Monday, October 20, 2014

ads in OLA, OLS/St.Anthony's, St.Ann's, and St.Charles Borommeo

Rev. Cesar Rubiano

Our Lady of the Angels
Trenton, New Jersey
olatrenton05@aol.com

Rev. Msgr. Thomas Gervasio
Our Lady of Sorrows / St. Anthony
Mercerville/Trenton, New Jersey
info@ols-sa.org

Rev. Gerard F. Lynch, O.SS.T
Saint Ann
Lawrenceville, New Jersey
csainfo@churchofsaintann.net

Rev. Msgr. Edward Deliman
St. Charles Borommeo 
Bensalem, Pennsylvania
olf.parish@verizon.net



Greetings:

Catholic parishes - and others of good will - should not be cooperating with pharmacies which provide contraceptives and potential abortifacients, by allowing their advertisements in parish bulletins.  To the best of my knowledge, the St. Clare Pharmacy is the only pharmacy in the Central Jersey/Bucks County area NOT selling contraceptives and potential abortifacients.

Poisons which we often call "contraceptives" can often act as "abortifacients."  Since 1973's infamous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, it has been noted that there have been more than 57 million abortion in the United States.  Yet as hideous and horrible as that number is, it is an underestimate.  When you properly count abortions from chemical and mechanical methods (e.g., hormonal contraceptives, IUDs), Pharmacists for Life International puts the number of abortions in the U.S. since 1973 at 308,000,000.  

While the Pro Life community has grown more aware of Planned Parenthood's role in the genocide of pre born children, the role of the pharmaceutical industry most often goes overlooked.  To our shame, New Jersey and the Philadelphia suburbs are home to some of the world's "leading" manufacturers of hormonal contraceptives:

  • GynĂ©tics of Lawrenceville (NJ),  
  • Jannsen-Cilag: "Janssen" is part of Johnson and Johnson and is in Titusville (NJ)
  • Merck of Whitehouse Station (NJ), 
  • Pfizer of Morris Plains (NJ),  
  • Ortho-McNeil of Raritan (NJ), 
  • Pharmacia of North Peapack (NJ), 
  • Warner-Chilcott of Rockaway (NJ),  
  • Women's Capital Corp is part of Teva of North Wales (Pa)
  • Wyeth of St. David's (Pa))
Teva of North Wales manufactures the infamous Plan B and tells this to us, to our children, and to our grandchildren:
"You can start by looking for Plan B One-Step® in the aisle. Otherwise ask anyone in the store where it's located. Then just take it off the shelf, and pay for it at the cashier. No prescription or ID required....Enter your zip code below to see which stores in your area may carry Plan B One-Step®. Before you head out, call to make sure Plan B One-Step® is in stock."
   http://planbonestep.com/storelocator.aspx
Unless it can be ascertained that a pharmacy is NOT selling Plan B - or any other abortifacient or contraceptive - their inclusion in parish bulletins seems grievously inappropriate.  To the best of my knowledge, the St. Clare Pharmacy is the only pharmacy in the Central Jersey/Bucks County area NOT selling contraceptives and potential abortifacients:

  • The bulletin for Our Lady of the Angels carries inappropriate ads for Vizzoni's and Episcopo's.  Efforts to bring this to the attention of the former pastor were ignored.

    In June 2009, I met with James Vizzoni and was advised that Vizzoni's did NOT deal in the Plan B poison. However, Vizzoni's was dispensing contraceptives, including oral contraceptives which can act as abortifacients. 


    When I phoned on 6/24/13 and asked owner Episcopo's owner John Berkenkopt whether he sold contraceptives and other abortifacients including Plan B, he would not answer.  Responding that I would assume the answer to be "yes," he told me that I could assume anything that I like.  As per the 
    Episcopo ad: "Also available FRANCISCAN MISSION ASSOCIATION Mass Cards."  Is that not a sacrilege?  

  • The bulletin for Our Lady of Sorrows / St. Anthony also carries the ad for Episcopo's, which notes: "Also available FRANCISCAN MISSION ASSOCIATION Mass Cards." (The bulletin actually includes two Episcopo ads), as well as an ad Risoldi's Market and Cafe (which includes a pharmacy)

    When I phoned Risoldi's on 10/20/14, they expected to have Plan B in on 10/22 and indicated that it costs $50.

  • The bulletin for St. Ann's in Lawrenceville carries an ad for McGrath's (with the note: "Member of the Diocese") and Penlar. 

    Back in July 2009, I phoned McGrath's and was advised that they DO provide Plan B.
      On 6/24/13, I left an extended message for owner Steve Zagoreos, in an effort to get my information updated, but my message went unreturned. 
    Efforts to bring this to the attention of the former pastor were ignored.  On 10/20/14, I phoned Penlar and was advised that Plan B is available for $48.99.

  • The bulletin for St. Charles Borommeo in Bensalem carries an ad for the Riccio Family Pharmacy. Like Vizzoni's, Riccio is NOT believed to be dispensing Plan B but to be dispensing "contraceptives," including hormonal contraceptives which can act as abortifacients.  Efforts to bring this to the attention of the former pastor were ignored.

Sincerely, 


"we need to recall briefly the principles assumed in classical moral doctrine with regard to the problem of cooperation in evil, a problem which arises every time that a moral agent perceives the existence of a link between his own acts and a morally evil action carried out by others....

"The first fundamental distinction to be made is that between formal and material cooperation. Formal cooperation is carried out when the moral agent cooperates with the immoral action of another person, sharing in the latter's evil intention. On the other hand, when a moral agent cooperates with the immoral action of another person, without sharing in the intention, it is a case of material cooperation.

"Material cooperation can be further divided into categories of immediate -- direct -- and mediate -- indirect -- depending on whether the cooperation is in the execution of the sinful action per se, or whether the agent acts by fulfilling the conditions -- either by providing instruments or products -- which make it possible to commit the immoral act.

"Furthermore, forms of proximate cooperation and remote cooperation can be distinguished, in relation to the 'distance' -- be it in terms of temporal space or material connection -- between the act of cooperation and the sinful act committed by someone else. Immediate material cooperation is always proximate, while mediate material cooperation can be either proximate or remote.

"Formal cooperation is always morally illicit because it represents a form of direct and intentional participation in the sinful action of another person. Material cooperation can sometimes be illicit -- depending on the conditions of the 'double effect' or 'indirect voluntary' action -- but when immediate material cooperation concerns grave attacks on human life, it is always to be considered illicit, given the precious nature of the value in question.

"A further distinction made in classical morality is that between active -- or positive -- cooperation in evil and passive -- or negative -- cooperation in evil, the former referring to the performance of an act of cooperation in a sinful action that is carried out by another person, while the latter refers to the omission of an act of denunciation or impediment of a sinful action carried out by another person, insomuch as there was a moral duty to do that which was omitted.

"Passive cooperation can also be formal or material, immediate or mediate, proximate or remote. Obviously, every type of formal passive cooperation is to be considered illicit, but even passive material cooperation should generally be avoided, although it is admitted, by many authors, that there is not a rigorous obligation to avoid it in a case in which it would be greatly difficult to do so" (
Bishop Elio Sgreccia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, 6/9/05)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

"The more that Catholic universities or hospitals mute their religious identity, the more that Catholic social ministries weaken their religious character, the less 'Catholic' they are, and the less useful to the Gospel they become"

Your Excellencies:


"Typically, obstetrician-gynecologists practicing in Catholic hospitals and physician office buildings owned by Catholic hospitals provide prescriptions for contraceptives to their patients" (Professor Leonard Nelson, Diagnosis Critical: The Urgent Threats Confronting Catholic Healthcare, 2009).  In our own Philadelphia Archdiocese, isn't such a "wink and nod" practice having a direct impact on Catholics trying to faithfully practice health care in secular settings?
"According to her suit, Victor Igbokidi, the medical director of pediatric and adolescent services for the city's Department of Public Health, told her directly that she would need to begin prescribing contraceptives. Fernandes responded with a letter. 'This letter is to let you know that I cannot participate,' she wrote. 'For participation is strictly forbidden by my religious beliefs and against my conscience.'  After that, the city fired her" (Catholic Pediatrician Says City Fired Her for Refusing to Prescribe Contraceptives, 10/10/14).


If Catholic hospitals are already cooperating in morally forbidden practices through legal loopholes, how can Catholics trying to faithfully practice health care in secular settings expect to see their conscience rights respected?  Archbishop Chaput told a Colorado Catholic social work gathering that if their
"work isn’t deeply, confidently and explicitly Catholic in its identity, then we should stop using the word 'Catholic'....The more that Catholic universities or hospitals mute their religious identity, the more that Catholic social ministries weaken their religious character, the less 'Catholic' they are, and the less useful to the Gospel they become....Catholic ministries have the duty to faithfully embody Catholic beliefs on marriage, the family, social justice, sexuality, abortion and other important issues....cooperation can easily turn Catholic organizations into sub-contractors of large donors — donors with a very different anthropology and thus very different notions of authentic human development" (Address to the Catholic Social Workers Association, 6/21/11).  
In 2014, "Catholic" hospitals in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia are fostering scandal, through their cavalier and continued cooperation with providers of morally excluded services.

1) Holy Redeemer

While Holy Redeemer's physician directory includes one OB/GYN who can be found on an NFP-only list, 20 others cannot be found.  It lists six "Reproductive Endocrinologists" (i.e., Drs. Arthur Castelbaum, Martin Freedman, Benjamin Gocial, and Jacqueline Gutmann of Reproductive Medicine Associates of Philadelphia (RMA); Dr Larry Barmat and Stephen G. Somkuti of Abington Reproductive Medicine (ARM)) - as well as Dr Jennifer Nichols of ARMHoly Redeemer's directory includes contact information for these physicians at RMA and ARM, where people can choose from a smorgasbord of morally excluded services.  In addition, Holy Redeemer's Advance Directive form fails to clearly specify:
  • Catholic teaching with regard to nutrition and hydration, and
  • that health care services cannot honor non-specific directives to forego nutrition and hydration.
Incredibly, one of your own archdiocesan priests is the face of "ethics" at Holy Redeemer!  Especially after the scandals of recent years, how can the archdiocese allow even the appearance of callous disregard for the moral well being of the faithful? 

2) St. Mary Medical Center (Catholic Health East)

While St Mary's directory includes one OB/GYN who can be found on an NFP-only list, 27 others cannot be found on that listWhile Drs. Richard Latta, Marc Rosenn, and Stephen Smith are on the list, each is from Abington Perinatal Associates - a practice reported to be involved with fetal "reduction" – a euphemism for abortion (See # 1, # 2, and # 3.).  In addition, Saint Mary's Advanced Directives and Living Wills fails to clearly specify:
  • Catholic teaching with regard to nutrition and hydration, and
  • that health care services cannot honor non-specific directives to forego nutrition and hydration.

3) Mercy Fitzgerald, 4) Mercy Philadelphia, 5) Mercy Suburban, 6) Nazareth (Catholic Health East/Mercy Health Systems of SE Pennsylvania)

There is No OBGYN in the Mercy Health System of Southeast Pennsylvania, who can be identified on One More Soul's list of NFP only OBGYNs.
To protect the moral well being of people in the archdiocese, please remove permission from Holy Redeemer, St. Mary Medical Center, and the Mercy Health System of Southeast Pennsylvania to identify themselves as "Catholic":

"71. The possibility of scandal must be considered when applying the principles governing cooperation.  Cooperation, which in all other respects is morally licit, may need to be refused because of the scandal that might be caused. Scandal can sometimes be avoided by an appropriate explanation of what is in fact being done at the health care facility under Catholic auspices. The diocesan bishop has final responsibility for assessing and addressing issues of scandal, considering not only the circumstances in his local diocese but also the regional and national implications of his decision" (Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, 2009).

Sincerely,

Thursday, October 2, 2014

"End-of-life nightmare a lesson for millions of Americans" (BC Courier Times, 10/2/14)

Left out of Daniel Wilson and Sean Crowley's plea for more advance directives was an in-depth discussion of morality, including whether it is "moral" to end someone's life by removing "nutrition and hydration" (i.e., food and water). 

In their opinion piece, Wilson and Crowley failed to note that their innocent-sounding "Compassion and Choices" organization used to be called "the Hemlock Society" (I kid you not.) .  Coming from this foremost pro euthanasia group, their advocacy for the "Personalize Your Care Act of 2013" (HR 1173) should make anyone suspicious, who was not born yesterday.

Say, wasn't Casey Kasem a Catholic?  When writing advance directives many Catholics - even theologians- may not be aware that the Church teaches that there must be a presumption in favor of "nutrition and hydration" (See Directive 58 of the US Catholic Bishops' Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.).

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

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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)

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

March for Life 2010

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