Our thanks to Stuart for this piece on the BBC website. An extract:
The verbal, physical, and sexual violence that women endure in some marriages contradicts the very nature of the conjugal union. I think of the reprehensible genital mutilation of women practiced in some cultures, but also of their lack of equal access to dignified work and roles of decision-making.
As a lapsed Catholic (since I was in my mid-teens, over 40 years ago), I do get annoyed at the church’s claim of 1.3 billion adherents, thereby claiming enormous legitimacy, and the media’s lazy repetition of the claim. The number refers to an estimate of those baptised as Catholics and still alive, and takes no account of lapsed Catholics, who in secular societies such as the UK are surely in a majority of those baptised as Catholics. So the church implies it’s speaking for lapsed Catholics too, presumably on the grounds they didn’t raise any compelling theological objections to being baptised before the ceremony – in my case, when I was about two weeks old.