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midwives are enemies of the church??

Okay, first off, I know this is NOT the current belief! But I was doing some research and came across some information where the Catholic church pronounced Midwives the churches biggest enemy because they ease the pain of labor, which was gods punishment for women...

My question is at what point did this idea change? And are there still Christian orgs. that feel this way?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 1:09 PM on Dec. 9, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Answers (18)
  • Wow! I had never heard this before. I dare say surely in this world if you look around very long at all you will find some extremely radical someone for everything!!!
    As a mother I am confused how a midwife ever made child birth LESS painful. They weren't allowed to administer drugs, were they? They were only allowed to use homeopathic things, I thought.
    I choose to do natural child birth in a hospital. I proud mother of one 8 lb. 14 oz. healthy baby boy about 15 years ago.... I would not trade it for anything. Was it painful... sure it was! Was it rewarding... absolutely! I would not change anything about my experience.

    Answer by LoveWiseCouncel at 1:14 PM on Dec. 9, 2009

  • MILLIONS of midwives were burned at the stake during the middle ages for practicing witchcraft! The church issued a statement around 1340 that denounced midwives as enemies because they helped to ease the pain of childbirth, provided birth control and preformed abortions. Following that decree Both France and England passed laws that forbade any unschooled woman from preforming ANY medical treatments, including midwifery... And since most women were banned from Schooling they could not legally do these things. However, I want to say it did NOT stop them! Women continued to administer medical care to others, cared for the ill and dieing and birthed babies, at the risk of their own lives, I might add!

    I do not know when and if this was ever actually repealed. But as far as I know there are no mainstream Christian paths that believe this way.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 1:21 PM on Dec. 9, 2009

  • From:

    One theory, popularized by Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English in their 1973 pamphlet Witches, Midwives, and Nurses, proposed that midwives were especially likely to be targeted in the witch-hunts. This assertion has been decisively refuted by subsequent research, which has established the opposite: that "being a licensed midwife actually decreased a woman's chances of being charged" and "midwives were more likely to be found helping witch-hunters" than being victimized by them. (Gibbons, Recent Developments; Diane Purkiss, The Witch in History.)


    Answer by Anonymous at 1:30 PM on Dec. 9, 2009

  • The witch panics were a cultural reaction to unsettled times, an attempt to explain what was then the unexplainable. Conspiracy theories are nothing new.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:32 PM on Dec. 9, 2009

  • this is not true..........


    Answer by Anonymous at 2:13 PM on Dec. 9, 2009

  • That is just nuts. This is why Religion has been such a bad thing---it was anti-women and anti-everything. A bunch of men making rules and pretending they are quoting God....making people afraid of being human.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:26 PM on Dec. 9, 2009

  • Which is untrue, the original post or one of the responses?

    I went to the link and it seems to be a fairly unbiased source, it certainly doesn't white wash the role of Catholicism and Protestantism while taking into consideration other factors that contributed as well.


    Answer by erdavh at 2:29 PM on Dec. 9, 2009

  • rolling on floor


    Answer by beeky at 2:40 PM on Dec. 9, 2009

  • I been Catholic all my life and I can honestly say I have no idea what you are talking about. I've never heard of this so I can't tell you when it changed. What difference does it make the Church does not say anything about mid-wives are labor.


    Answer by RyansMom001 at 3:08 PM on Dec. 9, 2009

  • beeky, which part do you find amusing? the original question, my link, other?

    Answer by erdavh at 3:12 PM on Dec. 9, 2009

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