Tuesday, December 29, 2009

ERDs - where to find the 5th edition

UPDATE: The 5th edition of the ERDs can be found at <www.usccb.org/meetings/2009Fall/docs/ERDs_5th_ed_091118_FINAL.pdf>.






The following letter was sent, BEFORE I was able to locate the new edition on the internet....

I have noticed that two documents approved at the November 09 meeting of the U.S. Bishops were quickly and readily available on the internet:

In light of the widely reported updates to the USCCB's Ethical & Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Service, it is confusing as to why an earlier version of the ERDs continues to be posted - especially in light of its needed revisions & potential misuse by some.


Back in 1995, Section 120 of the Vatican's Charter for Health Care Workers stated that "The administration of food and liquids, even artificially, is part of the normal treatment always due to the patient when this is not burdensome for him: their undue suspension could be real and properly so-called euthanasia." The 2001 Introduction to Part 5 of the USCCB's Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (4th ed.) stated that,

  • "Some state Catholic conferences, individual bishops, & the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities (formerly an NCCB committee) have addressed the moral issues concerning medically assisted hydration & nutrition....
  • "These statements agree that hydration & nutrition are not morally obligatory either when they bring no comfort to a person who is imminently dying or when they cannot be assimilated by a person's body. The USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities' report, in addition, points out the necessary distinctions between questions already resolved by the magisterium & those requiring further reflection, as, for example, the morality of withdrawing medically assisted hydration & nutrition from a person who is in the condition that is recognized by physicians as the 'persistent vegetative state' (PVS)."

In retrospect, it appears that the wording of this section was subject to misinterpretation. Just shortly before he died, Pope John Paul II certainly made clear that "the administration of water and food, even when provided by artificial means, always represents a natural means of preserving life, not a medical act. Its use, furthermore, should be considered, in principle, ordinary and proportionate, and as such morally obligatory, insofar as and until it is seen to have attained its proper finality, which in the present case consists in providing nourishment to the patient and alleviation of his suffering" As per the Vatican's 2007 Responses to Certain Questions of the USCCB Concerning Artificial Nutrition and Hydration,

  • "The administration of food and water even by artificial means is, in principle, an ordinary and proportionate means of preserving life. It is therefore obligatory to the extent to which, and for as long as, it is shown to accomplish its proper finality, which is the hydration and nourishment of the patient. In this way suffering and death by starvation and dehydration are prevented....
  • "A patient in a 'permanent vegetative state' is a person with fundamental human dignity and must, therefore, receive ordinary and proportionate care which includes, in principle, the administration of water and food even by artificial means."


Especially in light of such forthright clarification, the 2/13/09 statement from the Consortium of Jesuit Bioethics Programs strikes me as scandalous:

  • "In July 2007, seven directors of bioethics programs at Jesuit universities came together to form the Consortium of Jesuit Bioethics Programs, dedicated to informing and influencing medical-ethical debates within the Catholic Church and the larger society. As one of our first outreach tasks, our consortium decided to address the subject of ANH....
    "the pope’s [2004] statement included some assertions that surprised many involved in health care....Some theologians believe these statements represent a departure from long-standing Roman Catholic bioethical traditions.
  • "The current U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (fourth edition, 2001)....would appear not to align with John Paul’s 2004 allocution....
  • "Subsequent statements by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and the Vatican have seemed to uphold a stringent reading of the pope’s statement....We wish to warn against making hasty generalizations from recent Catholic teaching....
  • "We believe that the current edition of the Ethical and Religious Directives properly acknowledges the importance both of long-standing principles and of individual discernment-and we hope that as the U.S. bishops consider revising specific directives, they will preserve that balance."


As reported last month by the Catholic News Service,
"In presenting the revised text Nov. 16, Bishop Lori said the directives, last revised in 2001, 'were written long before' Pope John Paul II's March 2004 address to an international conference on 'Life-Sustaining Treatments and the Vegetative State' and the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's August 2007 reply to questions raised by the USCCB on artificial nutrition and hydration....Bishop Lori said the changes were needed 'particularly since the recent clarifications by the Holy See have rendered untenable certain positions that have been defended by some Catholic theologian and ethicists'"

I imagine that there must be some sort of reason why the 5th edition of the ERDs has yet to be posted. In the interim, it seems critical to remove the 4th edition from the internet.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"The Church’s Magisterium Expresses Grave Misgivings about Notions of the Environment Inspired by Ecocentrism & Biocentrism"

As reported by in the December 20th issue of Our Sunday Visitor, "to mitigate the ecological damage caused by human-induced climate change, a central element should be the promotion of policies intended to curb the growth of the world’s human population....that’s the case that the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) made in its State of World Population 2009 annual report....But Catholic experts who monitor the population issue say the claim that population growth needs to be curbed to save the world from global warming is based on multiple unsound premises” (Tom McFeely, "U.N. Report Links Climate Change to Population," OSV, 12/20/09).

In the December 17th issue of the Catholic Standard and Times, Cindy Wooden rightly notes that the Holy Father indeed views: “The degradation of the environment…[to be] a pressing moral problem that threatens peace & human life itself.” Yet, Ms. Wooden's coverage of Pope Benedict XVI’s 12/8/09 Message for the World Day of Peace does not adequately contrast "authentic Christian ecology" with the anti-people bile being pumped out of the United Nations.

In his World Day of Peace message, the Holy Father reminds us that “seeing creation as God’s gift to humanity helps us understand our vocation & worth as human beings." Diametrically opposed to the U.N.'s thinly veiled bigotry, the Holy Father is promoting "an authentic ‘human ecology,’" recognizing

  • "the inviolability of human life at every stage and in every condition, the dignity of the person and the unique mission of the family…. a correct understanding of the relationship between man and the environment will not end by absolutizing nature or by considering it more important than the human person. If the Church’s magisterium expresses grave misgivings about notions of the environment inspired by ecocentrism and biocentrism, it is because such notions eliminate the difference of identity and worth between the human person and other living things. In the name of a supposedly egalitarian vision of the ‘dignity’ of all living creatures, such notions end up abolishing the distinctiveness and superior role of human beings. They also open the way to a new pantheism tinged with neo-paganism, which would see the source of man’s salvation in nature alone, understood in purely naturalistic terms” <www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/messages/peace/documents/hf_ben-xvi_mes_20091208_xliii-world-day-peace_en.html>

Sunday, December 20, 2009

"Pro Choice" Pols (Our Sunday Visitor, 1/3/10)


In "Bishop Revives Debate Over pro-Choice Politicians" (Our Sunday Visitor, 12/20/09), Russell Shaw opens by recalling how John F. Kennedy assured Protestant clergy in 1960, that he would be immune from the influence of the Catholic Church were he elected. Mr. Shaw briefly touches upon Mario Cuomo's 1984 speech at Notre Dame, while fast forwarding to our current day and JFK nephew Patrick Kennedy's defiance of Church teaching on the sanctity of human life.

As it's often cited as the intellectual linchpin of the "Catholic" politician's "I'm Personally Opposed, But" approach, it's unfortunate that more attention is not given to Cuomo's speech. Throughout, Cuomo ignored the Natural Law and intimated that issues of human life and marriage/family were mere Catholic peccadillos. He also showed utter ignorance of fetology by referring to preborn children as "potentially human." He mixes concern for the absolute sanctity of human life with strategies for promoting the common good on which Catholics may rightfully differ.

Kudos to Mr. Shaw for hitting the nail squarely on the head in his final two sentences, regarding the reception of Holy Communion by so-called pro-choice Catholic politicians: "what's at stake is preserving the integrity of the Church by making clear who is and who isn't within its fold. Bishops who say - as some do - that it's wrong to embroil the Eucharist in a political dispute about abortion are confusing the issue, not shedding light on it."


"A Baby Changes Everything"

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Speech that Enshrined "I'm Personally Opposed, But": Mario Cuomo's "Religious Belief & Public Morality"

In 1984, New York Governor Mario Cuomo delivered "Religious Belief and Publlic Morality: A Catholic Governor's Perspective" at Notre Dame. The following excerpts constitute the crux of his arguments:


  • "the Catholic who holds political office in a pluralistic democracy, a Catholic who is elected to serve Jews and Muslims and atheists and Protestants, as well as Catholics, bears special responsibility. He or she undertakes to help create conditions under which all can live with a maximum of dignity and with a reasonable degree of freedom; where everyone who chooses may hold beliefs different from specifically Catholic ones, sometimes even contradictory to them; where the laws protect people's right to divorce, their right to use birth control devices, and even to choose abortion...
  • "Catholic public officials take an oath to preserve the Constitution that guarantees this freedom. And they do so gladly, not because they love what others do with their freedom, but because they realize that in guaranteeing freedom for all, they guarantee our right to be Catholics: our right to pray, our right to use the sacraments, to refuse birth control devices, to reject abortion, not to divorce and remarry if we believe it to be wrong....
  • "We know that the price of seeking to force our belief on others is that they might someday force their belief on us [Why on earth would any intelligent adult consider this a masterpiece of intellectual oratory? Cuomo completely ignores the Natural Law & intimates that issues of human life & marriage/family are just peculiar Catholic peccadillos.]....
  • "surely I can, if I am so inclined, demand some kind of law against abortion, not because my bishops say it is wrong, but because I think that the whole community, regardless of its religious beliefs, should agree on the importance of protecting life -- including life in the womb, which is at the very least potentially human & should not be extinguished casually [Take note of his "potentially human" heresy against science.]....
  • "I believe I have a salvific mission as a Catholic. Does that mean I am in conscience required to do everything I can as governor to translate all of my religious values into the laws and regulations of the State of New York or of the United States? Or be branded a hypocrite if I don’t? As a Catholic, I respect the teaching authority of my bishops. But must I agree with everything in the bishops' pastoral letter on peace and fight to include it in party platforms? And will I have to do the same for the forthcoming pastoral on economics even if I am an unrepentant supply-sider? Must I, having heard the pope once again renew the Church's ban on birth control devices as clearly as it's been done in modern times -- must I as governor veto the funding of contraceptive programs for non-Catholics or dissenting Catholics in my state? I accept the Church's teaching on abortion. Must I insist that you do by denying you Medicaid funding? By a constitutional amendment? And if by a constitutional amendment, which one? Would that be the best way to avoid abortions or to prevent them? [Ahh, the old "mixing of apples and oranges" that went on to become ever more painfully familiar! In Cuomo's defense, he voiced this dribble, before the release of the "Catechism of the Catholic Church", "Veritatis Splendor," and "Evangelium Vitae." Yet, he has never - as far as I know - retracted his words.]....
    "Our public morality, then -- the moral standards we maintain for everyone, not just the ones we insist on in our private lives -- depends on a consensus view of right and wrong. The values derived from religious belief will not -- and should not -- be accepted as part of the public morality unless they are shared by the pluralistic community at large, by consensus. So that the fact that values happen to be religious values does not deny them acceptability as part of this consensus. But it does not require their acceptability, either [Again, we see the game plan laid out for so-called "pro-choice" Catholics. Pretend that questions about human life & marriage/family are just peculiar Catholic peccadillos. Ignore the existence of the Natural Law.]....
  • "On divorce and birth control, without changing its moral teaching, the Church abides the civil law as it now stands, thereby accepting -- without making much of a point of it -- that in our pluralistic society we are not required to insist that all our religious values be the law of the land. The bishops are not demanding a constitutional amendment for birth control or on adultery [Tragically, I believe that Cuomo was misled by errors of prudential judgment by some of the hierarchy. We have certainly come to learn that some of what was & is still passed off as contraceptive is actually abortifacient....
    ]....
  • "while in the past some Catholic theologians may appear to have disagreed on the morality of some abortions -- It wasn’t, I think, until 1869 that excommunication was attached to all abortions without distinction -- and while some theologians may still disagree, I accept the bishops' position that abortion is to be avoided [Remember when Joe Biden & Nancy Pelosi later tried to play this same card?]....
  • "few, if any, Catholic bishops spoke for abolition in the years before the Civil War. And it wasn’t, I believe, that the bishops endorsed the idea of some humans owning and exploiting other humans. Not at all. Pope Gregory XVI, in 1840, had condemned the slave trade. Instead it was a practical political judgment that the bishops made. And they weren’t hypocrites; they were realists. Remember, at the time, the Catholics were a small minority, mostly immigrants, despised by much of the population, often vilified and the object even of sporadic violence. In the face of a public controversy that aroused tremendous passions and threatened to break the country apart, the bishops made a pragmatic decision. They believed their opinion would not change people's minds. Moreover, they knew that there were Southern Catholics, even some priests, who owned slaves. They concluded that under the circumstances arguing for a constitutional amendment against slavery would do more harm than good, so they were silent -- as they have been, generally, in recent years, on the question of birth control, and as the Church has been on even more controversial issues in the past, even ones that dealt with life and death [Personally, I find it an embarassment that antebellum bishops did not come out against slavery. Instead of taking a lesson from this, Cuomo tries to use it to defend his own cowardice!]....
  • "Nor would a denial of Medicaid funding for abortion achieve our objectives. Given Roe against Wade, it would be nothing more than an attempt to do indirectly what the law says cannot be done directly; and worse than that, it would do it in a way that would burden only the already disadvantaged. Removing funding from the Medicaid program would not prevent the rich and middle classes from having abortions. It would not even assure that the disadvantaged wouldn't have them; it would only impose financial burdens on poor women who want abortions [This slight of hand makes it difficult for me to believe that Cuomo is even "personally opposed" to abortion.]....
  • "Are we asking government to make criminal what we believe to be sinful because we ourselves can't stop committing the sin? The failure here is not Caesar's. The failure is our failure, the failure of the entire people of God.
  • "Nobody has expressed this better than a bishop in my own state, Bishop Joseph Sullivan, a man who works with the poor in New York City, a man who is resolutely opposed to abortion, and argues, with his fellow bishops, for a change of law. 'The major problem the Church has is internal,' the bishop said last month in reference to abortion. 'How do we teach? As much as I think we're responsible for advocating public policy issues, our primary responsibility is to teach our own people. We have not done that. We are asking politicians to do what we have not done effectively ourselves' [While I cannot recall ever meeting Bishop Sullivan, I grew up playing ball in his mother's driveway. Twenty years later, Bishop Sullivan pushed for naming a new center at a Catholic hospital after another so-called pro-choice "Catholic" politician. I cannot envision Bishop Sullivan's sainted mother agreeing with his stances. The fact that he never went beyond being an auxiliary bishop suggests that the Vatican did not agree, either.]....
  • "It is this duty of the Church to teach through its practice of love that Pope John Paul II has proclaimed so magnificently to all peoples [Pope John Paul II could not have been pleased with Cuomo's misrepresentation. In 1988's "Christifideles Laici," the late Holy Father said: "The inviolability of the person which is a reflection of the absolute inviolability of God finds its primary and fundamental expression in the inviolability of human life. Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights -- for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture -- is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination"]....
  • "it would be tragic if we let this dialogue over abortion become a prolonged, divisive argument that destroys or impairs our ability to practice any part of the morality given to us in the Sermon on the Mount, to touch, to heal, to affirm the human life that surrounds us" [Those certainly do not sound like the words of someone who even has a "personal" opposition to abortion.]

excerpts from an interview with Rev. James V. Schall, S.J. on his "The Mind that is Catholic."

"I always like the way Aquinas recalls Aristotle's comment that 'a small error in the beginning leads to a large error in the end'....

"It was Aristotle who warned us that the reason we do not accept the truth even when it is presented to us is because we do not really want to know it. Knowing it would force us to change our ways. If we do not want to change our ways, we will invent a 'theory' whereby we can live without the truth....

"No one could think that the curriculum and spirit of Catholic schools today are based in the tradition of specifically Catholic intelligence. That requires discipline, study, and virtue. In the modern world, we find no group more deprived of the glories of their own mind than young Catholics. This is why those small enclaves that do address themselves to it are in many ways remarkable. Catholic institutions of higher learning, as they are called, simply gave up what was unique about themselves & the reasons for having Catholic universities in the first place. This lost source was the active vigor of the Catholic mind read not as an historical phenomenon or as a social activism, but as a search for and testimony of the truth, that towards which all mind is directed....

"I think the present pope, as well as the previous one, were marvels of the Catholic mind, a mind that comes to grips with all things, yet with the light of grace and revelation....I was constantly astonished at the enormous range of the mind of the present Holy Father. There is simply no mind in any university or public office that can match his. He is a humble man, in fact. It is embarrassing to the world, and often to Catholic 'intellectuals,' to find that its most intelligent mind is on the Chair of Peter. I have always considered this papal intellectual profundity to be God's little joke to the modern mind....

"Great damage can and has come to the little ones through the aberrations of the philosophers. We do well to take note of it. But Catholicism, as I have tried to spell out, needs and wants and delights in its thinkers....

"the only way we could do...worship properly is if God would teach us. This is what the Mass, with its reality of the sacrifice of the Cross present, is about -- the way to worship God. Only God, in the end, could tell us this, give us an example of how to perform the worship of the Father. So yes, the mind that is Catholic leads naturally to worship and to the awe of the Triune Godhead into which we are invited to enter if we accept the divine invitation and live our lives in a way that we do not reject it. The mind that is Catholic seeks the source of what is and to delight in it. This is its glory" <www.zenit.org/article-26986?l=english>

"Hold the Physician in Honor" (Sirach 38: 1)

"Hold the physician in honor, for he is essential to you, & God it was who established his profession....God makes the earth yield healing herbs which the prudent man should not neglect....He endows men with the knowledge to glory in his mighty works, through which the doctor eases pain and the druggist prepares his medicines; thus God's creative work continues without cease in its efficacy on the surface of the earth" (Sirach 38: 1, 4, 6-8). How heartbreaking it is that any physician or pharmacist should instead be involved with the destruction of human life!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Let there be no doubt, Trenton Planned Parenthood openly acknowledges being a provider of "abortion services" and so-called "emergency contraception."


Even the Food and Drug Administration acknolwedges that "emergency contraception" can be an abortifacient!


Princeton University tells how minors can circumvent the law!

Truth be told, it's Planned Parenthood funding that needs to be snipped!
Please, please, please join us in prayer!

Monday, November 23, 2009

"The Unreported News: Safety in Abstinence" (B.C. Courier Times, 12/28/09)



The unedited submission....


On November 17th , the Courier Times published part of an AP story:
  • "Sexually spread diseases continue to rise, with reported chlamydia cases setting yet another record in 2008, government health officials said Monday. Last year there were 1.2 million new cases of chlamydia, a sometimes symptomless infection that can lead to infertility in women. It was the most ever reported, up from the old record of 1.1 million cases in 2007. Better screening is the most likely reason, said Dr. John M. Douglas Jr. of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."
Does this constitute the gist of what the Courier Times gleaned from the CDC's November 16th update? It appears to suggest that STDs may only SEEM to be spreading – that society may have just improved at identifying/recording. As the Supremes once sang, "Gray skies are gonna clear up, put on a happy face."

Unfortunately, the CDC did NOT bring good news on November 16th:
  • "Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. CDC estimates that there are approximately 19 million new STD infections each year — almost half of them among young people 15 to 24 years of age. The cost of STDs to the U.S. health care system is estimated to be as much as $15.9 billion annually….

  • "Untreated STDs can lead to serious long-term health consequences, especially for adolescent girls and young women"[i]
The CDC reports at least 19 million NEW STD infections each year - almost half among those in the 15 - 24 years of age range. While financial costs are astronomical, the consequences to individuals - particularly to young females - can be dire.

In the face of devastating data, we are not called to bury our heads and "Wipe off that full of doubt look." Things have indeed become steadily worse. There were 348,613 TOTAL STD infections reported in 1958.[ii] A half century later, 19 million NEW STD infections are reported each year. There are 54.5 times more NEW STD infections per year, than there were OVERALL STD infections in 1958! This is MAJOR news – especially for those in the 15 to 24 years age range and the people who care about and love them!

The CDC’s November 16th report goes on to acknowledge that:
  • "The most reliable ways to avoid infection with an STD are to abstain from sex...or to be in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner"[iii]
It is noteworthy that the CDC acknowledges the BEST ways to avoid STDs are abstinence or “a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship.” Isn’t that part of the same basic message our great-grandparents conveyed to our grandparents? There was profound wisdom, in much of what was tossed aside during the Sexual Revolution.

Rather than deny what’s happening and glibly “put on a happy face,” we can boldly look at reality and give future generations time-tested truth about marriage and sexuality, which will lead to genuine happiness. On November 17th, two documents were released by the U.S. Catholic Bishops on these topics. As per “Marriage: Life and Love in the Divine Plan,” the bishops remind us that
  • “marriage is…a natural blessing and gift for everyone in all times and cultures. It is a source of blessing to the couple, to their families, and to society and includes the wondrous gift of co-creating human life….The importance of marriage for children and for the upbringing of the next generation highlights the importance of marriage for all society.”[iv]
As per “Life-Giving Love in an Age of Technology,” the bishops confirm that

  • “willingness to beget and raise children together, is essential to married love ….Procreation and the unity of the couple are…intrinsic blessings or aspects of marriage….they should not be separated….Our ability to cooperate with God in generating a new human being is not just a bodily function. It is a personal gift from God—exclusively shared by husband and wife, who thereby share responsibility for bringing this new child into the world in a uniquely personal way….some means used to have a child revere and respect this great gift while others do not.”[v]

[i] CDC, Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the United States, 2008 <www.cdc.gov/std/stats08/2008survFactSheet.PDF>
[ii] CDC, Cases of sexually transmitted diseases reported by state health departments and rates per 100,000 civilian population: United States, 1941-1993 <http://wonder.cdc.gov/wonder/STD/OSTD3202/Table_1.html>.
[iii] CDC, Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the United States, 2008 <www.cdc.gov/std/stats08/2008survFactSheet.PDF>
[iv] United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Marriage: Life and Love in the Divine Plan <www.usccb.org/laity/LoveandLife/MarriageFINAL.pdf>.
[v] United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Life-Giving Love in an Age of Technology <www.usccb.org/lifegivinglovedocument.pdf >

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Billings Method & NaPro Technology

The Billings Ovulation Method


The Billings Ovulation Method in the news....


What Dr. Henry Burger of Australia doesn't seem to have known!


NaPro Technology
NaPro Technology in the news....

Saturday, October 24, 2009

"Life Will Triumph"





"Diagnosis Critical" - a MUST read for clergy & laity

An expert on health care law, Professor Leonard J. Nelson, III, provides an eye opening, disturbing account in "Diagnosis Critical: The Urgent Threats Confronting Catholic Healthcare." This work is divided into six parts (i.e., "Moral Foundations," "Catholic Identity," "The Struggle to Maintain Catholic Identity as Reflected in Two Health Care Systems," "Catholic Health Care and the Right of Conscientious Objection," "End-of-Life Care," "Social Justice and Health Care Reform") & a Conclusion. Professor Nelson's 229 pages of eye-opening text are readable and enthralling (He also provides 113 pages of end notes.). In his introduction, he warns that "Catholics may have to focus their future efforts on the creation of alternatives to acute care hospitals such as free clinics, specialized centers for reproductive medicine, and hospices for end-of-life care that could reinvigorate health care ministry" (p. 19).


MORAL FOUNDATIONS: Within chapters on "The Catholic Natural Law Tradition," "Challenges to the Catholic Natural Law Tradition," "The Reassertion of Absolute Norms" and "Secular Bioethics versus Catholic Bioethics," Professor Nelson undertakes an ambitious history and survey of contemporary Natural Law adherents, dissenters, and acknowledged opponents. At times, he may inadvertently lend a veneer of legitimacy to dissenters, by using the term "revisionist." A more direct challenge to those who engage in sophistry to mislead Catholics into thinking that some teachings of the Magisterium are not binding (cf., # 2034 & #832 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church) would have also been appreciated. He does certainly acknowledge that "In terms of its practical effect, the widespread prevalence of dissent among both religious and lay Catholics may make it more difficult for Catholic health care institutions to persuade policymakers that they should be exempt from laws of general application requiring the provision of sterilizations and abortions. And, of course, the situation of Catholic health care institutions has become even more problematic since it has become commonplace for high-profile Catholic politicians to be openly and avowedly `pro-choice'" (p. 32).

The chapter on "Ethical and Religious Directives" provides a fascinating history of the U.S. Bishops' ERDs and an often disturbing look at how they have been received: "compliance with the ERDs has been uneven when it comes to contraception and sterilization. Typically, obstetrician-gynecologists practicing in Catholic hospitals and physician office buildings owned by Catholic hospitals provide prescriptions for contraceptives to their patients" (p. 53). Kudos go to Professor Nelson, when he straightforwardly challenges the disregarding of Catholic medical ethics:
  • Professor Nelson reminds us that "the bishop is responsible for monitoring compliance with the ERDs in his diocese" (p.55).
  • "By 2003, at least two Catholic hospital systems were performing early induction of labor...where the baby had a condition that would significantly shorten its life....it seems clear that these policies are not morally licit under Directives 48 and 49 of the 2001 ERDs" (p. 77).
I believe that Professor Nelson's treatment of several other topics should have been similarly straightforward:
  • So called "Emergency Contraception" is discussed in Chapter 5 & 12. It has elsewhere been reported that "Catholic hospitals in several dioceses in North America are currently administering the pill (Plan B) to patients who claim to be victims of rape....The only Vatican opinion on the subject, absolutely prohibiting the use of the pill, was released by the Pontifical Academy for Life in 2000. Since then, however, the Catholic Health Association, advisor to many bishops conferences, has suggested that there is no moral impediment to using the pill in cases of rape....LifeSiteNews.com asked Bishop Sgreccia if there was an exception in cases of rape. The [then] President of the Pontifical Academy for Life replied, `No. It is not able to prevent the rape. But it is able to eliminate the embryo. It is thus the second negative intervention on the woman (the first being the rape itself)'" (LifeSiteNews.com, 2/29/08). Section 23 of the Vatican's 12/08 Dignitas Personae offers no guidelines for the supposed "moral" use of Plan B (aka, the "morning-after pill", so-called emergency "contraception"). It reminds us that so-called contraceptives are "interceptive if they interfere with the embryo before implantation and contragestative if they cause the elimination of the embryo once implanted...the use of means of interception and contragestation fall within the sin of abortion and are gravely immoral." This appears to require change at Catholic hospitals, regarding the treatment of individuals who identify themselves as victims of sexual assault.
  • Father Tad Pacholczyk, Ph.D.'s of the National Catholic Bioethics Center has discussed the treatment of ectopic pregnancies ("When Pregnancy Goes Awry," 10/09). Citing the principle of "double effect," Catholic health care has allowed the removal of a fallopian tube to save a mother's life, in the case of an ectopic pregnancy. This unintentionally and indirectly results in the death of the preborn child. Yet, Father Tad further explains that "A significant number of Catholic moralists hold that the use of methotrexate is not morally permissible because it constitutes a direct attack on the growing child in the tube and involves a form of direct abortion. Another morally problematic technique [i.e., salpingostomy] involves cutting along the length of the fallopian tube where the child is embedded and 'scooping out' the living body of the child, who dies shortly thereafter." It is troubling to find that a 1998 article by Father Kevin O'Rourke remains on the web site of the Catholic Health Association of the USA, in which Father O'Rourke appears to suggest that salpingostomies and methothrexate ARE acceptable treatments.


CATHOLIC IDENTITY: The title of Chapter 6 speaks for itself: "Transformation of the Catholic Hospital from Religious Ministry to Business Enterprise." I believe that a good number of Catholics would be absolutely shocked to know that "Occasionally, in order to reduce opposition to a merger or affiliation, Catholic hospitals have entered into arrangements to allow continuation of services such as surgical sterilizations in separate facilities to be provided by unrelated organizations" (p. 88). Chapter 7 takes a look at "Catholic Hospitals and Canon Law."


THE STRUGGLE TO MAINTAIN CATHOLIC IDENTITY AS REFLECTED IN TWO HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS: While some Catholic health "systems have entered into arrangements to provide services such as direct sterilizations and abortion referrals....The existence of such arrangements increases the risk of scandal and could embolden those who favor a mandate requiring all hospitals...to provide a full range of [so-called] reproductive services" (p. 102).


CATHOLIC HEALTH CARE AND THE RIGHT OF CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTION: As per Professor Nelson, "If legal protection for individual conscience erodes, then this also endangers legal protection for institutions that refuse to perform sterilizations and abortions....any argument in favor of exemption from laws requiring a hospital to provide these services may be substantially undermined by the fact that the Catholic hospital is already, in some fashion, involved in either providing those services - as in the case of sterilizations - or involved in partnerships with entities providing such services" (pp. 132, 137).


END-OF-LIFE CARE: I found myself wishing that Professor Nelson's treatment of this topics was also more straightforward; however he finishes strongly:
  • In its introduction to End-of-Life directives, the 2001 ERDs state that "The USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities' report...points out the necessary distinctions between questions already resolved by the magisterium and those requiring further reflection, as, for example, the morality of withdrawing medically assisted hydration and nutrition from a person who is in the condition that is recognized by physicians as the `persistent vegetative state' (PVS)." Since 2001, the Vatican has addressed this very matter on at least two occasions....
  • As per a 3/2/04 address by Pope John Paul II, "I should like particularly to underline how the administration of water & food, even when provided by artificial means, always represents a natural means of preserving life, not a medical act. Its use, furthermore, should be considered, in principle, ordinary & proportionate, and as such morally obligatory, insofar as and until it is seen to have attained its proper finality, which in the present case consists in providing nourishment to the patient and alleviation of his suffering."
  • As per the Vatican's 2007 Responses to Certain Questions Concerning Artificial Nutrition and Hydration, "The administration of food and water even by artificial means is, in principle, an ordinary and proportionate means of preserving life. It is therefore obligatory to the extent to which, and for as long as, it is shown to accomplish its proper finality, which is the hydration and nourishment of the patient. In this way suffering and death by starvation and dehydration are prevented.... A patient in a `permanent vegetative state' is a person with fundamental human dignity and must, therefore, receive ordinary and proportionate care which includes, in principle, the administration of water and food even by artificial means."
In response to those who would suggest otherwise, Professor Nelson is to be credited for stating that: "it would seem that the same provisions for continuation of ANH should apply to persons who are actually conscious, although with diminished abilities, as would apply to those who appear to be permanently unconscious with no higher brain activity" (p. 195).


SOCIAL JUSTICE AND HEALTH CARE REFORM: Unfortunately, Professor Nelson appears to allow the term "Social Justice" in a common but inadequate manner. In this regard, the Holy Father provided a remedial lesson to U.S. Ambassador Miguel Diaz: "The Church insists on the unbreakable link between an ethics of life and every other aspect of social ethics, for she is convinced that, in the prophetic words of the late Pope John Paul II, 'a society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts values such as the dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand, radically acts to the contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in which human life is devalued and violated, especially where it is weak or marginalized' (Evangelium Vitae, 93; cf. Caritas in Veritate, 15)." Recognition of the sanctity of human life is at the very core of authentic Catholic Social Teaching."

I was disappointed that Professor Nelson did not elaborate, with regard to the Catholic Medical Association's recommendation of "`experiments with diocesan self insurance' to avoid paying for contraceptive coverage and to strengthen support for natural family planning" (p. 219).


CONCLUSION: Professor Nelson echoes his words from the Introduction, which now seem more prophetic: "Catholics may have to focus their future efforts on the creation of alternatives to acute care hospitals such as free clinics, specialized centers for reproductive medicine, and hospices for end-of-life care that could reinvigorate health care ministry" (p. 19).

Excerpts from the Holy Father's 10/2/09 Address to the U.S. Ambassador

"Genuine progress, as the Church's social teaching insists, must be integral and humane; it cannot prescind from the truth about human beings and must always be directed to their authentic good....The Church insists on the unbreakable link between an ethics of life and every other aspect of social ethics, for she is convinced that, in the prophetic words of the late Pope John Paul II, 'a society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts values such as the dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand, radically acts to the contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in which human life is devalued and violated, especially where it is weak or marginalized' (Evangelium Vitae, 93; cf. Caritas in Veritate, 15)."

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bonanza's "The Quality of Mercy" (1963)

In this 1963 episode of "Bonanza," Ben Cartwright has stirring words for Little Joe (starting at 6:05 of Part 3 & continuing into the start of Part 4)....










________________________________________________________













Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Centers for Disease Control's (CDC's) "Fertility, Family Planning, and Reproductive Health of U.S. Women: Data From the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth" (2005) is saturated with values that are alien to authentic Catholic teaching, including its MISlabeling of "calendar rhythm" and "natural family planning" as types of "contraceptives."
In spite of its glaring opposition to Truth, a friend recently pointed out that certain aspects of "Fertility, Family Planning, and Reproductive Health of U.S. Women: Data From the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth" can be (disturbingly) instructive. For example, Table 53 tells us that, among women of child-bearing age who have EVER had sexual intercourse, only 3.5% report having EVER used Natural Family Planning.
Table 56 tells us that less than 1/2 of 1 percent currently report using Natural Family Planning!
The CDC goes on to tell us that "Among the 38.1 million women currently using contraception in 2002, the leading methods were the pill, female sterilization, and the male condom. This was true regardless of religious affiliation" (p. 20). As the CDC [mis]labels Natural Family Planning as a type of "contraceptive," one should certainly expect there to be a sharp distinction in such "leading methods" among Catholics! How can this be?

The "Newly Minted 50 Year Olds" of the Class of 2009 are the first to have started first grade, after the close of the Second Vatican Council. Most of us received our First Holy Communion, just a year prior to Humanae Vitae. Few of us can recall EVER having heard a homily, which discussed the evil of contraception. We want our children and grandchildren to be led in the Fullness of the Truth. We have discovered or are in the process of discovering that the words of 1930's Casti Connubii were never abrogated:

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Father Tad's "When Pregnancy Goes Awry"

In an “ectopic” pregnancy, the new embryo implants somewhere other than the mom’s uterus – often in a fallopian tube. The incidence of ectopic pregnancy is on the rise; the MayoClinic acknowledges several risk factors:
· Previous Ectopic Pregnancy
· Inflammation or Infection, which can be associated with a history of gonorrhea or Chlamydia
· Use of medications to stimulate the ovaries
· Use of birth control pills or an IUD.

Citing the principle of “double effect,” Catholic health care has allowed the removal of a fallopian tube to save a mother’s life, in the case of an ectopic pregnancy. This unintentionally and indirectly results in the death of the preborn child.

Kudos to the Bulletin, for publishing Father Tad Pacholczyk, Ph.D.’s “When Pregnancy Goes Awry” As per Father Tad, "Of the three commonly performed procedures for addressing ectopic pregnancies, two raise significant moral concerns while the third is morally acceptable.
· "The first procedure involves a drug called methotrexate, which targets the most rapidly growing cells of the embryo....A significant number of Catholic moralists hold that the use of methotrexate is not morally permissible because it constitutes a direct attack on the growing child in the tube and involves a form of direct abortion.
· "Another morally problematic technique [i.e., salpingostomy] involves cutting along the length of the fallopian tube where the child is embedded and 'scooping out' the living body of the child, who dies shortly thereafter....This approach, like the use of methotrexate...directly causes the death of the child....
· "a morally acceptable approach would involve removal of the whole section of the tube on the side of the woman’s body where the unborn child is lodged....the section of tube around the growing child has clearly become pathological and constitutes a mounting threat with time. This threat is addressed by removal of the tube, with the secondary, and unintended effect, that the child within will then die. In this situation, the intention of the surgeon is directed towards the good effect, which is removing the damaged tissue to save the mother's life, while only tolerating the bad effect, death of the ectopic child....We may never directly take the life of an innocent human being, though we may sometimes tolerate the indirect and unintended loss of life that comes with trying to properly address a life-threatening medical situation."

As per # 48 of the USCCB’s Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, “In case of extrauterine pregnancy, no intervention is morally licit which constitutes a direct abortion” <www.nccbuscc.org/bishops/directives.shtml>. It is troubling to find that an article by Father Kevin O’Rourke remains on the web site of the Catholic Health Association of the USA, in which Father O’Rourke appears to suggest that salpingostomies and methothrexate ARE acceptable treatments <www.chausa.org/Pub/MainNav/News/HP/Archive/1998/07JulyAug/Articles/Features/hp9807e.htm>. A statements of clarification from the USCCB would be extremely valuable.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Excommunication Latae Sententiae

Never forget that Catholics of our generation, & those of our children's generation, are desperately hungry for the truth!....I recently read the wonderful "Fatherless," which is the tale of three Catholic families, each of whom turn to the fictitious "Father John Sweeney" for spiritual guidance. Each family is struggling with how to live out the "universal call to holiness," but Father Sweeney is initially unable to offer spiritual treasures, such as "Veritatis Splendor" or "Christifideles Laici." He tries to offer a "Catholicism Lite," when what is needed is the Truth which will set them free!

If you allow me, I would like to offer a couple of thoughts:

  • "Chemical" contraceptives are NOT the only type of "contraceptive" which can be abortifacient. The IUD, for example, is certainly an abortifacient.
  • Since Roe v. Wade, there have been close to 50 million SURGICAL abortions in the U.S. When you add CHEMICAL and MECHANICAL abortions, Pharmacists For Life estimates the # to be closer to 277 million!
  • While I am opposed to the death penalty, the Catechism does not treat the death penalty in the same manner as it treats abortion. With regard to the crime of abortion, Paragraph # 2272 explains the PASTORAL penalty of excommunication, which people incur on themselves: "The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society." I'm certainly not a canon lawyer, but it appears that this could also apply to Catholic politicians (and other Catholics) who knowingly support laws promoting abortion. Wouldn't they incur excommunication latae sententiae, by virtue of their formal cooperation in this heinous crime against God and humanity?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"'Fatherless' Will NOT Leave You Orphaned!" (Review submitted to Amazon.com on 9/15/09)


"Before I'd even started reading this book, I thumbed through the back pages at Mr. Gail's fabulous bibliography. I was delighted to see a number of works and/or authors with which I am very familiar:
* Archbishop Chaput's 'Render unto Caesar'
* Dr. Chris Kahlenborn's 'Breast Cancer : Its Link to Abortion and the Birth Control Pill'
* Bogomir Kuhar, Pharm.D. - executive director of Pharmacists for Life
* William E. May, Ph.D.
* Leslie Woodcock Tentler's 'Catholics and Contraception: An American History'
* George Weigel's 'Witness to Hope'
* Christopher West (He has written and spoken extensively about Pope John Paul II's 'The Theology of the Body.' An updated translation of the late Holy Father's teaching has been released as 'Man and Woman He Created Them.')

"'Fatherless' is the tale of three Catholic families from a suburban Philadelphia parish, who turn to Father John Sweeney for spiritual guidance. While they do not use this terminology, they are each struggling with how to live out their 'universal call to holiness.' Though the novel's set in the first decade of the magnificent pontificate of John Paul the Great, Father Sweeney is initially unable to respond to his parishioners with the wisdom of spiritual treasures, such as Veritatis Splendor or Christifideles Laici. He tries to offer a 'Catholicism Lite,' when what is needed is the Truth which will set them free! We assume that he has failed to challenge himself and his congregation with such 'hard sayings,' as the evils of
* contraception,
* divorce/remarriage (without annullment),
* exploitation of workers,
* failing to bring the Truth into the political sphere,
* failing to treat nutrition/hydration as ordinary care,
* IVF,
* missing Sunday Mass,
* misuse of our sexuality (outside or inside marriage), and
* receiving Holy Communion outside the state of grace.

"I would like to offer a teenie, tiny, minor criticism about a Church history, which is offered by 'Father McManus' toward the latter part of this masterpiece. I think that this section would have been better served by using Thomas Woods, Ph.D.'s 'How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization' as its primary reference (Though it is a difficult work, Eamon Duffy's 'The Stripping Of The Altars' raises enormous questions about our assumptions about pre-Reformation Catholicism.).

"Without question, this was one of the best books which I have EVER read!!!"

Sunday, September 13, 2009

"The Shack" & "Dignitas Personae"

When we met on August 25th, we gave each other "reading assignments." Thanks very much for recommending that I read "The Shack." How are things coming with “Dignitas Personae”?

As the author of the Shack tells us, "Something in the hearts of most human beings simply cannot abide pain inflicted on the innocent, especially children....Even in...a world of relative morality, causing harm to a child is still considered absolutely wrong." Amen!!! While I found some of the Shack's “theology” to be askew, I could not agree more about there being a near universal condemnation of hurting children. I believe that this near univeral condemnation confirms the existence of a "natural law," directing us toward true human fulfillment. After the close of WW II, Eleanor Roosevelt championed the U.N.’s passage of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, based upon that very natural law!

I'm eager to learn your thoughts about the Vatican's Dignitas Personae. Pope Benedict XVI recently presented a copy to President Obama; it's NOT a sectarian document. It utilizes the natural law and is directed to all people of good will. Its heavy reliance on the natural sciences negates the weak argumentation that the moment when life begins is a “religious” question - unknowable and sectarian. The natural sciences leave no question as to human life starting at fertlization/conception.

Dignitas Personae screams that each human being is owed uncompromising respect, and that all of us must stand with the weak and powerless against exploitation. Since you have identified yourself as my brother Catholic, I want to know whether you and our brother Patrick will be switching courses. Will your office insist on health care reform which EXPLICITLY safeguards human life from the moment of fertilization/ conception and protects the conscience rights of health care workers and institutions?


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Coming to the aid of our Mexican brothers & sisters

Nearly 1600 years ago, Saint Patrick arrived in Ireland, to meet a "people who still practiced human sacrifice, who warred with each other constantly and who were renowned as the great slave traders of the day" (Anita McSorley, The Saint Patrick You Never Knew, St. Anthony Messenger, March 1997). With the introduction of Christianity and its respect for human life, Patrick facilitated a dramatic decline in war, a decline in murder, and an end to the slave trade. In subsequent centuries, I believe Saint Patrick's respect for human life has continued to inspire heroism. In an odd moment of 1998 Hollywood brilliance, Tom Berenger starred in One Man's Hero, which is based on the factual account of a group of Catholic immigrants in the American army, who switched sides during the Mexican-American War (In 2003, a group of 29 U.S. bishops petitioned Hollywood to get this film re-released.). To a very large extent, it appears that this group of Catholic immigrants - primarily Irish - was responding to anti-Catholicism and inhumane treatment of Mexican people (In the novel, Saint Patrick's Battalion, James Alexander Thom provides additional background to understand the motives of those who went to Mexico's defense.).

Whether or not you agree with the actions undertaken by Catholic immigrants a century & a half ago, it is clear that the Mexican people are again under attack. Cloaked in a language of benevolence, International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region (IPPF/WHR) has opened an assault on tiny human lives, on women, and on the culture:
  • "When lawmakers in Mexico City voted in April 2007 to legalize abortion in all circumstances within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy,....The historic decision meant for the first time millions of women in and around Mexico City had access to abortion services at public hospitals free of charge....
  • "By the time the court released its ruling in August 2008 that abortion would remain legal in the city, more than 12,000 abortion-related services had been provided—a number that indicates the impressive speed at which the public institutions were able to implement abortion services....
  • "The dedicated work of MEXFAM, an IPPF/WHR Member Association for the past 42 years, complemented the ongoing public sector efforts....On May 10th, 2007, they [MEXFAM's board of directors] voted unanimously to offer abortion services at three of their clinics in Mexico City....
  • "In 2009, the organization will continue to advocate for initiatives to expand and protect legal access to abortion in some Mexican states."
In spite of Mexican poverty, this new assault against tiny Mexican lives, Mexican women, and Mexican culture is incredibly well financed. IPPF/WHR ACKNOWLEDGES $54,255,478 in assets and providing $7,590,116 worth of abortions in 2008.

As fellow Catholics, I believe that we need to help counteract the well-healed assault against tiny Mexican lives, Mexican women, and the Mexican culture. Like much of our own nation, Mexico needs to be re-evangelized. I believe that we need to couple our prayer and support of Church initiatives with the support of groups which simultaneoulsy address human needs and respect Mexico's Catholic culture.

I've just heard that Bucks County's My Father's Vineyard, Inc (P.O. Box 267, Yardley, PA 19067) has begun working with a priest from Cuautepec, Mexico (a region of Mexico City), to address some of his people's basic needs. A Mexican eye doctor has begun providing pertinent information (eg., pupil measurements) to a New Jersey optician, Tom Vazzano. With Tom's time being donated, they are readying 101 pairs of eyeglasses for Cuautepec children and adults - each of which will cost only $25. We are sending our first $25 check to My Father's Vineyard, to cover one pair of eyeglasses and to honor Saint Patrick's Battalion.

Robert Schindler, Champion of Catholic Medical Ethics, RIP

Yesterday, Bucks County was honored by the return of the Schindler family, for the funeral of their great patriarch. Bob Schindler and his family suffered greatly, in defense of their beloved Terri Schindler Schiavo and the sanctity of human life, defended by Catholic medical ethics....

In 1995, the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers had released its' Charter for Health Care Workers. As per that document,
  • "The administration of food and liquids, even artificially, is part of the normal treatment always due to the patient when this is not burdensome for him: their undue suspension could be real and properly so-called euthanasia."

In 1999, Pennsylvania's Catholic Bishops published a revision of their Nutrition and Hydration: Moral Considerations:

  • "in almost every instance there is an obligation to continue supplying nutrition and hydration to the unconscious patient....If the patient decides to refuse ordinary treatment,...there remains at least the duty to attempt to persuade the patient otherwise or, failing that, for the physician to remove himself from the case so as not to be guilty of complicity in suicide."
Despite such earlier statements (particularly the one from the Vatican), it appears that MISINTERPRETATION of one sentence from the USCCB's Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, 4th ed.") fostered confusion about Church teaching, during the agonized suffering of Terri Schindler-Schiavo, her parents, and her siblings:
  • "The USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities' report...points out the necessary distinctions between questions already resolved by the magisterium and those requiring further reflection, as, for example, the morality of withdrawing medically assisted hydration and nutrition from a person who is in the condition that is recognized by physicians as the 'persistent vegetative state' (PVS)"

In 2004, Pope John Paul II gave an Address to Participants in the International Congress on "Life-Sustaining Treatments and Vegetative State: Scientific Advance & Ethical Dilemna." Many of us share the Schindler's belief that the late Holy Father DIRECTLY addressed Terri's situation & then prevalent confusion:

  • "The sick person in a vegetative state, awaiting recovery or a natural end, still has the right to basic health care (nutrition, hydration, cleanliness, warmth, etc.), and to the prevention of complications related to his confinement to bed. He also has the right to appropriate rehabilitative care and to be monitored for clinical signs of eventual recovery....the administration of water and food, even when provided by artificial means, always represents a natural means of preserving life, not a medical act....The evaluation of probabilities, founded on waning hopes for recovery when the vegetative state is prolonged beyond a year, cannot ethically justify the cessation or interruption of minimal care for the patient, including nutrition and hydration. Death by starvation or dehydration is, in fact, the only possible outcome as a result of their withdrawal"
At that time, Philadelphia's John Cardinal Krol Chair of Moral Theology, Msgr. Kevin McMahon, was quoted by Our Sunday Visitor: "It was only a misinterpretation...that allowed people to imagine that they could withdraw nutrition and hydration from people in a PVS, and I think that the grounds on which they created that doubt and based the argument that it was okay to do so have been removed by the Pope." Richard Doerflinger, chair of the aforementioned USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities said: With the Pope's statement, the Church's teaching authority has rejected each aspect of the theory that opposes assisted feeding for patients in a PVS."

Especially after the Holy Father's 2004 statement, I am at a loss to understand how there could ANY remaining confusion with regard to nutrition and hydration (aka, food and water) being ordinary and OBLIGATORY TREATMENT. Still, the Vatican provided "Responses to Certain Questions of the USCCB Concerning Artificial Nutrition and Hydration in 2007:
  • "The administration of food and water even by artificial means is, in principle, an ordinary and proportionate means of preserving life. It is therefore obligatory to the extent to which, and for as long as, it is shown to accomplish its proper finality, which is the hydration and nourishment of the patient. In this way suffering and death by starvation and dehydration are prevented....
  • "A patient in a 'permanent vegetative state' is a person with fundamental human dignity and must, therefore, receive ordinary and proportionate care which includes, in principle, the administration of water and food even by artificial means."
In addition to the USCCB's 2001 Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, 4th ed."(ERDs), Catholic medical ethics must certainly incorporate more recent Vatican teaching, such as the
At this time, the ERDs have NOT yet been updated to incorporate the above Vatican teachings.

Particularly in memory of former residents Terri Schiavo and Bob Schindler, I pray that the Bucks County Catholic community will be vigilant in advocating for authentic Catholic health care.

The Beatitudes from "Jesus of Nazareth"

 

Use of Emergency So-Called Contraceptives in Catholic Hospitals for Those Reporting Rape

Book & Film Reviews, pt 1

Book & Film Reviews, pt 2

Blog Archive

About Me

I am an enormously blessed husband and dad. In regard to my Catholic theological background, I have a certificate in social ministry & a master's degree (moral theology concentration), as well as a catechetical diploma from the Vatican's Sacred Congregation for the Clergy (Nope, I am not now - nor have I have ever been - a seminarian, deacon, or priest.). I feel particularly proud to have a mandatum. I also have a doctorate in Christian counseling psychology.

And yup, that's me!

And yup, that's me!
(from page 1 of the NY Sun, 3/22/04)

Total Pageviews

12/12/08 Interview with Rev. Tad Pacholczyk, Ph.D. of the National Catholic Bioethics Center

March for Life 2010

CatholicsComeHome.org