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Contraception? Termination? At least the Church got it spot on about breasts

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Pope Francis.

Pope Francis.

Pope Francis.

Some women feel that the Catholic Church treats them like second class citizens or that some Scripture is sexist.

Contraception and terminations are banned, practices many believe hold the key to women's economic and sexual freedom. They believe they're discriminated against because only men can be ordained.

Former president Mary McAleese has previously said: "The old boys' club are going to have to go."

Yet this week saw one of the most positive moments for women within the Catholic Church, with Pope Francis encouraging infant's mothers to breastfeed their babies at a baptism ceremony in the Sistine Chapel.

"You mothers give your children milk and even now... breastfeed them, don't worry," Pope Francis declared.

God knows, the Catholic Church can be accused of having a puritanical relationship or obsession with women's bodies.

But when the Pope proclaimed breastfeeding as completely natural rather than something sinful, it was a boon to women everywhere.

This changes the narrative on breastfeeding. Yes there's the 'breast is best' message everywhere but it sometimes feels that there's an 'only if it's done in the privacy of your home where nobody has to be forced to watch you' subtext with it.

It also feels like a continuing type of control over women's bodies to tell them what to do with them.

Who'd have thought a celibate, 77-year-old man, would become a breastfeeding champion? A rational, important endorsement of breastfeeding from a conservative organisation, who've often stood accused of misogyny, is really rather welcome.

Hopefully this holy approval will spur on the Catholic hierarchy to examine how else they can help and care for women.


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