Celibacy in the Catholic Church: A meditation on failure!

May 30, 2013 at 5:09 am (Catholic Church)

The Church has traditionally always been fair and square right in the bedroom, and what a mess they have made of it!

For years Catholics have been indoctrinated with the idea that sex is evil except in a limited way in the marriage bed. The path to hell is paved with sex, and all sexual activity outside marriage was clear and simple grievous, or a mortal sin. Impure thoughts would land you in hell as much as visiting a brothel.

Life was full of the occasions of sin; states that one was obliged to avoid under pain of mortal sin. Even in marriage anything that was deemed ‘unnatural’ was sinful!

Good God, no wonder there are so many crazy Catholics in the world with a clergy dedicated to celibacy. With the operate word being celibacy.

It has to be recognised that many clerics have never in their priestly lives had an affair with a woman, but others, we learn, have practised lives of secret debauchery, preying on young boys and girls. These ‘charmers’ usually kept clear of grown women, and would have had no idea of how to approach a woman and express their desire and love.

These ‘priestly charmers’ have in the past, when known of, recieved special treatment by a church hierarchy, and been posted here and there to save the reputation of the institution – a plan that never really worked as they usually went on offending.

So much for these gentlemen of the cloth, but what about the poor Catholic laity who had been educated with Jansenistic ideas about the evils of sex.

They went out into the world with twisted ideas which were largely responsible for ruining the sex lives of countless men and women.

The worst thing in life is not getting the love of a woman, but missing out. In old age one realizes this!

Officially, the Church still retains mad and unreasonable ideas about artifical birth control.

A friend of mine once said to me that if the allies during the War had dropped planeloads of condoms on Japanese cities, the Church would have shown more concern over this than the dropping of atom bombs!

In present-day Australia, the clerical abuse problems are highlighted in the following links:




As a Catholic, I can only say to the Pope and hierarchy, do something, and bring the Church into the 21st Century!

Permalink 1 Comment

Women: stronger and fairer/ Men: weaker and uglier

May 28, 2013 at 12:57 am (Commentary)


And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:

Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.

The above text blows your mind away. Ruth’s declaration is so inspiring!

‘During the war years, Hopkins acted as Roosevelt’s unofficial emissary to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Roosevelt dispatched Hopkins to assess Britain’s determination and situation. Churchill escorted Hopkins all over the United Kingdom, and converted him to the British cause. Before he returned, at a small dinner party in the North British Hotel, Glasgow, Hopkins rose to propose a toast. “I suppose you wish to know what I am going to say to President Roosevelt on my return. Well I am going to quote to you one verse from the Book of Books. … “Whither thou goest, I will go and where thou lodgest I will lodge, thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.” ‘

Source:  Wikipedia

I often try to analyse the beauty and strength of the young Gentile widow, Ruth’s words, but without too much success, except when I hear them they bring tears to my eyes! Maybe it’s the power of the strong female voice.

As I grow older I increasingly recognise it’s not so much a question of women’s equality; the fact is they are far and away ahead of men philosophically, socially and morally!

Of course, they look so much better than men. That’s probably why I’m more than ready to fall in love with many of them. Oh, that they would fall in love with me, but alas no! How could they? When I see myself there is little wonder: a broken down mere shadow of my former self, old, without the redeeming and interesting features of a roué!

Such is life, but thank God for women like Ruth, and also for those women not quite like her!

Permalink Leave a Comment

Successful Asians in PNG – A subject of hot debate!

May 25, 2013 at 11:26 pm (Commentary, Corruption in PNG, Deborah Ruiz Wall, expatriates, Papua New Guinea)

Post-Courier, 22 May, 2013

Post-Courier, 22 May, 2013




Deborah Ruiz Wall made the following comment:

‘GLOBALIZATION has arrived. ‘Free market’ reigns. A free-fall for local cultural livelihoods is the result. What self-determination is possible for poor countries to have control over their economies?

‘Today, governments are less able to protect their people. A quick solution undertaken by many to address their economic management burden seems to be to privatise essential public utilities to enable them to balance their budgets.  In the face of transnational corporations that have the facility to transfer their assets from one country to another, nation-states have become dinosaurs. Global control by powerful corporations reign. What’s happening in PNG is a microcosm of this growing phenomenon.
‘In Australia, for example, corruption over the behaviour of a former NSW government Minister in relation to mining approvals has been investigated by ICAC. Not a rare untypical situation these days. Cases of conflict of interests in public-private partnerships are on the increase — as disclosed by investigative journalists. The powerlessness of ordinary citizens is crystal clear.
‘In regard to the perception of Asians taking over, I remember a fact finding mission went to Manila in 1995 to investigate the controversy over the sex tourism industry.
‘Some bars and hotels supposedly “owned” by local entrepreneurs were in fact owned by Westerners. The “owners”, as it turned out, were used as a “front” by Australian or New Zealand businessmen who married Filipino women to enable them to run their businesses under their wives’ names. Foreigners were not permitted to own local business ventures unless they took up Filipino citizenship.
So my point is: money corrupts. Corruption does not discriminate between race and culture.’
This is an issue that could really get out of hand. It’s obvious that there are many in PNG who have concerns in this area.
I can only hope the debate does not degenerate into a mindless race issue.
Let’s say you got rid of all the Asians with small businesses in the country, would the locals be able to fill the vacuum with their own small businesses?

Permalink 2 Comments

Floods along the Sepik River

May 23, 2013 at 7:24 am (Angoram, Chu Leong, East Sepik District, East Sepik Province, Fr Mihalic, Norm Liddle, Papua New Guinea, Peter Johnson, PNG Health, Sara David, Sepik floods, Vivien Liddle)


Recently I accessed Sara David’s blog: midwiferybeyondborders.wordpress.com

Sara is an Australian midwife, and she is doing wonderful work helping and training Sepik River women in all aspects of birthing and child care.

One of her main trainees is Vivien Liddle of Kambaramba Village. In the old days when I lived in Angoram I knew Vivien’s father, Norm.

Vivien managed to get in touch with Sara in Australia and tell her about a terrible flood they were having now in the Sepik River area. This reminded me of the 1973 floods as reported in the above article in the Post-Courier.

I can imagine the difficulties this would be creating for the people, particularly the young mothers.

A look at Sara David’s blog is strongly recommended.

Permalink 2 Comments

An addition to the family

May 23, 2013 at 3:24 am (Commentary, David Wall, Deborah Ruiz Wall, East Sepik District, expatriates, Papua New Guinea, Sepik River)

Deborah Ruiz Wall  4

The glorious days and nights of early marriage – Andrei conceived while on patrol in the wilds of the Sepik.

Unfortunately as a family we didn’t return to PNG, much to the disappointment of my dear wife!

My experience of PNG is that it giveth and taketh away – perhaps more giveth than taketh!

Permalink Leave a Comment

The Wisdom of Tei Abal

May 22, 2013 at 5:39 am (Andrew Peacock, Angoram, Australian Politics, Bill Morrison, Commentary, Deborah Ruiz Wall, Gough Whitlam, Indepentence for PNG, Papua New Guinea, Sir Tei Abel, Wally Lussick)

Wisdom of T. A.

This piece in the Post-Courier, December 1, 1973 is based on an interview with Tei Abal, Leader of the Opposition.

The interview was in Melanesian Pidgin.

Tei Abal was a man with very little formal education, but a man who knew his own people well.

Looking back, I imagine the names of Andrew Peacock, Bill Morrison, and last, but certainly not least, Gough Whitlam, these people readily come to mind, as Australian politicans who were more than ready to push PNG to independence. This is without mentioning locals like Michael Somare and John Guise.

Wally Lussick in 1973 was Tei Abal’s private secretary and advisor, and in my book knew far more about PNG and its people than any of the above named Australian politicians.

Deborah Ruiz Wall, a newly arrived Filipino in PNG was Mr Abal’s press secretary and research officer. She was not by anyone at the time considered a conservative, having been active in the student protest movement in Manila and very anti Marcos. But she fully agreed with her boss that PNG was not ready for independence, and should not be pushed into it.

The people of PNG were not asked. Had they been asked in a referendum, I’m sure that the vote would have gone strongly against early independence.

The shame of the whole thing is: the wisdom of Tei Abal was not heeded in the corridors of power!

With the wisdom of hindsight, and given the mess PNG is now in the question could be raised again: was the country ready for independence?

I’d like to conduct a survey in the Town of Angoram and put this to the people there.

It’s probably little comfort to you now Tei, wherever you are in the afterlife, but you were right, and Whitlam was wrong!

See: https://deberigny.wordpress.com/2008/03/14/the-national-editorial-130308/

Permalink 4 Comments

Lunch at Dreikikir, East Sepik District, Papua New Guinea

May 16, 2013 at 4:29 am (Commentary, David Wall, Dr Jan J Saave, Dreikikir, East Sepik District, expatriates, Fr John O'Toole, Jock McIntyre, Kami Raymundus, malaria control, Maprik, Papua New Guinea, PNG Health, Robert Desowitz, Salata Village, Wally Trueman or Truman)

A luncheon party in my spacious bush material house, with remarkable guests, some fifty years ago at Dreikikir Patrol Post.

The fare was not remarkable, but more than adequate given the time and place.

Baked beef served cold with potatoes in dressing and lettuce, washed down with a good supply of Victoria Bitter. There was an ample supply of bread and butter. The main course was followed with tropical fruits and coffee.

A good part of this food was flown in by Catholic Mission planes once a week, on a landing strip that was rather famous in having a church at one end, and a hospital at the other – given the shape and nature of the strip, physical and spiritual succour were more than needed!

In attendance serving the guests were two memorable house boys: Kami and Kitahi.

See: http://asopa.typepad.com/asopa_people/2013/05/kami-raymundus-of-torembi-mankimasta-and-friend.html#more

The guest of honour was Professor Robert S. Desowitz, then with the University of Singapore as Chair of Medical Parasitology. He was an authority in his field and subsequently he became world famous.

See: http://www.ajtmh.org/content/78/6/849.short

Professor Desowitz

Professor Desowitz was a congenial and appreciative guest, and he was accompanied by Dr Jan J. Saave.

Desowitz and Saave came up from a village called Salata, some distance away towards Maprik where they were involved in research into immunity factors in malaria.

See: https://deberigny.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/dr-jan-j-saave-medico-extraordinaire-malariologist-maestro-mentor-linguist-and-officer-of-the-british-empire/#respond

Another guest was Father John O’Toole, who lived in the Catholic Mission Station at the end of the airstrip. O’Toole was a Bostonian and a man of impressive qualities.

See: https://deberigny.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/some-svd-members-i-knew-in-png/

Another guest, Jock McIntyre was the patrol officer in-charge at Dreikikir Patrol Post. Jock loved a social gathering and a drink.

See: http://asopa.typepad.com/asopa_people/2012/09/jock-mcintyre-kiap-adventurer-formidable-companion.html#comments

With the others was Wally Truman or Trueman. Wally was the primary school teacher stationed at Dreikikir. He was a very obliging man, and an excellent teacher. At the lunch, Wally did a lot assisting with the catering. He was to see out his term teaching in PNG, and the last I heard of him was that he married and settled in Queensland, where, as far as I know, he continued teaching. His whereabouts now are unknown to me.

During the lunch a lively conversation was carried on. The Professor and Fr O’Toole got on very well being fellow Americans.

Dr Saave referred to the camping site in Salata Village as the Salata Hilton, and Professor Desowitz sat with an amused look smoking his pipe.

As the afternoon progressed, Dr Saave excused himself to check on the patients in the hospital and to lend assistance if it were needed.

Things about Dreikikir were fairly quiet on this day as it was a Sunday.

Looking back it was a privilege for me to have been the host to such a distinguished group, and a sobering thought for me that it is I who is probably the only one still alive, that is if Wally is no longer here on earth.

See: http://asopa.typepad.com/asopa_people/2013/03/my-story-from-greenhorn-planter-to-a-true-man-of-png-david-wall-on-a-colonial-life-and-beyond.html#comments

Permalink 1 Comment

Mankimasta extraordinaire, friend, gentleman – Kami Raymundus of Torembi Village

May 10, 2013 at 1:25 am (Angoram, Commentary, East Sepik District, Kami Raymundus, Maprik, Wewak)

Dave & Kami, Dreikikir, 1963

Dave & Kami, Dreikikir, 1963

kami,Torembi Village

kami,Torembi Village

Kami with his children in Torembi, late 1970s

Kami with his children in Torembi, late 1970s

“… I have never known finer gentlemen than some well-born Malays whom I am proud to call my friends.”

Thus spoke Warburton, one of Somerset Maugham’s characters in his story: The Outstation.

Replace ‘well-born Malays’ with Sepiks and the above reflects exactly my thoughts.

In a story of mine: The phone rings!, tells of the reappearance of my late brother, James, in a dream. He talks to me of the afterlife and he mentions: “Oh, I almost forgot to tell that your houseboy, Kami, from Papua New Guinea wondered how you were. He was telling me he had received a lot of credit for the thousands of cups of tea he had made for you. Anyhow, he’s doing well now. But he is a bit worried about his family in Torembi, a village in the Sepik.”

For some time my wife, Deborah, has been saying to me that most of the stories I write about PNG always seem to predominantly feature expats. In many of my narratives, I perhaps, come through unapologetically as a colonial. I hope I’m a little more than just that. I was once referred to as a terrible lefty, so maybe there’s a little more to me than just a colonial!

Then again, I can hear my readers saying, that’s what you are. There you are writing about your mankimasta, if that’s not colonial, I don’t know what is!

Fr Mihalic in his Dictionary defines mankimasta A European’s personal boy, a valet. Whatever the impression I’ve given of myself in the past I hope the respect and regard I have for Kami somehow redeems the reputation I may have in the minds of some.

I suspect Kami would have been born in Torembi Village during the war, and baptised after the close of hostilities and the reestablishment of the Catholic Mission in the area. His baptismal name, Raymundus, the Latin version of Raymond, indicates he was probably christened by a missionary from Europe.

He had very little formal education, maybe one or two years in primary school. In spite of this he had some rudimentary skills in reading and writing. He had a very logical mind and he was excellent in fixing things around the house.

I clearly remember first employing him in 1962 in his village. At the time, I was stationed at Maprik, and I was on a routine Malaria Service patrol and let it be known that I wanted  to find a mankimasta. Shortly after Kami presented himself. At first I thought he looked rather disheveled and I favoured another applicant, but fortunately the other fellow decided he didn’t want the job, and I was left with Kami.

So Kami for a pittance came to work for me, and stayed over ten years with me giving excellent service, and I hope in time becoming my friend.

From what I can remember it was a seven days a week job for Kami, cooking and cleaning for me. One of his specialties was what I called donkers, which were really fried scones.

He was with me in Maprik, Dreikikir, Wewak and Angoram, and I’m sure he knew more about me than I knew myself.

He had the most admirable of dispositions and I can never remember him once losing his cool. After some years he decided he wanted to get married and he had a young woman in mind from Torembi, Anna – Meri bilong ples kisim save long skul. What this meant was that Anna came from Torembi and she had a few years of primary school. Anna and Kami were duly married according to village custom, and all seemed fine for some time. They had healthy children. Unfortunately in time Anna developed some mental problems and poor Kami had some trying times with her.

I remember one incident in 1973 in Angoram. This was shortly after I myself was married to my wife, Deborah. Anna appeared in our house with a bush knife chasing Kami. I was away at this time. Over the whole event, Kami was more concerned with the safety of Deborah, and he secured her away in a closed bedroom, and then he gently dealt with Anna and disarmed her. After this he talked with Deborah and asked her to explain to me what had happened and to tell me that he would have to take Anna back to Torembi. Deborah was most impressed with his wisdom and approach. She said to me at the time that Kami might be uneducated but he was certainly very intelligent!

Later in 1973 Deborah got a position in Moresby as Press Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Assembly. I was also posted to Moresby.

The last time I saw Kami was in 1978 in Torembi when I made a return visit to the Sepik. Anna was still in the terminology of the place longlong!

In the 1980s, I had a letter from a priest in Torembi in answer to one from me enquiring about Kami, telling me that Kami was suffering from severe asthma and breathing problems. Shortly after this he died.

One of the few pleasures Kami had in life was his love of smoking. I suspect that Kami died from lung cancer.

If by any chance some of Kami’s children or relations should read this, I would love to hear from them.

In life we all meet various people of various qualities – some great and some poor and others nothing much at all. To me, Kami was a man of great qualities, and to him, I have an unending debt of gratitude.

Kami, farewell and thank you!


See: http://asopa.typepad.com/asopa_people/2013/05/kami-raymundus-of-torembi-mankimasta-and-friend.html#more

Permalink Leave a Comment

Oh, cry for PNG, a cherished land & people; some random thoughts!

May 4, 2013 at 6:50 am (Angoram, Commentary, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea, PNG Health, Wewak)

“War on Corruption or Crime”


“The rest of the country has joined the bandwagon of the government and the opposition to declare war on crime in Papua New Guinea – in response to the recent surge in violent crimes across the country. Sadly, we have waited too long only to react after so many innocent and precious lives have been taken away prematurely by those who have no regard for human life nor understand their own existence in our human society. Nothing we say or do now will ever replace nor return those lives. Only time will tell if our (as usual) reactive measures by legislating and imposing tougher penalties will deter future offenders or not – the most server being the death penalty.”

“To conclude, to address the root cause of crime in the country, corruption must be equally treated as a worst crime against the State and her people. It has been and is still responsible for most of the social problems in the country which eventually leads to worst crimes. Therefore, whatever penalties applied to murders, rapists, drug edicts, and alcoholics, state criminals or white collar criminals whoever they are must also be treated in the same manner.” See:


In this piece Lucas Kiap writes with a lot of sense. Corruption in PNG is a real problem, and it leads directly to bad government at all levels. For anyone who visits PNG the truth of this is obvious: dirty towns with appalling government services, disparity between the elites and the ordinary people, escalating crime, and in the rural areas an almost total government neglect of villager needs. This, I think, was pointed out in almost the same words by Allan Patience, an internationally recognised scholar, some years ago, and if anything things are worse today!

According to the United Nations Human Development Index, PNG is one of the most poorly governed states in the Third World.
You only have to go to some villages in the Sepik River area to realise how little government attention they get. Hospitals that were major providers of health services, like the Angoram Hospital, in colonial times, are now little better than aid posts. I don’t think a proper census has been conducted in rural areas for years, and perhaps not even in the towns. Most informed people in the country suspect that the population is actually a million more than is officially stated.

For some of my further reflections see:


Permalink Leave a Comment

Press Freedom Day

May 4, 2013 at 2:08 am (Commentary, Human Rights, Press Freedom)

I’ve just had a call from Ralf Stüttgen in Wewak, and he reminded me of the importance of Press Freedom Day.

Search Results

  1. News for Press Freedom Day

    The Nation
    1. World Press Freedom Day: Authors Say Protests Help

      ABC News ‎- 1 hour ago
      World Press Freedom Day: Authors Say Protests Help.

Permalink Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: