Historic women’s strike in Poland on Monday

Women in Poland is going on a nationwide strike on Monday to protest the proposed draconian ban on abortions. Poland, a Catholic country has a very restrictive law on abortion even now.

Poland already has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe, with terminations legally permitted only when the life of the foetus is under threat, when there is a grave threat to the health of the mother, and in the instance that the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.

Were the proposed ban to be enacted, all terminations would be criminalised, with women punishable with up to five years in prison. Doctors found to have assisted with a termination would also be liable for prosecution and a prison term.

Critics say that would mean that even a woman who suffers a miscarriage could be under criminal suspicion, and that doctors might be put off conducting even routine procedures on pregnant women for fear of being accused of facilitating a termination.

Although a ban has received public support from elements of the Catholic church and Poland’s ruling rightwing Law and Justice party (PiS), neither initiated the proposals. They were drafted by hardline conservative advocacy group Ordo Iuris and submitted by the Stop Abortion coalition as a “citizens’ initiative” – a petition considered by parliament once it has received more than 100,000 signatures.

Credit - Getty

Credit – Getty

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Sham miracles an affront to scientific temper

Hey, why do you bother when a church establishment which you do not believe in, makes one of its dead members Saint with pomp and publicity ? Since it does not involve you,  why make a fuss out of it ?

This is a question many atheists faced in connection with the canonization of Mother Teresa.

There are several reasons why it bothers me and other atheists. The Vatican is not just issuing a sainthood certificate. To make a guy or gal Saint, the Pope should be convinced  that they have done two miracles on this earth after their death.  It is thus openly questioning science and scientific methods by proclaiming the alleged miracles to be true. Thus the Catholic Church is wilfully indulging in spreading superstitions. It is misleading people and make them turn away from science and scientific methods.

Miracles, according the Church, are supposed to be happenings that do not have any credible scientific explanations. Let us for a moment concede that the alleged miracles has really no scientific explanation at present. Does that mean the Saints did it from heaven? Or does it mean Science has yet to find a good reason for it ? Science has found credible explanations for many things that were considered miracles thousand years ago. So will the Church take away the Sainthood when the “miracle” get a scientific explanation ?

Image credit - Oxford oratory website

Image credit – Oxford oratory website

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Indian Church refuses to heed the last wish of a believer

Mary John Akhouri, a Christian Catholic lady died the other day in Mumbai, India. She was 94. Her last wish was to be buried in the premises of a church in which she was baptised at  her native place in Kerala next to her father’s grave.

But when her body was brought for burial the church authorities refused permission. Their objection was she had married a Hindu man.  They said that those who do not follow the Christian way of life will not get buried in the church.

Normally this issue might not have got much publicity,,but for the fact that the lady was the grandmother of a celebrity, the Bollywood film star Priyanka Chopra.

The actress Priyanka Chopra with her granny Mary John Akhouri

The actress Priyanka Chopra with her granny Mary John Akhouri

Church trustee Abraham PV told NDTV, “We could not bury her because after her marriage she lived like a non Christian – like a Hindu. After that she never came back to join us again. If she had given us a petition while she was alive, we would have done everything we could.”

The family was shocked. They insisted she was always a Christian.

 They insist that she was a regular church-goer and had even gone for confession and partaken of the Holy Eucharist just a couple of years ago in the very same church which refused to bury her next to her father, as per her last wish.

No amount of pleading could change the heart of the clergy. The family was about to go back to Mumbai with the body. Hearing their sorry plight, a Bishop arranged for burial at another church some distance away. Thus the funeral happened, not as per the wish of the deceased , but still in a church premise.

But then came a shocker. The kind hearted Bishop was suspended from his duties, allegedly for facilitating the burial.

Then the final twist. Fearing a backlash of bad publicity the church head reinstated the Bishop the very next day.

And still some people will say religions are humane !