Amid transgender pressure, Australian medical conference to defend Christian vision

Denver Newsroom, May 28, 2020 / 05:12 pm (CNA).- The stakes are surprisingly high for the Australian Catholic Medical Association as it holds an online conference this Saturday on Christian approaches to sex, gender and the human person.

Several Australian states have considered proposals to mandate the medical affirmation of transgender identity and sexual orientation that, the Catholic association says, could in effect outlaw the Christian vision of human health and psychology in medical care, in the name of banning “conversion therapy.”

“The Christian tradition to healthcare brings with it a very long and rigorous intellectual tradition to understanding to the human condition,” Dr. Eamonn Mathieson, chair of the Australian Catholic Medical Association organizing committee, told CNA May 28. This tradition is “a perspective that is founded in love and radically rejects the use of any person as a means to an end or as a means to serve the goals of any peculiar ideological agenda.”

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The Sign of a Snow Squall in May

It snowed this month. Not the heaviest snow I have ever seen, but still snow, with wind that bent the trees. A sort of snow squall. And here in a suburb of New York City, on the ninth of May — May, the “pretty little month,” when the dogwoods bloom with their blood- stained white flowers. May, the month of Mary.

Watching this theater of nature unfold, I went out into it and smiled a smile of happiness, for amid the weeks — nay, rather months of shutdown and of social distancing that so many find necessary and yet against every Catholic instinct that delights in embracing and kissing and holding and clasping and eating and drinking, that instinct that takes ultimately seriously the fact that God became flesh and dwelt among us…that in this singular and yet natural event that is called a pandemic, a sign is given, that the reality of what we are going through is indeed cold and “out of season,” and we are asked to do things we would not choose to do that are against our Catholic — not early twenty-first-century social instincts, but Catholic instincts that are grounded in the remarkable and totally not expected event of God becoming flesh, our flesh, and dying on a Cross to redeem us so we might not die forever, but have everlasting life.

Reveling in a snow squall is hardly what was in the mind of Gerard Manley Hopkins, poet and priest, when he wrote his poem: “May is Mary’s month.” His poem links Mary’s motherhood with the burgeoning flowering of spring. And rightly so. Then Hopkins says this:

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PMS Covid-19 Fund Aids Poor Clares of Casablanca

The Covid-19 Emergency Fund established by the Pontifical Mission Societies guarantees the necessary support for the maintenance of the Poor Clares community of the monastery of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Casablanca (archdiocese of Rabat), whose existence has been placed in serious difficulty due to the lockdown caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. This is what Father Simeon Stachera ofm, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies of Morocco, reports to Agenzia Fides.

The community of five Poor Clares of Casablanca, of Mexican origin, has long supported itself thanks to the production of hosts for the Eucharistic celebrations and food products (jams, savory pies, tortillas) placed on the market in the restaurant network. The quarantine due to the pandemic led to the suspension of these small initiatives aimed at guaranteeing the monastery’s economic self-sufficiency: the Eucharistic liturgies coram populo are suspended (so there is no consumption of hosts) and restaurants are also closed. A salaried factotum employee also works at the monastery, and ordinary community living expenses, such as those related to electricity consumption, must be sustained.

The amount requested from the Emergency-Covid Fund of the Pontifical Mission Societies is three times the monthly income guaranteed by the monastery’s small economic activities before the pandemic crisis and will contribute to the livelihood of the Poor Clare community in these difficult times.

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