George A. Sprecace M.D.,
J.D., F.A.C.P. and Allergy Associates of New
RIGHT AND WRONG WITH THE CATHOLIC CHURCH #28
a special edition, encompassing a number of articles posted during the
last three weeks on "Zenit: The
World Seen From Rome". The articles will be identified,
and their message will be presented in an accurate manner.
Then comes the cautionary "But..." from
me, an intelligent, informed and card-carrying member of the Laity, the
Body of the Catholic Church. You might want to consider it in
formulating your own "Right Conscience".
- The Bishops and Health Care
Reform, Zenit, May 25, 2010. The American Catholic Bishops have
been consistent for decades in their goals: universal coverage to
assist the needy..."a right inherent in each human being"; includes all
human persons, from the moment of their conception; emphasizes freedom
of conscience for all in performing their duties and in leading their
lives; they take responsibility for making moral decisions and for
providing guidelines for Catholics; opposition to some "Catholic"
organizations in their positions; favor immigration. BUT...:
without the discharge of related responsibilities there are no rights;
the Laity also has a right and responsibility to discern and make moral
decisions; the same is true of individual "immigrants" and of the right
and responsibility of a nation to secure its borders; and the one "sine
qua non" for Catholic organizations and Catholic individuals is
absolute, total and permanent opposition to abortion.
- Strategy of Silence
(Zenit, May 25, 2010) refers to part of the approach taken by Pope Pius
Xll in saving thousands of Roman (and probably other) Jews during WW
ll. Please read the article itself, in addition to the numerous
offerings on this site on the same subject.
- Pedophilia and the Catholic
Church (Zenit, May 23, 2010). A rapidly growing international
industry. Found its roots in the late 1960's attack on all
authority and on "sexual freedom" ("exaltation of the orgasm").
This found some currency in seminaries, in selection of candidates and
in their confusion between authority and "dialogue". Worsened by
persistent anti-Church media and especially by the culture of death
embodied in rampant abortions. There is a need for doctrinal
also promoted all of this was the reactionary attack by an influential
segment of Church leadership on the actions and proposals of Vatican
ll, carried out intensely for the subsequent decade and even to the
present time. And we certainly need doctrinal clarification,
after sober discussion among the
Magisterium and the Laity, regarding the following official
positions, none of which have been declared "ex cathedra": obligatory
priestly celebacy; women priests; contraception, especially biologic
(comparable to "natural family planning") and especially between
committed married couples (no jurisdiction). Failure of the
Church Hierarchy to enter into this discussion and "Aggiornamento" will
result in its continued descent into irrelevance.
- More on Aids and Condoms (Zenit,
May 19, 2010). Within this article are found some valuable
Scriptural and St. Paul references to Marriage and "conjugal
rights". But... Compare
these with the "outcome determinative" statements and equivocations of
Popes Paul Vl, John Paul ll and Benedict XVl. Especially compare
these with the tortured conclusions of the "Ethicists" quoted
- In the same article, see the section on "Extraordinary Measures at End of Life". Correctly,
removal of supplemental O2 is wrong.
But... the issue of removal of food and water is more
nuanced. In my opinion, and applying the related principles of
"Futility", "Ordinary and Proportionate" and "Excessively Burdonsome",
intravenous hyperalimentation or gastric feeding can be considered
optional or subject to knowing refusal, while simple intravenous water
seems appropriate to minimize pain and suffering from progressive
dehydration during the process to death.
- In Vitro Fertilization, (Zenit,
May 16, 2010). This discusses issues of health and risks of
exploitation for donors, recipients and surrogates. It discusses
serious legal complications. And it makes a telling observation: "Moreover, introducing third parties, by
using eggs or sperm from donors, or through surrogacy, violates the
integrity of the marital relationship, just as it would be violated by
sexual relations with a person outside the marriage." But... the article lumps all of this
with efforts by a committed married couple to overcome apparent
infertility through the mechanism of in vitro fertilization using their
own gametes. The only problem here, in my view, is that of the
fate of excess fertilized ova. A serious issue, it should be
dealt with through adoption by similarly committed married
Details Sex Abuse Defense (AP, May 16, 2010, by Nicole
Winfield). This should be read...But...
it is not to be believed. Of course, to any lawyer anything is
"arguable". But this argument fails the laugh test. In the
relationship between the Vatican and its Bishops: "Responeat
- Canon Law regarding Abuse by
Clergy, (Zenit, May 14, 2010.
Canon Law has been there. But... it just has not been applied
until the current crisis.
- Faith Under Fire (Zenit,
May 9, 2010). And "Bishops: What Have
We Learned?" Zenit, May 14,
2010). Both of these should be read in the
original. We, the
Laity, continue to hope and to pray. But...we will no longer be
silent. We would rather "Fight than Switch".
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