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Showing posts from June, 2019

Gays and the Catholic Church

Gays and the Catholic ChurchGerry OShea
Thomas Aquinas, the famous Dominican priest and theologian, promoted natural law as a sound basis for ethical teaching. This approach followed the great Greek thinkers and in particular Aristotle who used human reason alone to deduce binding rules of moral behavior.
Major problems have arisen as a result of the limitations of this natural law thinking when dealing with sexual morality. It was central to Pope Paul V1's controversial 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae which banned the use of condoms or the contraceptive pill even for married Catholics, basically because, following Aquinas' model, the moral order dictates that one may not stymie or interfere with the natural procreative purpose of sex.
This papal edict was disregarded by almost 90% of Catholic couples as impractical. It has the distinction of being the first Vatican encyclical honored, in Shakespeare's words far "more in the breach than in the observance."
In the late …

The European and Local Election in Ireland in May 2019

The European and Local Elections in IrelandGerry OShea
The recent European and Local elections held in Ireland on May 24th provided some interesting and significant results in both parts of the island.
The Sinn Fein vote in the North held well in the nationalist community there, but in the South the party dropped about a third of its support, shedding close to half its representatives in local councils and failing to hold two of its three seats in Europe.
This collapse was not anticipated by the pundits and led to widespread speculation about why so many voters abandoned the party.
It was Mary Lou McDonald's first election as leader of Sinn Fein after decades of Gerry Adams at the top. He registered very well with Republican voters because of his close association with the revolution in the North. Adams claims controversially that he was never a member of the IRA but he certainly had the whiff of cordite which drew credibility from a significant number of nationalists in every consti…

Moral and Pragmatic Considerations about Healthcare in America

Moral and Pragmatic Considerations about Healthcare in AmericaGerry OShea
The provision of health care in any society has a strong moral component. Who gets treated in hospitals and clinics and who pays the bill lead inevitably to ethical considerations.
The famous Hippocratic Oath, clearly including a moral dimension, instructs doctors not only to protect their patients from disease but also from "harm and injustice."It also warns physicians not to prey on patients' vulnerability for their own gain.
The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 asserts a universal right to adequate health care for citizens of every member country. In recent times the American Medical Association, which previously resisted government interference in their domain, has come out for the right of all citizens to comprehensive health care.
In addition polls show that between 65% and 75% of Americans, including 51% of Republicans, favor a system of health care for everyone as a right. Wh…