Home > Life Week, Major Events, Seminars, USyd > Life Week 2010: Round-up

Life Week 2010: Round-up

Life Week 2010 at the University of Sydney has been a roaring success! Each seminar attracted from 60 to over 100 participants of many backgrounds and philosophies. All of the speakers were informative, engaging and entertaining. Many thanks to XT3 for providing audio recordings of the Life Week seminars: to listen to the talks click the titles or visit XT3.

Smiles all around


Life Week began with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered on campus by the recently ordained chaplain of the neighbouring University of Notre Dame, Sydney; Fr Vincent Magat OP (standing in for USyd Chaplain Fr Dominic Murphy OP). From there we went to the Manning Lawn for our weekly free barbecue, attracting all kinds of happy, hungry students. Follow the link to see more photos on Flickr.

Same-Sex Marriage

Rector of the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, Rev Dr Tony Percy speaks on the nature of human sexuality, its proper fulfilment and the difficulties experienced by people attracted to others of the same sex. Beginning with the fundamental difference between man and woman, the respect for complementarity and a proper understanding of the nature of marriage, Fr Percy reflects on the insights of such unlikely minds as Pope John Paul II, Thomas Merton and Sigmund Freud.

Abortion and the Law

General Practitioner, Pregnancy Counsellor and Bioethicist Dr Cathy Lennon gave a detailed outline of the present state of abortion laws in Australia, particularly the intention to protect patients and practitioners. Bringing light to recent controversies within Australia, Dr Lennon outlined the flaws in the present legal provisions and the ways in which they have been abused by incompetent or malicious doctors. Unfortunately this seminar could not be recorded, in part due to the violent reaction of some pro-abortion activists who were present. Dr Lennon’s seminar attracted by far the largest and most diverse audience, which only emphasises the importance of life issues in the university culture.

The Death of Cloning

General Practitioner and Bioethicist Dr David van Gend gives an enlightening summary of the many uses proposed for human cloning, as well as the abuses that have taken place worldwide. Starting with a detailed but understandable outline of the underlying scientific principles, Dr van Gend moves through the various ethical and legal debates surrounding the issue and outlines the alternative stem cell methods which address the failures of embryonic stem cell science. Learn more at Dr van Gend’s blog.

Life to the Full (Part 1, 2)

Women’s officer at the University of Sydney Catholic Chaplaincy and (Nashville) Dominican, Sr Mary Madeline OP asks us after a week of learning about the various attacks on human life: are you surviving or thriving? Why indeed do we value life at all, what is so special about human life that we should treasure it?

With the close of Life Week the regular seminar schedule recommences next Wednesday with Sr Mary Sarah OP asking “Is God male or female?” The free barbecue also returns to its usual time of Tuesday at 13:00 (just after Mass) on the Manning Lawn.

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