April 23rd 2016

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Articles from this issue:

Euthanasia: Application of the lesson from cultural history (Part 2)

SPECIAL FEATURE Defence White Paper: Being defenceless invites attack

CANBERRA OBSERVED Banking inquiry suddenly top of Labor's agenda

EDITORIAL Turnbull's school funding plan will help Shorten

FAMILY AND SOCIETY SSCA embeds sexualisation of children in schools

FEMINISM AND FAMILY VIOLENCE Time is ripe to counter the bad-mouthing with truth

SEX EDUCATION "Gender identity" puts vulnerable kids in danger: Pediatricians

THE GENDER AGENDA When schools make Christian kids feel like the enemy

BRITISH POLITICS Corbyn: eccentric, yes; harmless, not so much

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE Dear LGBTQs, Christians want for you what you want


MUSIC Jazz: from common tongue to cliquey dialect

CINEMA The bleak dawn of justice: Batman v Superman

BOOK REVIEW Pius XII acts sub rosa

BOOK REVIEW Meet the new userers


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News Weekly, April 23, 2016



Although I am not currently subscribing to News Weekly, I happened to come across an article by Lucy Sullivan, “Euthanasia: a false start to end-of-life dilemmas”, which appeared in your January 30, 2016, edition.

In the article, Lucy Sullivan describes how her friend, a stroke victim, decided to eventually take her own life by refusing all medical attention, food and drink. I was left with the uneasy feeling that while this act did not involve a second party, which defines euthanasia, it certainly did point to suicide; a point I believe should have been made.

Margaret O‘Hagan,

Applecross, WA



Regarding Margaret O’Hagan’s response to my article, “Euthanasia: a false start to end of life dilemmas” (News Weekly, January 30, 2016). My first response is to agree that to deliberately starve oneself to death is indeed to commit suicide.

But then one reflects that someone already severely compromised physically and incapable of many aspects of self-maintenance, is perhaps to some degree comparable to someone with kidney disease refusing dialysis, or refusing a kidney or liver transplant, or a drug treatment for cancer or infection that also has debilitating side effects and limited efficacy.

Are such refusals suicide?

Suicide, the deliberate taking of one’s own life, is historically against God’s law, but we might now argue for its re-definition in the context of prolongation of life in an essentially failed human body and/or brain.

But my article was not about suicide, but euthanasia: the need to resolve this dilemma while eschewing the dangers (the pitfalls and the hubris) of the administration of death, and what the law and current medical ethics permit.

Unlike the methodology of euthanasia, waiting to die of one’s self allows time for a change of vision, a reassessment.

Lucy Sullivan,

Celbridge, Ireland


Cardinal George Pell


As someone who was actually in Ballarat at the same time as Cardinal George Pell, I would like to make the following observations.

The assertion that he “must have known what was going on” in Ballarat, because “there were rumours everywhere” is dubious.

During this period I was running a business in Ballarat and in contact with a large number of businesses, families and most legal and accounting firms in Ballarat and surrounding areas.

I had five children in the Catholic school system, and was heavily involved in St Patrick’s Tennis Club, which had several senior and junior teams in the local competition.

I was also serving as a Justice of the Peace, with a particular involvement with the child protection authority, a member of Rotary, and president of the Ballarat branch of a political party.

Yet at no time was my wife or I or our children or, to the best of our knowledge, our friends, aware of the slightest rumour of child sexual abuse in the Ballarat area.

The second assertion that “because Father Pell lived in the same premises as Gerald Ridsdale he must have been aware of what was happening” is also dubious.

Canberra political commentator Paul Bongiorno, an ex-Catholic priest who lived in the same residence at the same time as then Father Pell and Ridsdale, states that he was totally unaware of Ridsdale’s activities.

Finally the assertion that Cardinal Pell should have taken action to stop Ridsdale is total nonsense.

Cardinal Pell at that time was a 28-year-old junior priest, recently returned from studying at Oxford University, not involved in parish duties, but completely immersed in his very demanding role at Aquinas College, as it was transformed from a Catholic Teachers College into a university.

Cardinal Pell did take action, as soon as he had the power and authority to do so.

Robert Hennessy- Hawks,

Lara, Vic.


Sheridan’s argument


Greg Sheridan’s argument in support of same-sex marriage (The Australian, April 7, 2016) is merely the extension of an earlier argument that same-sex marriage would lower the promiscuity of homosexuals. His proposal could be restricted to those homosexuals who have children, but why make it available to all?

Sheridan is willing to trash hundreds of years of religious tradition – Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc – for the sake of about 3,000 couples. He may choose to be so liberal, but I am not. I was married under the current Marriage Act and wish to continue so.

If Sheridan wishes to have such a radical change introduced, it should only apply to marriages contracted after the new law is passed, anything else is an injustice to millions of currently married Australians.

John Barich,

AFA national vice-president,

Belmont, WA

All you need to know about
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