05 January 2009

Wrapping up 2008

We are now 5 days into the new year, and I have returned to the land of high speed. Before moving into new issues for 2009, I thought I'd update and wrap up a few issues I posted on in 2008.

Snowflake Children

Shortly after I wrote this post the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released Dignitas Personae which answers several vexing bioethical questions. One of those questions is the issue of embryo adoption. I stated in the post that until we had a clear answer from the Vatican, we were free to make a decision based on an informed conscience. Well, we now have an answer from the Vatican.

It has also been proposed, solely in order to allow human beings to be born who are otherwise condemned to destruction, that there could be a form of "prenatal adoption". This proposal, praiseworthy with regard to the intention of respecting and defending human life, presents however various problems not dissimilar to those mentioned above.

All things considered, it needs to be recognized that the thousands of abandoned embryos represent a situation of injustice which in fact cannot be resolved. Therefore John Paul II made an "appeal to the conscience of the world's scientific authorities and in particular to doctors, that the production of human embryos be halted, taking into account that there seems to be no morally licit solution regarding the human destiny of the thousands and thousands of 'frozen' embryos which are and remain the subjects of essential rights and should therefore be protected by law as human persons".39

As you might remember, my opinion was that snowflake adoption was a beautiful option that should be pursued. Obviously that position conflicts with the Church, and is therefore an untenable position to hold for any Catholic. As St. Augustine said "Roma locuta est, causa finita est" (Rome has spoken, the case is closed). It bothers me that there is a situation of injustice that can't be resolved. I am a problem solver; I like answers, but apparently this situation is a Catch-22. I certainly acknowledge that the theologians and bio-ethicists whose research and teachings have lead to this decision are far wiser than I, and I acknowledge their authority.

As a Catholic, it is my duty and my joy to accept the teachings of the church- all of them, whether or not I fully understand them. As the document acknowledges, I took my position with the intent to respect and defend human life. However, that position has serious moral problems, as the document articulates. I can understand those problems, and in all honesty, and recognized them before. However, my zeal to protect life meant I ignored the moral problems. I don't like that those children will be left in limbo, but we have to trust that God, in His infinite wisdom, will have mercy on them.

Euthanasia and Luxembourg

This post talks about Grand Duke Henri's courageous stance against euthanasia in his country. As a result of this stance, his constitutional right of veto has been stripped from him, leaving him a monarchical figurehead. It doesn't surprise me, but it does sadden me. However, I am very proud of the Duke for standing up for his beliefs. His example is one we should follow. Fighting for life is not an easy task, and we may all lose a lot. While the rest of us may not lose a country, we may face the loss of our jobs, the anger of our families and potentially lawsuits. But that doesn't mean that we should give up the fight. Quite the contrary.

If you remember you Catholic Teachings, the church is divided into three groups- the Church Penitent (those in purgatory) the Church Triumphant (those in heaven) and the Church Militant (those on earth). We are the Church Militant, and we have a duty to courageously defend life against all who would threaten it no matter the cost. Grand Duke Henri has reminded us, in a very poignant way that we are the Church Militant and we must fight. God Bless him for that stand.

While the law has not yet been enacted, by taking away the right of veto, it seems that Luxembourg is poised to become the 3rd country to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Petition to the UN against Abortion

In October I asked you all to sign the petition that asks the UN to interpret the Declaration of Human Rights as protecting the unborn child. In December I noted that they had received 330,000 signatures. Well, it turns out that by the time they presented it to the UN, they had over 450,000 signatures. The petition asking the Declaration to be interpreted to guarantee abortion rights only had a few hundred signatures. C-FAM (who sponsored the petition) hopes to raise that total to one million signatures by next year. So, if you haven't signed, or if you know others who would sign it, you can do so here.

That's all for the updates. Beginning tomorrow the posts should all be on new issues in the legal and life spheres. God Bless and I hope you all had a holy Christmas season, and I hope you have a blessed New Year. Keep praying, because that's what we need to save the lives of the unborn, the disabled, the elderly and you and me!

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