In the days before ‘the ban’ was lifted (12 January 2000), I was part of a team who taught on a military nurses’ course in London. ‘The ban’ referred to such times when lesbian and gay people could serve Queen and Country, even die for Queen and Country, yet not love or have sex openly and equally to their heterosexual Comrades-At-Arms.
On the 19th anniversary of the lifting of “the ban” … via Out In Force
“So I would tell them about the Church’s theological thinking on family planning, natural and artificial contraception, the role of the conscience, but then they would get the practicalities of methods of NFP from the nurse in the parish. I would add, “Vatican II raises the importance of a fully informed conscience. What you two, then, decide is between you and God, and nothing to do with the priest!”
“Pope Francis is robbing the Catholic Church of some amazing pastors, by compounding internalised homophobia – self-hatred – in those who are gay and ordained, whilst simultaneously justifying on-going institutional prejudice and discrimination.”
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“Despite such a serious topic, there was some great laughter throughout, which always helps to break the ice, dispel myths, challenge and overcome taboos!”
“It was a horrible feeling knowing I would not be able to celebrate Midnight Mass as an ordained priest, but I was determined to go to Mass somewhere…”
It was a horrible feeling knowing I would not be able to celebrate Midnight Mass as an ordained priest, but I was determined to go to Mass somewhere … Christmas eve 1989
Similar to Damian’s story, Cosmo was a patient on the same ward, in and out with every new opportunistic infection or tumour his HIV could lay its grubby hands on. In the end he developed severe Kaposi’s sarcoma, with the classic bodily marks, from the tip of his nose, then dotted all over his body, just like the actor Tom Hanks on Philadeplphia (1993). Caring for Cosmo provided us all with ample opportunities for practicing the 6 Cs of nursing care, before they were ever spelled out to us, or systematised, as a model.
There are four stories I’d love to share with you about Cosmo (obviously not his real name). I always say it was him who helped me jump from a ‘D’ grade staff nurse’s post, to an ‘H’ grade (a modern day band 5 to 8) in only 7 months after returning to nursing from a…
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