Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Conscience: "that still small voice that people won't listen to. That's just the trouble with the world today" (Jiminy Cricket)

I regularly contact elected officials in support of positions advocated by the Pa Catholic Conference and the USCCB, including conscience protections in health care.  Yet, I fear that we may be losing sight of the ultimate reason that we need these protections.  As per one former John Cardinal Krol Chair of Moral Theology:
"The Catholic Church opposes direct sterilization, and the use of contraceptive drugs and devices, including those which may cause abortion, not as a matter of 'company policy,' but as a matter of moral conviction that these practices violate the true dignity of the human person. One cannot promote the true good of individuals and society by facilitating and promoting practices that are, in fact, injurious to persons" ().

Just "company policy" or recognized as "injurious to persons"?

I can find only 30 NFP-only physicians in Pennsylvania and only six in Greater Philadelphia (cf, http://onemoresoul.com/nfp_by_state/PA).  Kudos to Drs.George Isajiw, Alfred Maurielle II, Monique Ruberu, Lester Ruppersberger, Eleanor Tiongson, and William Williams!  Bravo Bravissimo Doctors!  Yet, with regard to Catholic hospitals in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia....
Can we expect that the practice at Catholic hospitals will follow the Catholic Medical Association's call to discontinue all use of Plan B, because of the danger of abortion?
  • "Given increased scientific information suggesting the post fertilization effect of Plan B, the CMA issued a position paper in Sept. 2015 urging healthcare facilities to discontinue using Plan B. The CMA strongly encourages a more thorough and accurate approach, thereby avoiding the falsehood that the drug does not induce abortion. The entailed risk of taking a human life through Plan B's MOA is ethically unacceptable. This is because we are obliged to choose the morally safer course of action, which in this case can only be realized by not having recourse to the use of Plan B" (Catholic Medical Association, 11/29/16).
Especially because some products sold as "contraceptives" can act in an abortifacient manner, ads for providers of contraceptives should have no place in any Catholic media.  Do we see such in some parish bulletins because of inadequate notions about ''cooperation''?  Taking him somewhat out of context...
"The principle of cooperation was never intended as a tool to rationalize the promotion of evil. We must not look for 'loopholes' in Catholic moral teaching to excuse ourselves from the prophetic witness that this moment demands. Cooperation is not an option" ()
And in my opinion, neither Saint Mary's Advanced Directives and Living Wills nor Holy Redeemer's Making Your Own Health Care Decisions clearly specify
  • Catholic teaching with regard to nutrition and hydration, and that 
  • health care services cannot honor advance directives (e.g., non-specific directives to forego nutrition and hydration) opposed to Catholic teaching.

"When the money keeps rolling in, you don't ask how."    

What I am writing is certainly not news to those familiar with Catholic health care institutions or pro life concerns.  Yet, nothing seems to be changing.  While the National Catholic Bioethics Center offers trainings/certifications, don't exorbitant CEO salaries (See Philadelphia Inquirer.) simply provide disincentives for change?  As per the character Che from Evita, "When the money keeps rolling in, you don't ask how."  It seems to me that the situation calls for much more than a "continuing ed" approach:
''the diocesan bishop is obliged, if necessary, to make known to the faithful the fact that the activity of a particular charitable agency is no longer being carried out in conformity with the church's teaching, and then to prohibit that agency from using the name 'Catholic' and to take the necessary measures should personal responsibilities emerge'' (Apostolic Letter Issued 'Motu Proprio' of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI on the Services of Charity, 4/11/12).
Thank you,

The Beatitudes from "Jesus of Nazareth"


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

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Book & Film Reviews, pt 2

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And yup, that's me!

And yup, that's me!
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12/12/08 Interview with Rev. Tad Pacholczyk, Ph.D. of the National Catholic Bioethics Center

March for Life 2010