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Old 01-11-2007, 06:56 PM   #1
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Normal You Got Your Church In My State (And Theres Nothing To Be Done)

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SEXUALLY assaulted women who seek help at Catholic-controlled hospitals cannot be referred to rape crisis centres that supply morning-after pills, under church policy.
The policy, spelt out in an 80-page ethics document, has heightened concerns among doctors and rape counsellors about the Catholic Church's growing control of hospitals.

And The Australian reveals today that another fertility centre has been told to move out by the Catholic buyers of the hospital where it is based. One prominent doctor said she had long been concerned at the church's rape policy, which is contained in an ethics document approved by the Catholic hierarchy in 2001.

The Code of Ethical Standards, compiled by Catholic Health Australia, says direct referral of raped women to centres that offer the morning-after pill "should only occur if reasonable steps have been taken to exclude the likelihood of pregnancy".
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DOCTORS want state governments to stop contracting the operation of public hospitals to the Catholic Church unless it agrees to provide all services including IVF, abortions, sterilisations and rape counselling.

Australian Medical Association national president Mukesh Haikerwal yesterday said taxpayers had a right to expect public hospitals would provide a full range of medical services.

If church-linked organisations wanted to exclude some services in accordance with church teaching, they should not tender for contracts to operate public hospitals, Dr Haikerwal said.

But the church's health arm rejected the criticism and accused Dr Haikerwal of being anti-Catholic.

Dr Haikerwal's comments follow a report in The Australian yesterday that an IVF provider in Townsville was asked to move its premises from a private hospital after it was taken over by the Catholic Church.

And late last year a Canberra fertility service lost support services from the John James Private Hospital after a church group took over management.

It has also emerged church-controlled hospitals will not refer rape victims to rape counselling services for fear they will be given the morning-after pill.

Dr Haikerwal said the church had every right to choose what treatment it provided in its private hospitals, but not to impose its teachings on public hospitals.

"The services offered by state hospitals should be the full gamut of services," Dr Haikerwal said.

"There should be some compromise in some areas but not in areas of service provision."

Dr Haikerwal, who practises in Melbourne, said he had recently referred a patient to the Mercy Hospital at Werribee for treatment of a kidney stone.

The patient wanted a vasectomy at the same time but because the Catholic-run hospital would not deliver the procedure, he had to travel an extra 60km for treatment in Geelong.

"These are the sorts of stupid things that happen," Dr Haikerwal said. "In the era when we are trying to reduce unwanted pregnancies and ... some of these other so-called social problems, it seems a bit counter-intuitive (that) some of these procedures that are accepted in this country and worldwide are not able to be performed for reasons other than medical contra-indications."

However, Catholic Health Australia chief executive Francis Sullivan said state governments were happy to enter into contracts with the church.

"Fortunately, Dr Haikerwal doesn't run the Government," Mr Sullivan said.

"He's being sold a googly here by people who are trying to run an anti-Catholic line."

Mr Sullivan also said the comments suggested the AMA favoured the provision of abortions in all public hospitals in the country. "If that is their policy, it's news to me," he said.

Health Minister Tony Abbott's spokeswoman said the issue was a matter for state governments.

Queensland Acting Premier Anna Bligh rejected the AMA's criticism and said Catholic-run hospitals provided outstanding services.

"There is no one-size-fits-all arrangement for funding public hospital services," Ms Bligh said.

She rejected "a broad-brush approach to funding".

"What we want is to ensure that in a particular community every person has access to a comprehensive range of hospital services," she said.
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Given that tax money is also used to support religious schools it isn't really hypocricy but I don't think either would be a component of a secular society; public money should mean full services; if religious groups will not abide then they shouldn't tender for contracts.
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Old 01-11-2007, 08:19 PM   #2
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But you know how religion is. They want to have their cake and eat it too. Just like when the Vatican tells Islam to be more tolerant and flexible, more or less, but refuses to be tolerant and flexible itself.
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Old 01-11-2007, 08:42 PM   #3
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I wouldn't mind it if they weren't having my cake.
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Old 01-11-2007, 08:46 PM   #4
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Originally posted by Ormus
Just like when the Vatican tells Islam to be more tolerant and flexible, more or less, but refuses to be tolerant and flexible itself.


WOW I´m Catholic, and I have never thougth about that
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Old 01-11-2007, 10:05 PM   #5
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Originally posted by Caroni
WOW I´m Catholic, and I have never thougth about that
If you like that, here's another goodie:

The Vatican talks about Christian unity ("ecumenism"), but it is always under the context of the "other" Christian religions changing their theology to conform to Roman Catholicism and, ultimately, accepting papal authority. The Vatican is unwilling to compromise its own theology for the sake of unity, while, simultaneously, expecting other Christian religions to change.

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Old 01-12-2007, 03:14 AM   #6
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I've read about this, and frankly do not like the thought there are people out there that would welcome a woman who fell pregnant by a violent rape actually carry that mans child and give birth to it, just because its a child in the world. That is sick.

Why can't we have a society where religious people (all of them) keep the fuck out of situations - don't they realise that only THEIR view of life at conception makes them believe this, no actual proof, just religious mumbo jumbo

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Old 01-12-2007, 03:45 AM   #7
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And yet millions, no, billions, attend church and lap up this whole caper. They get offended if you insult it - but this, this here, is just vile. More fool anyone stupid enough to walk into a church to get closer to god. This is what you're passively supporting.
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Old 01-12-2007, 04:50 AM   #8
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I don't care if they support it - I don't care if a Catholic thinks that all abortion is sinful, I do care that tax money from a supposedly secular government goes towards it.

If they want to have a hospital where abortion is a complete no-no then let it be private in all respects including all funding; tending for a government contract and then delivering this sort of service is just wrong.
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Old 01-12-2007, 05:31 AM   #9
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There's government funding to an extent in nearly every non profit and supposedly private organisation.
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Old 01-12-2007, 05:33 AM   #10
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Your right, and schools too - I think that no taxpayers money should be directed to religious organisations period.
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Old 01-12-2007, 05:48 AM   #11
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I agree.
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Old 01-12-2007, 06:22 AM   #12
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At least in the US, and I'd assume everywhere else too since basic organizational structures and processes vary little within the Catholic Church, Catholic hospitals don't receive any money at all from the donations ("offertory collections") gathered from ordinary parishioners. (Incidentally, I found this info initially via a link from Catholics For A Free Choice.) So I don't myself see any reason why Catholics who don't "lap up this whole caper," and quite a few of them don't, can't attend Mass with a clear conscience. They'd have a lot more chance at actually doing something about it by writing their political representative and supporting an organization like CFFC than by not attending church; if they no longer personally feel at home there then fine, but simply leaving won't reform anything. Certainly the directors of their local Catholic hospital couldn't care less.

I agree with both of you on the government funding issue.
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Old 01-12-2007, 06:40 AM   #13
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Does everyone or anyone really investigate where their donations, or offertory collections actually go, yolland? I'm not being entirely rhetorical, here. I wouldn't know if it is a common practice to find out what your local church does and where it sends its money. Further on from this though, I dont really buy the whole "I'm a Catholic, and a practicing Catholic, but I dont adhere or subscribe to any of their commonly held questionable values." I know plenty of poeple who are Catholic, and are great, warm and loving, accepting, non-judgemental people. They do realise though, that they are passively supporting an institution which speaks very loudly on its views which most see as disagreeable, if not outright appalling. I do not agree on this basis with the clear conscience part. I do not know how they reconcile it personally, and that is not my business, what anyone does with their personal place in larger things. And also, I certainly dont agree that writing to any political office will achieve anything. I know it is a common practice there to enthusiastically voice complaints to your member, but here it's not a big thing, really.
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Old 01-12-2007, 08:23 AM   #14
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Originally posted by yolland
They'd have a lot more chance at actually doing something about it by writing their political representative and supporting an organization like CFFC than by not attending church; if they no longer personally feel at home there then fine, but simply leaving won't reform anything. Certainly the directors of their local Catholic hospital couldn't care less.
The structure of the entire Catholic Church is setup in a completely undemocratic closed loop of power to the point that ordinary Catholics have zero power.

Probably the only thing that hurts the Church, however, is when the donations stop coming in. Then they get angry, start to publically claim that everyone is anti-Catholic, then tends to insinuate that the media is out to get them. If that doesn't guilt ordinary Catholics back into the fold, then they like to start closing parishes, which is a pretty easy way to get revenge on people, because church attendance is so low, for the most part.

I mean, if this were a foreign government, we'd be absolutely repulsed at their behavior. But, because they're a religion, we feel like we have to automatically revere and worship them. Frankly, there's only so much irrational crap I can stomach.
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Old 01-12-2007, 08:30 AM   #15
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Originally posted by Angela Harlem
I know plenty of poeple who are Catholic, and are great, warm and loving, accepting, non-judgemental people. They do realise though, that they are passively supporting an institution which speaks very loudly on its views which most see as disagreeable, if not outright appalling. I do not agree on this basis with the clear conscience part. I do not know how they reconcile it personally, and that is not my business, what anyone does with their personal place in larger things.
You have to understand that Roman Catholicism has one major difference from other Western Christian religions: there is no tradition of schism, so to say, whereas Protestantism was molded from it. As such, if you're a Protestant and have an issue with your denomination, you're more inclined to pick up your things and go somewhere else. However, if you're Catholic, you've been brought up to believe that they are Christianity incarnate, pretty much, and to feel out of place in the Catholic Church, you tend to believe that it is YOU that is defective, not THEM. And even if you can get beyond that guilt, it is more likely that you'll abandon organized religion altogether than it is for you to join a Protestant sect.

So, basically, a lot of Catholics who aren't personally affected by their reactionary theology just stomach it and try to ignore it; because, in the end, it ends up being the least painful response.
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