Thursday 21st September 2017

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Bioethics Seminar Sees… Pressure Increases For War Against Medical Conscience

May 16, 2017 Frontpage No Comments

By JAMES ASHER and DEXTER DUGGAN

PHOENIX — St. Thomas More, who was executed in 16th-century England for his fidelity to religious conscience, was cited at a two-day seminar here for health-care professionals, presented by the Philadelphia-based National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC).
More, a Catholic who had risen to become Lord High Chancellor of England, later was beheaded for treason, in 1535, after he refused to acknowledge King Henry VIII as supreme head of the Church in England and the king’s invalid attempt to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon.
The bioethics center’s website says its seminars “are intended to benefit health-care workers, clergy, those involved in research in the life sciences, members of ethics committees, and others who provide spiritual support and counsel to patients and their families.
“Those interested in understanding and advancing the Church’s moral tradition in health care will also find them accessible and informative,” the center says. Two more such seminars are planned later this year, in North Dakota and Pennsylvania.
John Haas, Ph.D., NCBC president, started the April 28-29 seminar activities at Phoenix diocesan headquarters with an overview, “Ethical and religious directives for Catholic health-care services.”
Speaking on threats to conscience in current health care, John Brehany, Ph.D., quoted from early 20th-century English philosopher and writer G.K. Chesterton.
Chesterton wrote in 1929 that “Thomas More is more important at this moment in history (than at any other time), but will be even more important about 100 years from now,” said Brehany, an ethicist for the bioethics center.
In increasingly secularized societies in the 21st century, traditional religious conscience can be viewed as a defiant distraction or impediment to ideologies on various fronts, from massive abortion to utilitarian medical care to sexual disorientation.
Brehany noted efforts to redefine how conscience is allowed to act in a medical setting, or to deny health-care providers’ conscience rights.
He cited Julie Cantor, a Californian who holds degrees in both medicine and law and is prominent in the effort to control conscience.
Patients “should not have to shoulder” bearing health workers’ conscience rights, Cantor said, according to Brehany, adding that she also said, “Patients rely on health-care professionals for their expertise; they should be able to expect those professionals to be neutral arbiters of medical care.”
Cantor also stated: “Federal laws may make room for the rights of conscience, but health-care providers . . . should cast off the cloak of conscience when patients’ needs demand it,” Brehany said.
However, Brehany quoted the late civil-rights leader and minister Martin Luther King Jr. on the primacy of conscience: “Cowardice asks the question — is it safe? Expediency asks the question — is it politic? Vanity asks the question — is it popular? But conscience asks the question — is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right.”
The NCBC (ncbcenter.org) plans to present two more two-day seminars this year, on August 11-12 in Bismarck, N.D., and September 8-9 in Philadelphia.
The center’s website says it has speakers available, and it “considers authentic Catholic education to be at the very heart of its mission. Speakers from the center are available on a variety of today’s major medical and ethical issues to both parish, professional groups, colleges and universities.”
Its mission is to conduct “research, consultation, publishing and education to promote human dignity in health care and the life sciences, and derives its message directly from the teachings of the Catholic Church,” the website says.
Topics on the program for the Phoenix seminar included “The gift of children and ‘reproductive technologies’,” “Ethical approaches to complications before and after birth,” “Stem-cell research: The ethical dividing lines,” “Transgender and gender dysphoria,” “Moral issues in end-of-life decision-making,” “Determination of death and organ donation,” and “Reaching and respecting conscientious judgments in health care.”
The gathering began with a morning Mass celebrated in the diocesan center’s chapel on April 28 by Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted.
Another ethicist with the bioethics center, Fr. Tad Pacholczyk, told seminar participants of bioethicist Leon Kass, MD, arguing for “The Wisdom of Repugnance.”
Although Kass’ repugnance theory may not be an entirely reliable guide of what science should do with increasing technological capability, it can be a guide of what we should not do — that is, the repugnance you feel may be telling you something valuable, Pacholczyk said.
Pacholczyk earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Yale University, where he focused on cloning genes for neurotransmitter transporters which are expressed in the brain, and also worked for several years as a molecular biologist at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, according to NCBC.
Speaking on stem-cell research, Pacholczyk said human embryonic stem cells first were obtained from the destruction of an embryo in 1998. However, a continuing question is, “Just because we can, should we?”
The Catholic Church is not opposed to stem-cell research, provided there is no destruction of an embryo, he said, adding that in addition to embryonic stem cells, there are nine kinds of stem cells, whose use does not involve embryonic destruction, and the Church approves of their use.
As of now, he said, no embryonic stem cell has ever been found useful for any routine clinical application. Despite the Hollywood and scientific hype, about all that embryonic stem cells have been able to show is the development of tumors. Nor are alternatives lacking for human embryonic stem cells.
Skin cells can be treated to make them function like embryonic stem cells, yet continued use of the embryonic variety persists with the claim that these are the “gold standard,” Pacholczyk said.
Research could continue using animal embryonic stem cells, he said, noting ironically that animal-rights advocates might be offended. On the other hand, many successful uses of adult stem cells have been found, including treatment for several types of cancers, chromosomal abnormalities, and blood problems, the priest-scientist said.

Jewelry From Embryos

Those attending the seminar were able to see what it’s like to be on a hospital ethics committee during staff-tutored breakout sessions where specific cases with medical-moral issues were considered.
The seminar is part of a certificate program offered by the bioethics center — a two-year course of reading and online assignments in Catholic bioethics, useful for anyone seeking a greater understanding of this.
Meanwhile, the California Catholic Daily news site posted a story May 6 about an Australian company, Baby Bee Hummingbirds, turning human embryos into jewelry.
California Catholic Daily said: “A story in the Australian mothers’ website Kidspot portrays the process as a solution to ‘extra’ embryos that are created in the in-vitro fertilization process. It recounts the story of a couple who had conceived three children, including twins, but faced financial strain in paying for the annual storage of the leftover embryos and could not imagine disposing of them or donating them.
“ ‘I don’t believe there is any other business in the world that creates jewelry from human embryos, and I firmly believe that we are pioneering the way in this sacred art, and opening the possibilities to families around the world,’ Amy McGlade, the founder of Baby Bee Hummingbirds, told Kidspot,” according to the Catholic website.

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Popular priest disinvited from Catholic University’s seminary after protests over his LGBT book

The Rev. James Martin, a popular priest who published a book earlier this year encouraging a bridge between the LGBT community and the Catholic Church, has been disinvited from giving an address at Catholic University’s seminary. Martin, who was planning…Continue Reading

Latin Mass fans celebrate 10-year anniversary _ without pope

Fans of the old Latin Mass descended on Rome on Thursday for their annual pilgrimage, facing indifference to their cause, if not outright resistance, from none other than Pope Francis. Ten years after Pope Benedict XVI passed a law allowing greater use of…Continue Reading

Pro-gay Vatican adviser gets Catholic group suspended from Twitter

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 12, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A faithful Catholic lay apostolate was suspended by Twitter last week after Vatican adviser Father James Martin complained about a tweet that teasingly stated the pro-gay Jesuit had been bested in a theological…Continue Reading

Durbin, Feinstein and Catholic judges

Washington is currently embroiled in one of its “gotcha” controversies, which often arise when minor missteps are blown into major crimes. It’s a game both parties and a variety of activists play whenever they see political advantage in it. The…Continue Reading

Pope issues new directives on revision, translation of liturgical texts

Vatican City, Sep 9, 2017 / 08:00 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Holy See has released a new “motu proprio” from Pope Francis outlining a shift in the responsibility of local bishops and the Apostolic See for the revision and approval…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke ‘treasured’ work with deceased dubia Cardinal to oppose ‘gravely harmful confusion’

ROME, September 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Raymond Burke paid tribute today to fellow dubia signer Cardinal Carlo Caffarra on his passing after a long illness. In a statement to LifeSiteNews, Burke said he was “deeply saddened” by the 79-year-old’s…Continue Reading

Some Personal Reflections on the Late Cardinal Caffarra

As Steve Skojec reported this morning, our beloved Cardinal Carlo Caffarra died today, in Italy. Our hearts are broken over this news since he was such a lovable and charitable and truthful man for us. Just to know that he was out…Continue Reading

Remarks by President Trump at Signing of Day of Prayer Proclamation

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  Americans have always come to the aid of their fellow countrymen.  Friend helping friend, neighbor helping neighbor, stranger helping stranger — we’ve seen it perhaps more so than at any time, so vividly at…Continue Reading

Bishop Schneider: The Pope who ‘seems to’ permit adultery bears a ‘grave responsibility’

POLAND, August 31, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia “seems to” go in the direction of a pastoral “discernment” that “allows the adulterers to continue in adultery,” says Bishop Athanasius Schneider. The consequences for many could be…Continue Reading

REPORT CARD: Faithful college praised for financial aid; Praying for Notre Dame; ‘Pride Prom’ at Marquette

With college affordability becoming an increasingly prominent (and problematic) issue, Thomas Aquinas College’s recognition by The Princeton Review’s national Financial Aid Honor Roll is especially refreshing. “We are pleased that, once again, The Princeton Review has featured Thomas Aquinas College in its annual guide,”…Continue Reading

JEFFERSON CITY’S CATHEDRAL SCHOOL RESISTS LGBT POLICY

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (ChurchMilitant.com) – The flagship school for the diocese of Jefferson City has updated its handbook with clear Catholic instruction to counter the LGBT agenda being foisted on schools. Just in time for the new school year, St. Joseph…Continue Reading

Australian priest rips confession proposal as government ‘intrusion’

An Australian priest has called the Royal Commission’s recent proposal to enforce law requiring that clergy face criminal charges if they do not disclose details of sexual abuse revealed in the confessional a breach of religious tolerance. Fr. Kelvin Lovegrove,…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Today . . .

Pro-Life Speaker Ben Shapiro Answers Pro-Abortion Student’s Question With an “Epic Takedown”

Popular conservative author and speaker Ben Shapiro continued to impress his audience Thursday at UC Berkeley when he rapidly refuted a young man’s abortion arguments. Shapiro’s speech at the liberal California university drew massive media attention because of the violent protests that have broken out on campus during past conservative speakers’ talks. The university and local police increased security, and several people were arrested Thursday. Inside the sold-out auditorium, Shapiro received a huge applause when…Continue Reading

Cardinal Sarah: Reverent liturgy is essential to fighting the culture of death

ROME, September 15, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – One of the chief antidotes to a world “marked by the blight of Godless terrorism, of an increasingly aggressive secularism” and an “advancing culture of death” is to restore primacy to God in the Catholic liturgy, Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, said Thursday. The cardinal was speaking to an international gathering of cardinals, priests, religious and laity at the Fifth Roman Colloquium on Summorum…Continue Reading

Pope to new bishops: ‘Discernment’ means avoiding ‘rigid’ answers to moral questions

ROME, September 14, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Pope Francis told a group of newly ordained bishops that “authentic discernment” cannot be reduced to repeating “rigid” moral formulas to persons whose situations “can’t be reduced to black and white.” Discernment, the pope said, “can’t be reduced to repeating formulas such as ‘high clouds send little rain’ to a concrete person, who’s often immersed in a reality that can’t be reduced to black and white.” He cautioned bishops…Continue Reading

Catholic leaders defend Trump after Pope challenges his pro-life views

September 12, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-life Catholic leaders are defending President Trump against Pope Francis after the Pontiff questioned Trump’s pro-life views, despite the fact that Trump has racked up major pro-life accomplishments during his short time in office. “If Pope Francis is so concerned with the commitment of others to the defense of preborn children, he should consider his own words and actions, as well,” said Michael Hichborn, founder and president of the Lepanto…Continue Reading

Sex, sanity, and beliefs that ‘live loudly’ within us

“I do not know any country where, in general, less independence of mind and genuine freedom of discussion reign than in America.” — Tocqueville, “Democracy in America” Alexis de Tocqueville was the great French chronicler of the early United States.  Nearly 200 years ago, he spotted a basic tension in our national character.  It’s this:  Americans place a big stress on individual rights.  But we’re also big conformists.  The dynamic of self-assertion and fear of being…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Who Were The Colombian Martyrs Beatified By Pope Francis?

By ELISE HARRIS ROME, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) — During his six-day visit to Colombia, Pope Francis beatified martyrs Bishop Jesus Emilio Jaramillo Monsalve and Fr. Pedro Maria Ramirez Ramos, who provide testimony as the country heals from decades of conflict. Bishop Jaramillo was killed by Colombian Marxist guerrilla forces in 1989, while Fr. Ramirez was…Continue Reading

20 State Attorneys General Lauded… For Opposing Pro-Abortion Judge Orrick’s Gag Order Against CMP

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — “It is definitely very encouraging, and it’s great news” that 20 state attorneys general filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court to oppose the gag order against videos by pro-life investigators, an official with one of the law firms representing David Daleiden and the California-based Center for Medical…Continue Reading

Preparing To Enter Into The Awesome Mystery Of The Mass

By JAMES MONTI For every Catholic, there can be no more important event in one’s spiritual life than Holy Mass. For in the mystery of the Holy Eucharist we encounter our God in a more intimate manner than in any other sacrament, sacramental, or form of prayer. I recall hearing of a modern writer who…Continue Reading

Moral Judgments — Facts Or Opinions?

By ARTHUR HIPPLER (Editor’s Note: Dr. Hippler is chairman of the religion department and teaches religion in the Upper School at Providence Academy, Plymouth, Minn.) + + + Allan Bloom began his Closing of the American Mind with this memorable observation: “There is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student entering the…Continue Reading

The Complete Thinker

By DONALD DeMARCO “The Complete Thinker” is borrowed from the title of Dale Ahlquist’s 2012 book, the subtitle of which is The Marvelous Mind of G.K. Chesterton. “Thinking,” for Chesterton, “means connecting things.” Ahlquist regards G.K.’s thinking as “complete” in the sense that it deals with a wide variety of subjects and integrates them in…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Professor Josef Seifert… Amoris Laetitia’s “Immense Threat” To The Moral Teaching Of The Church

By MAIKE HICKSON (Editor’s Note: In light of Professor Josef Seifert’s recent essay examining some of the dangerous logical consequences of Amoris Laetitia — an essay for which he was dismissed from his teaching position by the archbishop of Granada — Dr. Maike Hickson of OnePeterFive.com reached out to the Austrian philosopher to ask him some additional questions about not…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Can Division In Worship Bring Unity Of Faith?

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Pope Francis has given authority through a new motu proprio, Magnum Principium, issued this month, to local bishops’ conferences to approve translations of the liturgy from Latin into local languages. By doing so he hopes to accomplish a couple of things. First, as we know by now Pope Francis places full trust and confidence in…Continue Reading

God The Sanctifier Of Men… Other Christs

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 3 In a previous article, I mentioned that sanctifying grace makes us brethren of Christ. It is, by the way, one more reason to have devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ and Mother of us, our common Mother. The reason is quite simple to understand: Christ is the Head of the…Continue Reading

The Effects And Fruits Of Anointing Of The Sick

By DON FIER The proper time for receiving the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick for a baptized Catholic “has certainly arrived when the believer begins to be in danger of death because of illness or old age” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], n. 1528). However, as we saw last week, the sacrament is not exclusively for those who…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. Please clarify 1 John 5:16-17. Does this refer to mortal sin? What is meant by not praying for one in deadly sin? Isn’t deadly sin a top priority for prayer? — P.S., Indiana. A. The passage in question reads: “If anyone sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly, he should pray to God and he will…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Thomas Villanova

By CAROLE BRESLIN Our Lord drew amazing men and women from the population of Spain to protect that country from the ravages that swept through Germany and the Scandinavian countries in the Reformation era. Two events marked by Augustinian monks sparked these events. In Germany, an apostate Augustinian monk who fell from grace led hundreds of thousands into error —…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Simon De Rojas

By CAROLE BRESLIN The subject of this article lived in a time of great saints, great Spanish saints, so it is not surprising that he is little known. St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) who wrote the Spiritual Exercises, St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) who reformed the Carmelites and wrote The Interior Castle, and St. John of the Cross who wrote…Continue Reading