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santa anna

I knew it was coming, but with this, my tolerance of the Catholic Church reaches a new low. I know that we tend to focus on the Church's teachings on sexual morality and reproduction and ignore everything else it does. But this needs to be focussed on. The Pope is basically saying that an ideal woman - a saint, no less - refuses an abortion to save her own life, because - and this is what it all comes down to - it is her duty to have children (as many as possible) and her foetus is more important than she is. Of course, I certainly don't think that chosing to die in order to carry a baby to term is "bad". But to officially hold such actions up as those of a role model for fertile women just seems abhorrent to me. The Pope said, "May our era rediscover, by the example of Gianna Beretta Molla, the pure, chaste and fertile beauty of conjugal love, lived as a response to the divine calling." Words fucking fail me. That's the example of "conjugal love"? And "conjugal love" should automatically be fertile (and apparently chaste, rather paradoxically)? Well let's just forget about the hypocritical, illogical nonsense that is the church's promotion of "natural family planning", shall we? My grandmother's sister died in childbirth after a doctor told her not to have another child and her local priest told her it was her duty to "submit to her husband" anyway. Is that a good example of Church-endorsed conjugal love too, your holiness? God, it probably is, for him. I know the Church does lots of good work, and I don't like people making blanket generalisations about priests and nuns, but its official attitude to female sexuality and fertility literally sickens me.

Also, the miracles required for this new saint's beatification seem a little spurious, to say the least. And, I know this is tasteless, and I'm not trying to trivialise this woman's death, but I genuinely want to know if she - and the other beatified saints, for that matter - was exhumed to make sure she passed the "corruption of the flesh" part (saints aren't meant to decompose after death, although John Paul may have got rid of this rule in order to facilitate his craze for beatification). I have a strange feeling that she wouldn't...


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 17th, 2004 05:17 am (UTC)
Ditto. I was pretty peeved when I read about this over the weekend.
I do admire her for what she did, assuming she really wanted to do it and wasn't forced to.

But making her into a political icon (which is what most saints are, really) is low.

Gah. Another reason to avoid Catholicism...
May. 17th, 2004 05:24 am (UTC)
Yeah, that's my problem with it too - I think what this woman did was a noble act of self-sacrifice. But it seems pretty obvious that she is being sainted because she exemplifies the Church's teaching on abortion. I'm sure there are plenty of women who gave their lives for their children in other ways, but they're not being singled out.
May. 17th, 2004 05:32 am (UTC)
saints aren't meant to decompose after death

What are they meant to do? Do they stay pretty and not worm-eaten? I find that incredibly creepy.

Everytime I find myself thinking, "Oh, he's old and wobbly," John Paul does something like this which irritates the hell out of me.
May. 17th, 2004 05:59 am (UTC)
What are they meant to do? Do they stay pretty and not worm-eaten? I find that incredibly creepy.

Apparently they do! And yeah, it really is incredibly creepy. Of course, they may have changed this part in recent decades (perhaps because they would have a very, very hard time finding someone who stayed fresh-faced after death).
May. 17th, 2004 06:02 am (UTC)
I probably shouldn't say anything, because the whole story is full of words that fill me with lack of understanding, but - that's such a abuse of his power and people's faith, to do that for what are obviously political reasons.

It does make me rather admire the likes of you, though, Anna, in choosing to negotiate faith and humanity with this kind of shit going on.
May. 19th, 2004 06:59 am (UTC)
that's such a abuse of his power

Not really. The Vatican state isn't exaclty democratic, so in theory, he can do as he likes.

and people's faith

No argument from me there. It's absolutely nothing to do with faith, just the ridiculous dogma of Catholicism (as opposed to Christianity).
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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