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Connect the dots

What if a club said: "The whole world should join us, and enrol children before they are old enough to decide for themselves. Furthermore, a women must produce the maximum number of new members, even if this kills her. After all, her body doesn't belong to her. It belongs to us." ...Naturally, people would see this as a power grab, so that such a club could not possibly exist. Or could it?

Consider these facts about the Roman Catholic Church.

●  Wherever the state allows it, the Vatican still permits a girl to be married at 14. Before the 1983 revision of canon (church) law, she could be as young as 12. [1]

●  Once married, no divorce is possible for Catholics. Banning divorce can help boost Church membership, as it keeps open the possibility of more children. A Vatican-friendly Polish politician admitted that, “Divorce and the accompanying circumstances ... put a brake on procreation and contribute to reducing the birth rate.” [2]

●  Annulments can provide a partial escape from a marriage by pretending that it was invalid, but they prevent remarriage in the Church. For the Vatican they can be a safety valve by helping it retain the independent-minded well-to-do, who might otherwise leave the Church. However, for most people in poor countries annulments are unaffordable. As a Philippino quipped, “You know, it’s only about 10,000 or 15,000 pesos to hire a hit man to kill your spouse — much less than an annulment,” [3]

●  The Vatican opposes sex education. [4]

●  It also spreads lies about condoms. Cardinals (and by implication, the pope) talk about nonexistent micropores, Benedict XVI claimed that condoms increased the problem of AIDS [5] and Polish school children have been told that “a condom can cause constriction to the penis, cutting off the blood supply, which can lead to lifelong impotence.” [6]

● The Vatican condemns every easy and effective method of contraception. Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski even lied to the World Health Organisation by claiming that emergency contraception causes abortion. [7] However, medical authorities in both Europe and the US say that it prevents fertilisation. [8] So do IUDs. [9]

● Many Catholic organisations also spread scare stories about imaginary risks connected with both abortion and contraception, ignoring the fact that both of these are major life-savers for women. [10] Vatican lies about medical facts have cause it difficulties even at its own conferences whenever scientists have refused to be censored by the Church. [11]

● The Holy See (Vatican) has not signed the UN convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Poland signed it in 2012, but when it finally ratified it three years later, the bishops warned about “Poland’s future demography”. They realise that abused women are likely to produce more new members for the Church. [12] The Vatican has also opposed attempts at the UN to condemn intimate partner violence (IPV, aka wife-beating) [13] despite the fact that this has been ranked 5th in terms of years of life lost to women around the world. [14] It has reportedly even been argued that there is no such thing as violence within marriage because it's a sacrament. [15]

●  Pope Pius XII forbade Catholics to sacrifice the foetus in order to save the life of the mother. [16] And the Vatican still does everything it can to prevent life-saving abortions to pregnant women — including a nine-year-old rape victim who had no chance of surviving her pregnancy with twins. [17] To whitewash its brutal policies, the Vatican has launched a campaign, complete with a hastily-manufactured saint, to try to overcome public opposition. [18]

●  Following the Blessed Paul VI, the Vatican teaches “the conjugal covenant of irrevocable personal consent.” In plain language this is marital rape. [19]

Connect the dots and you get a picture of young girls who know nothing of contraception when they are married off for the rest of their lives. They are expected to endure unlimited childbearing and possibly violent husbands and may even be subjected to marital rape that is blessed by the Church.

Is there some other term for this than sexual slavery?

Further reading

To see many of these policies in action, read Amnesty International's 2014 report On the Brink of death: Violence against women and the abortion ban in El Salvador   

Notes

1. "Religious law vs. human rights: child brides", http://www.concordatwatch.eu/topic-48964.834

2. Antoni Szymański, (Polish Senator, Law and Justice Party) Niedziela Tygodnik Katolickiegi, 6/2007. http://adonai.pl/malzenstwo/?id=128

3. Paolo Yap quoted in "World’s last legal ban on divorce doesn’t keep Philippines couples together", Washington Post, 2014-10-10. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/worlds-last-legal-ban-on-divorce-doesnt-keep-philippines-couples-together/2014/10/09/d391c54c-4418-11e4-b437-1a7368204804_story.html 

4. In his address to diplomats to the Vatican on 10 January 2011, Benedict said, “I cannot remain silent about another attack on the religious freedom of families in certain European countries which mandate obligatory participation in courses of sexual or civic education.”

5. Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, President of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family,  9 October 2003: “The Aids virus is roughly 450 times smaller than the spermatozoon. The spermatozoon can easily pass through the ‘net’ that is formed by the condom.”

Benedict XVI, on the problem of AIDS, 17 March 2009: “You can't resolve it with the distribution of condoms; on the contrary, it increases the problem.”

6. "2009 Ponton Study on sex education in Poland", p. 11. http://www.concordatwatch.eu/topic-37561.834 

7. “Morning after pill a ‘direct attack’ on the unborn, Holy See delegation tells WHO”, Life Site News, 2013-05-24. http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/morning-after-pill-a-direct-attack-on-the-unborn-holy-see-delegation-tells/

Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, “Holy See to World Health Assembly: ‘Totally unacceptable’ to call morning after pill ‘life-saving’”, Life Site News, 2013-05-24. http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/holy-see-to-world-health-assembly-totally-unacceptable-to-call-morning-afte

8. Brief of Amici Curiae Physicians for Reproductive Health, et. al., in Support of Petitioners, Physicians for Reproductive Health, 2013-11-26 http://prh.org/iPaper/brief-of-amici-curiae-physicians-for-reproductive-health-et-al-in-support-of-petitioners/

p. 11 "The scientific evidence confirms that the FDA-approved forms of emergency contraception are not abortifacients."

“New Birth Control Label Counters Lawsuit Claim”, New York Times, 2013-11-26
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/27/us/shift-on-birth-control-pill-may-affect-court-cases.html

9. Abortion Qualms on Morning-After Pill May Be Unfounded, New York Times, 2012-06-05. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/06/health/research/morning-after-pills-dont-block-implantation-science-suggests.html

10. Abortion safer than giving birth: study, Reuters, 23 January 2012-01-23
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/23/us-abortion-idUSTRE80M2BS20120123

"Maternal deaths averted by contraceptive use: an analysis of 172 countries", Lancet, Volume 380, Issue 9837, Pages 111 - 125, 2012-07-14. http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2812%2960478-4/fulltext

11. "Vatican Cancels Stem-Cell Conference After Scientists Refuse to Be Censored", Daily Beast, 2012-05-29. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/03/29/vatican-cancels-stem-cell-conference-after-scientists-refuse-to-be-censored.html 

"Vatican Board Asked to Resign Over Conference", Associated Press. 2012-05-09.
http://article.wn.com/view/2012/05/09/Vatican_board_asked_to_resign_over_conference_wp/

12. "The dismantling of Poland’s traditional family is imminent if it ratifies European violence convention", Life Site News, 2015-01-08. https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/the-dismantling-of-polands-traditional-family-is-imminent-if-it-ratifies-co 

"Poland: Domestic Violence Law Debated", AP, 2015-02-06. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/07/world/europe/poland-domestic-violence-law-debated.html

13. "Beat back the radicals!", WO=MEN in New York, 2013-03-08.
http://womeninnewyork.blogspot.no/2013/03/beat-back-radicals.html

Syria, Russia and the Holy See, do not want the term intimate partner violence in the text

"Some interesting paragraphs in the new draft", WO=MEN in New York, 2013-03-11.
http://womeninnewyork.blogspot.no/2013/03/some-interesting-paragraphs-in-new-draft.html

For example the Holy See, Russia, Singapore(!) and the African Group want to have the reference to intimate partner violence out.

14. "Intimate partner violence: the end of routine screening", Lancet, Volume 382, Issue 9888, Pages 190 - 191, 2013-07-20. http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(13)60584-X/fulltext

15. "The last thing for me, which as a Catholic I found quite shocking, was the position of the Holy See on intimate partner violence, arguing that there is no such thing as violence within marriage, which came up in a side event. Their position is that because marriage is a sacrament, a holy partnership, people who partake of this union do so spiritually." http://www.genderit.org/articles/technology-and-violence-against-women-csw57th-both-ngos-and-states-raised-issue-concern

16. Pope Pius XII, “Allocution to midwives”, 1951-10-29. http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/P511029.HTM

17. Muriel Fraser, "An Abortion in Brazil: The Case that Saved a Life and Divided the Vatican", Conscience Magazine, vol. XXXV, no, 1, 2014, pp. 42-43. http://www.concordatwatch.eu/topic-49873.834

18. Saint Gianna, patron of motherhood-at-all-costs
http://www.concordatwatch.eu/topic-50069.834

19. Pope Paul VI, Gaudium et Spes, 1965-12-07, 48. http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_cons_19651207_gaudium-et-spes_en.html 

 


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