Friday 20th October 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.

Catholic youth: Thanks for asking our opinion, here’s what we think

A survey of nearly 900 local Catholic young adults shows they fear for the future, they want to do works of service and they want to gather with other young people in retreats, sports and in the Sunday Mass. The…Continue Reading

Fr. Perrone: without an intense, devout life, Catholics will not survive the age

The saintly priest, learned theologian, and catechist extraordinaire, Fr. John A. Hardon, was fond of saying that without an intense, devout life Catholics will not survive the age. I admit that at the time I thought this a ruse to…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke: Be agents of Mary’s Immaculate Heart to combat ‘diabolical forces’

BUCKFAST ABBEY, England (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Raymond Burke has summoned the faithful to become “agents” of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in order to combat the “diabolical forces” that have been “unleashed upon the world” and are…Continue Reading

Callista Gingrich confirmed as US Ambassador to the Vatican

Washington D.C., Oct 16, 2017 / 04:46 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- On Monday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Callista Gingrich, wife of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, as the next U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See. The vote was 70-23. In a…Continue Reading

Pope Francis canonizes 35 new saints

(Vatican Radio) Inviting all faithful to practice Christian love every day, Pope Francis on Sunday canonized 35 new saints, nearly all of them martyrs, holding them up as models who “point the way”. To the over 35,000 pilgrims gathered in…Continue Reading

President Trump: Our ‘religious heritage’ will be ‘cherished, protected, and defended’

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – President Trump said this morning that his administration is “stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values” in a rousing speech at the Values Voter Summit. In his first major speech to a socially conservative conference…Continue Reading

Capuchin Priest Who Ministered Under Soviet Rule Moves Closer to Sainthood

VATICAN CITY — On Monday, Pope Francis advanced nine causes for sainthood, including a Capuchin priest who ministered underground across the Soviet Union for nearly 40 years. Father Serafin Kaszuba was born June 17, 1910, in Zamarstynów, near Lviv, in…Continue Reading

Notre Dame student fears losing birth control coverage under university health plan

The Trump administration’s plan to roll back mandatory insurance coverage for birth control faces a new federal court challenge. Washington state’s attorney general sued Monday to stop the new rules from taking effect. California and Massachusetts have already filed similar complaints. Last…Continue Reading

European Nation to Unite in Prayer for Its Salvation

On Saturday, October 7, up to one million Poles are expected to line the country’s border to pray the rosary. They will be joined in prayer by many others in Poland and throughout the world. This extraordinary display of public…Continue Reading

A big-money Catholic group just said it’s yanking all of its cash out of fossil fuels

A coalition of 40 Catholic institutions on Tuesday announced a decision to pull their money from — or block future investment in — fossil fuels. The Global Catholic Climate Movement called it the biggest collective announcement of divestment by Catholic…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke Returned to Vatican Court, but not as Prefect

VATICAN CITY, September 30, 2017 (LifeSiteNews): Pope Francis has reinstated Cardinal Burke as a member of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s highest court. Cardinal Burke, dismissed as Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura nearly three years ago, has been appointed to…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke to offer Mass at conference exactly 100 years after major Fatima miracle

BUCKFAST ABBEY, United Kingdom, September 29, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Exactly 100 years after the “miracle of the sun” at Fatima, Cardinal Raymond Burke will offer Mass at a Marian conference celebrating the centennial of the messages of Our Lady to…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

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Today . . .

At university, it’s risky to ‘come out’ as Christian

In the university town of St Andrews, along the narrow road that overlooks the North Sea, there is a modest townhouse with a red door. The small black plaque at the building’s entrance reads “Chaplaincy”. Between its steps and the ocean is the little Catholic church of St James and, nearby, the ruins of a great cathedral. The chaplaincy’s interior, its 1970s decor, dim lighting and musty scent, in many ways symbolises the impression I…Continue Reading

Priest who signed Filial Correction: It was ‘the Catholic thing to do’

BUCKFAST ABBEY, England (LifeSiteNews) — The number of signatories of the Filial Correction charging Pope Francis with spreading seven heresies, at least by omission, has now risen to 245 professors and clergy. That is up from 62 at the time of its publication on September 24, and 40 when it was delivered to Pope Francis on August 11 at his Santa Marta residence. Critics of the Filial Correction have accused the signatories of standing as “judges over the…Continue Reading

Trump admin makes protecting citizens “from conception to natural death” top priority

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 16, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — In a stunning change of direction from the Obama administration, the Trump Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has not only declared that human life begins “at conception,” but has made protecting citizens “from conception to natural death” one of its top priorities. While the Obama HHS under Kathleen Sebelius

Pope invites prisoners to lunch, they break free instead

Bologna, Italy, Oct 17, 2017 / 03:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- They were supposed to be having lunch with Pope Francis. During his Oct. 1 trip to Bologna, the Holy Father was scheduled to dine with 20 prisoners from a local drug rehabilitation facility, along with refugees and the poor of the area, during a “Lunch of Solidarity” at San Petronio Basilica. Instead, two of the Italian prisoners shirked their invitation for what they saw as…Continue Reading

A biblical interpretation of Fatima’s Miracle of the Sun

BUCKFAST ABBEY, England, October 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Miracle of the Sun which took place in Fatima, Portugal, exactly one hundred years ago today (on October 13, 1917), was one of the most extraordinary events of the 20th century. An estimated 70,000 people witnessed the Miracle of the Sun, both believers drawn by the Blessed Virgin Mary’s promise to the three shepherd children the previous July that she would perform a miracle in October,…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

The Making Of A Philosopher

By DONALD DeMARCO A new year arrives every 12 months; a new millennium, every 12,000 months. In celebrating the latter, how does one begin to do justice to its magnitude? The rarity of the event demands something far more imaginative than noisemakers and funny hats. There should be some serious reflection about life and the…Continue Reading

Fr. Solanus Casey To Be Beatified November 18

The beatification Mass for Fr. Solanus Casey is scheduled for November 18 at Ford Field in Detroit. “Not unlike the [1987] Silverdome Mass celebrated by St. John Paul, this, too, will be a history-making liturgy,” said Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit. “The beatification of Fr. Solanus Casey is an incomparable grace for the Church in the…Continue Reading

Poverty As An Evil And Poverty As A Good

By PHILIP TROWER On November 19 the Church will celebrate the first “World Day of the Poor” which the Holy Father instituted last year at the end of the Jubilee of Mercy by means of the apostolic letter Misericordia et Misera. Then on the June 13 he issued a papal message entitled Do not Be…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic. . . The Many Assaults On The Rule Of Law

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly] in Crisis. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president…Continue Reading

A Book Review… The Spiritual Riches Of A Heroic Priest

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN With God in America, by Walter J. Ciszek, SJ; editors John M. Dejak and Marc Lindeijer, SJ. (Loyola Press: Chicago 60657, 2016), 253 pp.; $19.95. Available from www.loyolapress.com or call 1-800-621-1008. An anthology of Fr. Walter Ciszek’s unpublished works in the form of writings delivered at retreats, reflections on biblical passages, letters…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: In a recent issue, we addressed the problem of pornography addiction by an 84-year-old man. At the end of the column, we invited readers of the column to pray for this man. The following note from the man’s wife illustrates the power of your prayers: “I’m writing to thank you for asking your readers to ‘pray for this…Continue Reading

Love God And Neighbor

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Thirtieth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Exodus 22:20-26 1 Thess. 1:5c-10 Matt. 22:34-40 In the second reading today St. Paul reminds the Thessalonians about the nature of their conversion. They had turned from idols to worship the Living and True God. By itself that is wonderful, but it becomes extraordinary when we hear that…Continue Reading

Sinner, Please Don’t Let This Harvest Pass

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope is the pastor of Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian, Washington, D.C. Monsignor kindly gave The Wanderer permission to reprint this essay from his blog of October 7. All rights reserved.) + + + There is an urgency and clarity about Sunday’s Gospel that is often lacking in modern Christians, including the clergy. The…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Two Academics Enter the Lists Against The Filial Correction

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK, M.A. The battle is joined and the duel of the academics over the fate of the Filial Correction is heating up. On one side of the ring we have Robert Fastiggi, Ph.D., and Dawn Eden Goldstein, STD. On the other side we have, as of this writing, 235 signatories of the Correction. Many of these…Continue Reading

The Sacred Liturgy . . . The Liturgy Of The Church Militant

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA Part 3 Have you, Wanderer reader, even attended Mass in one of the Eastern Rites of the Church? If you haven’t, look online for a parish of the Byzantine Rite to see how beautiful the worship of God can be among our Eastern Rite brethren. Just make sure it is Catholic, and not Orthodox, because both…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Catherine Of Alexandria

By CAROLE BRESLIN The list of saints is long, and includes both men and women from all walks of life and from all disciplines. For some saints, there is a plenitude of documents and accounts of their lives from which we can draw much information. For most of the saints from the early centuries of the Church, however, there is…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Edward The Confessor

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the Middle Ages, England not only endured the raids of the Vikings, but also suffered from the raids initiated by Denmark and Normandy to control the small kingdom across the straights. Battles and intrigues were frequent, leaving little peace until the time of King Edward the Confessor. Even his reign experienced the plots and conspiracies so…Continue Reading