Tuesday, March 20, 2007

And now the news in brief

Father Dougal alive and well and writing for the Jesuits

Yes, Dougal, it's called Roman because
that's where the boss lives

In the recent Jesuit AMDG Newsletter a certain Fr Paul Andrews SJ has expressed his puzzlement over the use of the word 'Roman' to describe the Catholic church. He observes
As a boy I had a spell in England - Lancashire and London. I had been born into a Catholic family, and I used be puzzled by a word that some of my parents' Protestant friends used: they spoke of "arsees". .....Now I have heard presenters on Irish media, who watch too much English TV, talking about arsees, sometimes with a wan ecumenical courtesy, and a deference to the presumed prejudices of their audience.
Well I always thought that it was called Roman because that's where head office is but clearly not. Presumably, as Fr Jack would say 'That would be an ecumenical matter.'

The 'arsee' bit is, fortunately, a little easier to understand. In the days before he became England's favourite Irishman and was still funny, Graham 'Fr Noel Hurley' Norton used to do a bit about growing up gay in Bandon (no not 'gay abandon'). He recounted how, even in those unenlightened times, the town was fortunate to have its own gay bar, where a young man keen to explore his sexuality could gain experience in the company of older men over claret and nibbles. It was known locally as the 'Altar Rail'.

Reform of maternity services announced

Health Minister Mary Harney today announced radical plans to shake up the delivery of maternity services in the Irish Republic and reduce waiting lists further. Ms Harney's announcement comes in response to news that women attending the maternity unit at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda have to wait until the start of the fifth month of pregnancy before seeing an obstetrician.

Ms Harney's plans involve the streamlining of the service to expectant mums by combining ante and post natal services across the nation. Under the plan, obstetricians will now pop in for a five minute shuftee as soon as possible after birth, 'just to make sure everything's ok' an HSE spokesperson said. Mothers will be re-assured to hear that a plentiful supply of midwives will be on hand to bring the doctor his tea, as and when it is needed.

According to the Minister
'We do not foresee any problems with this change. Isn't pregnancy the most natural thing in the world? Sure, women in Africa have been doing it for donkey's ages without medical intervention. The impact on waiting lists will be significant and enable us to target resources to areas of greater need, such as the building of hospitals for the rich.'
A spokeperson for An Bord Altranais, which represents Irish midwives, today welcomed the change and said it would have little impact on the health of Irish mothers and children;
Sure, aren't most of the pregnancies these days them immigrants looking to get a dig out from the Social Welfare. They have their own ways, more natural loike, and they wouldn't be happy with us interfering. They'd be after dropping babies at breakfast and back working in the fields by dinnertime. Anyway so, they'll all be off home to Africa as soon as the Department of Justice gets its act together.

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