Homily for 1/15/17, the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Father Michael Depcik)
- Catholic Medical Ethics are under direct assault, and New Jersey features the following example:
"A Catholic hospital faces an anti-discrimination lawsuit for cancelling a surgery to remove a uterus from a female who identifies as a man....'This case involves whether a Catholic hospital can be compelled to perform a procedure that violates its sincerely-held religious beliefs,' Matt Sharp, legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, told CNA...."Sharp spoke in response to the legal case of Jionni Conforti, who had scheduled a hysterectomy at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, N.J. in 2015. The hospital canceled the procedure on the grounds it would violate the ethical and religious directives of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops....
"'Every hospital and physician should be free to make sound moral and ethical decisions as to the best treatments for their patients,' he added. 'There are serious questions about the long term results of so-called sex reassignment surgery. Whether based on their sincerely held religious beliefs or ethical considerations, hospitals and physicians should not be compelled to perform these procedures by legions of state or federal bureaucrats.'"Sharp said that state non-discrimination laws which include gender identity as a protected category 'have been repeatedly used to target religious organizations and threaten them with costly fines, and even jail time, if they don’t forfeit their religious freedom and disavow their beliefs about the immutability of sex'” (Washington Times, 1/12/17)We need to be concerned about efforts to erode the religious freedom/conscience rights of health providers (See a recent Pennsylvania example.), including those from within. Law professor Leonard J. Nelson, III, warned of the slippery slope we tread, making the exercise of religious freedom/conscience rights all the more vulnerable: "In terms of its practical effect, the widespread prevalence of dissent among both religious and lay Catholics may make it more difficult for Catholic health care institutions to persuade policymakers that they should be exempt from laws of general application" (Diagnosis Critical: The Urgent Threats Confronting Catholic Healthcare, 2009, p. 32).
- Dr. Brian Koop is among those outraged by so-called emergency contraception in Catholic hospitals (OnePeterFive.com, 2/24/15). Email USCCB President Cardinal DiNardo, USCCB Pro Life Chair Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop Chaput, and National Catholic Bioethics Center President John Haas, PhD, STL, asking that they make their disapproval clear for any continuation of "emergency contraception" at Catholic hospitals. And by the way, shouldn't we also be saying a consistent and clear NO to Providers of Abortifacients/Contraceptives on a parish level?
- Click to Email all of Bucks County's representatives and senators in Harrisburg, asking for support of issues/legislation backed by the Pa Catholic Conference and/or the Pa Pro Life Federation.
- Click to Email Pa's Congressional Delegation, regarding positions backed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, including Justice for Immigrants (cf., also see Human Life Action's 12/16/16 email.)
- Ensure the well-being of Haitians affected by Hurricane Matthew (USCCB)
- Heartbeat Bill Introduced in Congress: HR 490 Will Move the National Debate from Regulating Abortion to Ending It (Faith2Action, 1/13/17)
- "Please send a message to the AMA today asking them to support the dignity of every person and the need for supportive and comprehensive end of life care" (Pa Catholic Conference).
- Congressmen introduce bill to block DC assisted suicide (LifeSiteNews, 1/12/17)
- Act now to stop assisted suicide (Diocese of Trenton, 11/4/16)
- Boycott Target and boycotts/actions from America Needs Fatima and the National Center on Sexual Exploitation