church where up to very recently women were expected to be very covered up and definitely not flashing boobs.

"There are plenty of people now (including the Pope) who have come forward to support breastfeeding in public and breastfeeding in general "

Again, the pope hasn't supported breastfeeding in general. He just told women they could relax about doing it in the Sistine Chapel.

JennaJayne Mon 20-Jan-14 03:02:30

Good grief. You must be extremely tiresome in real life. You have a tendency to completely miss the point and continue a pointless argument to an unnecessary degree.

Plain and simple- I wish more people (not just the Pope) would be equally supportive of women choosing to formula feed. I don't see any celebrity, politician or person or influence coming forward to remove the stigma that is associated with formula feeding. I am entitled to my opinion even if you fail to understand it.

mathanxiety Mon 20-Jan-14 03:10:53

Again, the pope isn't supporting women breastfeeding, just expressing the idea that it's ok to breastfeed, with the potential flashing of boobs that is necessarily involved, in the Sistine Chapel.

If anyone has missed the point here it's you.

He isn't disregarding the possibility that some women will choose to bottle feed. The issue was that women felt they should be covered up and that means no breastfeeding.

Even last year they used to turn away women dressed in tank tops from tours of the Sistine Chapel and from Masses there. You had to go and buy a cardigan and wear it in the Roman heat, if you wanted to go inside.

Does that help you understand the matter?

JennaJayne Mon 20-Jan-14 03:16:33

I understand perfectly, there is no need to be condescending and obnoxious, especially when you are the one who is being deliberately obtuse.

I am not referring to the Pope, I could care less about what he thinks. I was making a general point about breastfeeding and formula feeding. I want more people with influence to support formula just as they do breastfeeding.

Does that help YOU understand the matter?

Don't bother answering.

mathanxiety Mon 20-Jan-14 03:32:18

So when you're not referring to the pope you mention him in several sentences? How does that work?

JennaJayne Mon 20-Jan-14 04:21:28

You must have a lot of time on your hands.

curlew Mon 20-Jan-14 09:10:28

Actually, he didn't specify what sort of feeding. So it is reasonable to assume he meant ff and bf.

This is not the place to note with more than a hmm this statement "
I think there is more judgement directed towards formula feeding than towards breastfeeding in public."

Mathanxiety, your BBC/celebrity analogy would be more convincing if Dave Lee Travis's alleged victims had been forced to sign vows of silence, and if he had been moved from Top of the Pops to Blue Peter. And also if the reason for the long period between his alleged offenses and his prosecution ha been because his bosses felt that preserving his image as a DJ was more important than the feelings of his victims.

Protego Mon 20-Jan-14 10:34:55

Lovely thread! I have always wondered what all the fuss is about as when I fed mine it was a case of sticking him/her under my sweatshirt and no-one usually noticed! Once past the early stages when they have got the hang there is no need to display the breast or nipple at all. Anyone who resents a baby being fed when it is hungry has big problems and should be pitied! I am liking this Papa - especially him living in the clerics hostel! When Rowan took on Canterbury I and many others had hopes that he would have a different style; sadly the first thing he did was trim his beard and cut his hair neatly... Agreeing with his wife to do a ten year stint was also a bit naughty!

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Mon 20-Jan-14 16:49:58

Surely the clergy's 'celebrity status' in some communities is a compelling argument for democracies to be very careful about blurring the relationship between church and state. (Faith state schools blur the boundaries between church and state, for example.)

Clergy are already in a position of social power (obviously this varies from country to country, religion to religion, and region to region) - and to a greater or lesser extent tell people how to think and how to live their lives.

In many cases they are held in awe which makes it very difficult when their advice causes distress (eg if you have gay sex you'll go to hell/be an outcast/will offend god - or if your baby is unbaptised and dies it will go to purgatory - or if you don't dress modesty you will offend god).

And this social power/holier than thou/celebrity status makes it more likely that on the occasions in which crimes are committed, they will go unreported as people are fearful of speaking out. Of course the majority of clergy do great work for the community, but legal mechanisms and public awareness should be in place to prevent abuse of power.

mathanxiety Wed 22-Jan-14 04:23:43

So there was no silence about Jimmy ("...the young girls in question don't gather round me because of me – it's because I know the people they love, the stars... I am of no interest to them.") Savile?

How long did he host TOTP, and Jim'll Fix It, and how many teens were on the set of those programmes? What did the BBC do when anyone made a peep about him? And all those hospitals and children's homes? Two police investigations, beginning in 1958, came to nothing. Former colleagues had even walked in on him abusing a young teen. Esther Rantzen confirmed that it was an open secret that Savile was a predator. One person who made a complaint didn't go ahead because she feared a media circus. Are you saying there was nothing to stop his victims from speaking out at the time?

Newsnight compiled a programme in 2011 on his offences and it was shelved.

Smudgy -- In the case of Ireland, the dynamic involved the state co-opting the church in the quest for national identity just as much as the church horning in on the state. Each thought they had a lot to gain.

Cozy relationships between any large institution and the state should be avoided.

Often the reason to hold the clergy in awe was sheer poverty and lack of education of the majority of people. It's not a coincidence that speaking out against clerical abuse in Ireland happened when solid education had been available to all for a few decades and when general prosperity made everyone more equal.

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