Won't Get Fooled Again
Regarding “Bishops Find Fault With Presidential Council's Bioethics Report” (April 25-May 1):
I was reading Tiger Beat and writing fan letters to Dino, Desi and Billy while Pope Paul VI was defending the Catholic Church's teaching against the use of contraception in his 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae (On the Regulation of Birth). Although I was not a participant in the debate back then, I am now living in a world with the unfortunate evidence of a sexually saturated society — thanks in part to the acceptance of contraception as a gift from the “enlightened” world of scientific research.
All that was predicted by those opposed to contraception has become a reality and then some (abortion, AIDS, numerous other sexually transmitted diseases, divorce rates at more than 50%, the breakdown of the family, infertility, homosexual marriage, spousal abuse and so on). The detrimental legacy that the contraceptive mentality has wrought is yet to be realized.
I was among those “Catholics” who for many years believed the Church was “out of touch on the contraception thing.” However, I have since come to believe that oftentimes faith precedes understanding. I wish that my Catholic predecessors who were involved in the contraception debate had accepted the magisterium as faithful Catholics. I think the world would be a very different place right now. Good cannot come from anything that is intrinsically evil.
Today we have the Church speaking out against immoral stem-cell research. I do not doubt that many people are finding it difficult to accept this teaching as well. I would not want to be a legislator taking calls from parents whose children are afflicted with diseases. They are understandably impatient, but the taking of human life is intrinsically evil. There has been and will continue to be success in stem-cell research that does not require the destruction of human embryos.
And make no mistake. This debate is about the taking of human life. Those in favor of the research will phrase their intent in such a way as to make it appealing enough for many to decide that once again the Church is out of date.
As the saying goes: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.
Patte Kennedy Mokena, Illinois
- June 13-19, 2004