May 17th, 2004


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...
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