Vatican Roulette (1960)

bapopik at AOL.COM bapopik at AOL.COM
Mon Apr 11 07:10:07 UTC 2005

I was looking for some slang here.
b. Special Combs.: Vatican City (or State), the temporal state established by the Lateran Treaty of 1929, comprising the area immediately surrounding the Vatican Palace in Rome and headed by the Pope; Vatican roulette colloq., the rhythm method of birth control, as permitted by the Roman Catholic Church.

   1929 Times 8 Feb. 14/1 The new Papal State, which is to be known as the ‘Vatican State’ or as the ‘Vatican City’, will be confined to a small extent of territory in the neighbourhood of the Vatican. 1974 Encycl. Brit. Macropædia XIX. 36/1 The Vatican City is in all ways independent from Italy.

1962 Western Folklore Jan. 34 Vatican roulettethe rhythm system of birth control. 1965 D. LODGE British Museum is falling Down 172 That's another thing against the safe method there are so many things that can affect ovulation... No wonder they called it Vatican Roulette. 1977 H. G. BURGER in B. Bernardi Concept & Dynamics of Culture 458 When Roman Catholicism permitted only the ‘rhythm method’ of birth control, sometimes satirized for its ineffectiveness as ‘Vatican roulette’, the Toronto archbishop authorized birth control pills.
TV: Religious Discussion; Jewish, Protestant, Catholic Spokesmen in 205 Minutes of Talk on 'Open End'
By JOHN P. SHANLEY. New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Mar 15, 1960. p. 79 (1 page) :
The only awkward moments were created by Mr. Blanchard. During a discussion of birth control and rhythm he contributed a remark about "Vatican roulette" that was as uncharitable as it was unoriginal.
(Paul Blanchard, author - ed.)

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