Simply outrageous Father
I have to comment on the report that featured your columnist Brendan Lee ('I'd go to jail before I would break the seal') published in The Border Mail on Friday, August 16.
The nature of the confessional in the Catholic Church has changed greatly over the centuries. I believe the confessional box as a barrier between priest and penitent, was instituted by Cardinal Borromeo in the mid 1500s for a number of reasons, including a propensity of the clergy to take advantage of women who came to them for confession.
In 1910, Pope Pius X lowered to 7 the age at which young people had to attend confession, along with a requirement for everyone to attend more regularly. A number of Catholic academics and writers have noted that this regular, solitary, proximity to children provided more opportunity for some priests to follow their nefarious proclivities.
To claim, in the 21st century some sort of "divine" imprimatur for breaking the law (both legislative and moral) is outrageous. Father Lee should be condemned by everyone for his position on this issue that has so tragically affected countless lives.
Geoff Brown, Wodonga
Gender 'is' an issue
A La Trobe University study found that 'systematic discrimination against females starts in the womb'. Within some Victorian communities predominantly made up of Indian and Chinese cultures boys were born at the rate of 122 and 125 for every girl born. This unnaturally and significantly defies the standard birth rate of 105 boys for 100 girls.
I also note the Director of Marie Stopes statement in his submission to NSW Parliament states that 'further public debate or amendments on this issue has the potential to discriminate against multicultural and diverse communities in Australia.'
If in fact these communities are not seeking sex-selection abortion, how can banning them be discriminatory? Furthermore, since when did the public become so irrelevant as contributors to such important legislation that abortion providers feel empowered to state they shouldn't be allowed to debate?
Debbie Garratt, Wodonga
We are so far behind
During a damning speech on climate change inaction, Sir David Attenborough singled out Australia as a country where science sceptics continue to hold positions of power.
Sir David's address to British MPs included a silver lining of hope that young people today are trying their best to tackle the environmental crisis.
There are many public figures who continue to question climate change in Australia. One such person is radio announcer Alan Jones, along with One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson who believes that climate change is "fake".
Then we have Prime Minister Scott Morrison who brought a lump of coal into Parliament during question time. He was critical of the climate school strike and was an open opponent to the initiative.