Friday, March 9, 2012

Disposable Babies

We've all heard of "wrongful death suits".  Well, now we have "wrongful birth suits."  I remember back in 1973 when abortion, the murder of unborn babies, was legalized, we were told that all babies would be loved and wanted because people would be able to choose.  That doesn't seem to have worked out.  Just as we were warned by Catholic Church, the legalization of abortion has only served to devalue life.  Just recently I posted about an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics which is arguing to allow the killing of newborn babies because “both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons,” and that because abortion is allowed even when there is no problem with the fetus’ health, “killing a newborn should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.” 

Now there is a couple suing their doctors because their baby was born with Down Syndrome.  They are basically suing because their baby is "defective" and the doctors didn't catch it when the mother was pregnant and they could have legally killed it.  Hopefully their child will never be able to understand that if her parents had known she wasn't "perfect", they would have killed her without thinking twice about it.  Since her "imperfections" went undetected, her parents are now suing because they didn't get the correct information in order to make the decision to kill her.  If those at the Journal for Medical Ethics have their way, parents will be allowed to kill their newborn babies if the babies don't satisfy all the parents' needs and wishes. 

Blessed John Paul II wrote:
The Gospel of life is for the whole of human society. To be actively pro-life is to contribute to the renewal of society through the promotion of the common good. It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all the other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop. A society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts values such as the dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand, radically acts to the contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in which human life is devalued and violated, especially where it is weak or marginalized. Only respect for life can be the foundation and guarantee of the most precious and essential goods of society, such as democracy and peace.

Can any society survive with this kind of mentality that can sue for "wrongful birth"?  We recycle bottles, cans and paper, but we throw away our babies.  God help us all. 

From oregonlive.com:

Portland-area couple sues Legacy Health for $3 million for 'wrongful birth' after child born with Down syndrome




On the June 2007 day their daughter was born, Ariel and Deborah Levy were overcome with excitement, then shock when hospital staff told them their daughter looked like she had Down syndrome.

A doctor asked Deborah Levy if she'd had a prenatal test -- a chorionic villus sampling, or CVS for short -- and Levy said yes, the results showed they'd have a normal, healthy child.

Within days of her birth, however, a blood test confirmed that the little girl, Kalanit, hadDown syndrome.

The Levys filed suit against Legacy Health, claiming that Deborah Levy would have aborted her pregnancy had she known her daughter had the chromosomal abnormality. The lawsuit blames Legacy's Center for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in North Portland and a Legacy lab for allegedly botching the test. The Levys -- who dearly love their daughter, now 4 [they "dearly love" their baby whom they would have killed if given the opportunity??]-- want Legacy to pay for the extra life-time costs of caring for her. That is estimated at about $3 million.

This afternoon, after nine days of trial in a downtown Portland courtroom, 12 jurors began deliberating in a case that gets to the core of how we view and value a life, and asks who should have to pay when that life is less than optimal. Experts say such "wrongful birth" cases are extraordinarily rare nationwide, for one, because prenatal tests such as the CVS are as much as 99.7 percent accurate and when they fail, few parents are willing to endure the scrutiny of a legal challenge. But wrongful birth lawsuits may be becoming more common as technology advances, more women in their late 30s or 40s give birth and millions of expectant mothers come to rely on genetic screenings.

Internet commenters have assailed the couple as heartless. The Levys' attorney, David K. Miller, said the couple has received death threats.  [This response is just as bad as parents wanting to kill their children.]
Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Karin Immergut banned courtroom photos of the couple for safety reasons.

Several studies show that more than 89 percent of women who learn they will give birth to a child with Down syndrome choose to terminate their pregnancies. [This is the horrendous consequence of allowing people to throw away their babies.] 
Miller, the Levy's attorney, contends that Dr. Thomas Jenkins removed maternal tissue -- not fetal tissue --from Deborah Levy's womb. The suit faults Jenkins and lab workers for not recognizing that the tissue was from the mother. The suit also faults Legacy for reassuring her that her baby didn't have an extra 21st chromosome even though two ultrasounds allegedly raised red flags by showing traits of Down syndrome.

Legacy's attorney said Jenkins and other staff followed proper procedures and weren't at fault. Attorney Robert Keating said the CVS found only normal cells because Kalanit has mosiac Down syndrome -- meaning a significant number of her cells don't contain an extra 21st chromosome. Keating pointed to an analysis of Kalanit's cells -- taken after birth -- that showed nearly 31 percent are normal.

But the Levys' attorney told jurors they should discredit that analysis because it had been done by a Legacy lab looking to defend its legal position. Miller argued that 100 percent of the cells analyzed in the CVS were normal because they were Deborah Levy's cells. Meanwhile, other samples of tissue taken from Kalanit after she was born show an insignificant number of normal cells, less than one or two percent.

The attorneys called upon a series of medical experts with each side criticizing the others' experts as ill-informed. [No one is arguing about whether this child has a right to live.  That should be the only real issue.  Unfortunately, in our society, the child does not have an inherent right to life.]
Ariel Levy, 39, is a civil engineer. Deborah Levy, also 39, is a dental hygienist.

The two met in preschool, went to Wilson High School, and later, to a Boston-area college. They started dating in 1996, and in 2000, they married. A few years later, Deborah Levy gave birth to a boy, now a third grader. He was followed by another boy, now a kindergartner. The Levys considered their family complete and were surprised in November 2006 to learn that Deborah Levy was pregnant again.

Because she was 34, she and her husband were concerned about the possibility of genetic disorders. Experts testified that about 1 in 250 women that age give birth to a child with Down syndrome. A first-trimester screening showed Deborah Levy's chances were estimated to be higher than average, at about 1 in 130.

So when Deborah Levy was 13 weeks pregnant, she underwent the CVS. [Description of 13 week old fetus:  Fingerprints have formed on your baby's tiny fingertips, her veins and organs are clearly visible through her still-thin skin, and her body is starting to catch up with her head — which makes up just a third of her body size now. If you're having a girl, she now has more than 2 million eggs in her ovaries. Your baby is almost 3 inches long (the size of a medium shrimp) and weighs nearly an ounce.  See the video below showing the "fetus" that Deborah Levy was ready to abort:]



Ariel Levy told jurors he remembers feeling happy when he and his wife were told the results were normal.

"We were told that we had nothing to worry about," he said.

Deborah Levy testified that after their daughter was born at Good Samaritan Medical Center in Northwest Portland, a doctor told her not to worry about the way the child looked because the results of the CVS were normal. One week after her daughter's birth, she said she arrived at the pediatrician's office eager to "show off my daughter." That's when she learned the blood tests showed her daughter had Down syndrome.

"It was devastating," Deborah Levy recalled.

The Levys said their sons are healthy, strong and bright. The oldest is a competitive chess player and has placed in the 99th percentile on standardized tests.

Their experience with their daughter has been much different. Her parents say they worry about future medical problems, her ability to interact with others and whether she will receive the extra therapy and attention she will need in school. Experts have told the Levys that she likely won't be able to live on her own, or support herself. [And hopefully the child will never know or understand that her parents wanted to kill her and sued because they did not get the chance to legally do so.  But do their two sons now wonder, if they hadn't been "perfect", would the Levys have killed them?  The answer is painfully obvious.] The Levys worry about who will care for their daughter once they are gone.

Kalanit speaks in two word sentences, and few other than her mother and father understand. Like many of those with Down syndrome, she doesn't like brushing her teeth.

"I literally have to pin her down with my legs while she's screaming," Deborah Levy said.

Despite all of this, the Levys say they have the same expectations for their daughter as they do for their sons: They want to help her reach her full potential. Deborah Levy said Karen Gaffney has been a role model. Gaffney -- a Portland area woman who has Down syndrome -- graduated from high school with a regular diploma, earned a Portland Community College degree and travels the nation speaking about overcoming limitations.

One expert estimated that a child with Kali's condition is likely to live into her mid-50s. The additional lifetime costs of caring for her --above and beyond that of a child without Down syndrome -- is nearly $3 million. [What kind of society puts a dollar amount on the value of life?  Our Lord - the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, the One who gives us every breath of life - gave His Life for Kali and everyone else who has ever been conceived.  How is it possible to put a dollar amount on this?  Our society has truly descended into hell.]

The jury continues deliberating Friday.
I think the jury has already come in with the decision on our anti-life society, and it is not a positive decision.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Importance of Silence

Living in New York City, I have come to learn that there is very little that you can't find here, be it good or bad.  But one thing that is very hard to come by is silence.  This has to be one of the noisest places on earth.  But in our modern world, it seems as if people run from silence no matter where they are.  If we are by ourselves, we're talking on our cell phones, plugged into our ipods or ipads, which we can take everywhere.  At home the TV immediately comes on, or the radio or the computer.  We can't go into a store or restaurant without "music" playing (I put the word music in quotes because most of what we hear, IMHO, is no longer music but merely noise).  Waiting in a receptionist room and even in a lot of restaurants, we are usually bombarded with TV, blocking out even our own thoughts. 

I have written previously about the lack of silence in the Novus Ordo Mass and how destructive it is to prayer and communion with our Lord. 

A few weeks ago I posted the Pope's speech which he gave on January 24 and which was for World Communications Day on May 20.  That speech concerned the importance of silence in communication.  This past Wednesday, March 7, the the Holy Father, in his weekly general audience, again talked of the importance of silence, this time specifically on the importance of silence in our relationship with God.  It is a very short speech, but as is true any time the Pope speaks, it is packed with wisdom.

From the Vatican website:


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In concluding this series of catecheses on the prayer of Jesus, I would like to speak of the importance of silence in our relationship with God. In Christ’s own life and prayer, and especially in his experience of the Cross, we see a constant interplay of word and silence. Jesus’ mortal silence on the Cross is his final word to the Father, his supreme prayer. To hear God’s word requires the cultivation of outward and inward silence, so that his voice can resound within our hearts and shape our lives. But Jesus teaches us that God also speaks to us, especially at times of difficulty, through his silence, which invites us to deeper faith and trust in his promises. Jesus is our great teacher of prayer; from his prayer we learn to speak with confidence to our heavenly Father as his beloved sons and daughters. In this filial dialogue we are also taught to recognize God’s many gifts and to obey his will, which gives meaning and direction to our lives.
The Pope is basically saying here that unless we can be silent, we will not hear God.  We have to turn off the TV, the internet, the radio, our ipods and ipads, even our own internal noise.  This is especially true in this holy time of Lent, as we go into the spiritual desert with our Lord.  This is one of the reasons why Eucharistic Adoration is so powerful.  We go before the Blessed Sacrament, exposed on the altar and turn off the entire world.  It is just you and the Lord.  And you let him speak to you in that still small voice described in I Kings 19.  Jesus will never push himself on you.  He is always there for you, but you have to turn off the world and listen quietly and intently, just as Elijah did.
9And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?

10And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

11And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:

12And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
May you find that still small voice and hear our Lord calling to you.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

When Political Correctness Rules

Please enjoy this culturally, ethnically, religiously
and politically correct cartoon responsibly.  Thank you.
A few days ago I posted about a priest who was reprimanded for refusing to give communion to a woman who had introduced herself and her lesbian lover to him immediately before the funeral Mass for her mother.  To me, reprimanding the priest in this situation is political correctness run amok in the Church.  The bishops seem much more concerned about hurt feelings than concern for souls or desecration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Lifesitenews.com has now posted an article giving background on the priest involved.  This article shows even more clearly that the bishop acted much too quickly without full awareness of the facts of this matter.  How I pray for the day when the bishops are more concerned about souls than political correctness. 

Exclusive: Inside sources provide new info on priest censured for denying lesbian Communion

  • Fri Mar 02, 2012 15:27 EST
(Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story identified Barabara Johnson as the partner of Kathleen DeBold and written up in Metro Weekly. A homosexual activist organization contacted LSN to note that it is a different Barbara Johnson identified in the newspaper. We are investigating the matter.)

GAITHERSBURG, MD, March 1, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In the wake of international press coverage of a priest’s decision to deny a lesbian communion, and the woman’s subsequent demands that he be removed from the parish, a source close to the incident contacted LifeSiteNews with new information that he says will set the record straight. Among other things, the new information indicates that the woman did actually receive Communion at the Mass – but from an Extraordinary minister rather than the priest.

Fr. Marcel Guarnizo of St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland, was reprimanded by the Archdiocese of Washington this week after denying communion to Johnson at her mother’s funeral. Johnson had informed the priest before the Mass that she was a lesbian, and was denied communion when she presented herself in line.

In a statement issued last week, the Archdiocese said that Guarnizo’s actions were against diocesan policy, and that “any issues regarding the suitability of an individual to receive communion should be addressed by the priest with that person in a private, pastoral setting.”

LifeSiteNews spoke today with Diego von Stauffenberg, a source who is close to the incident and who revealed detailed information about the nature of Fr. Guarnizo’s actions at the funeral. According to Stauffenberg the priest was confronted by Johnson for the first time moments before Mass began.

She was reportedly agitated by the fact that the funeral was being presided over by Fr. Guarnizo, who is well known for his outspoken defense of Church teachings. The priest has been on the front lines of local pro-life activism, leading prayer vigils at Dr. LeRoy Carhart’s late term abortion facility in Germantown.

Johnson initially came into the sacristy to discuss the details of the two eulogies that were supposed to be delivered, but left abruptly and returned with her brother and another woman, whom she introduced as her “lover.”

Following this introduction, Johnson made a second abrupt exit, this time with her lover reportedly blocking the door in an apparent attempt to prevent any further conversation between Fr. Guarnizo and Johnson.

The priest proceeded with the Mass, but decided to remind the congregation before Communion of what is required to be properly disposed to receive. Stauffenberg reports that when Johnson approached for Communion anyway, Fr. Guarnizo turned her away in a manner so discreet that the Extraordinary Minister standing a few feet away did not know what had occurred. Johnson then crossed over to the Extraordinary minister’s line and was given communion.

Moreover, says Stauffenberg, media reports that Fr. Guarnizo refused to be present during Johnson’s eulogy are inaccurate. Johnson had told Channel 9 News that “Fr. Marcel left the altar, and did not return until I finished my eulogy.”

She also told the National Catholic Reporter that Fr. Guarnizo not only did not attend the burial, but also did not make an effort to find another priest to do so, and that it was the funeral director who took the initiative in contacting another priest.

The truth, according to Stauffenberg, is that Fr. Guarnizo suffers from migraines which are triggered by stressful situations. He had a migraine during the funeral, and discreetly left after the first eulogy ended, looking for water to revive himself. When he returned to the sanctuary, Johnson was about five minutes into a eulogy that lasted around fifteen to twenty minutes.

After the Mass was over, he accompanied the body in procession down the aisle and out the door to the hearse, where he informed the funeral director that he would be unable to make the 11 mile drive from the Church to the cemetery on Aspen Hill. He personally arranged for the funeral director to contact another local priest, Fr. Paul Sweeney, who joined the family at the cemetery.

“Mrs. Johnson was given a Catholic funeral with all of the formality and all of the respect that the Catholic Church has to offer,” said Stauffenberg.

Most of the substantial details offered by Stauffenberg have been corroborated by another source who also contacted LifeSiteNews, but who wishes to remain anonymous. In addition, an email circulating in the Diocese which claims to have originated from a group of people who met with Father shortly after the incident says the following:

“Fr knew the lady was a practicing lesbian because she came into the sacristy and introduced her ‘lover’ to Fr just before the Mass. He quietly denied her communion (so quietly that the Euch minister next to him didn’t realize that he did), and the woman promptly went to the other line and received communion anyway! He left to use the restroom (he was getting a migraine) between the eulogies, but did finish the ceremony and escorted the casket out. He made arrangements for there to be another priest at the gravesite and there was. He felt that it was a matter of conscience to deny her communion since he had been informed that she was an active homosexual by her own admission.”

Another statement from the Archdiocese about the incident was published yesterday in the Washington Post. The statement noted that “no one is entitled to the Eucharist,” and that “any person who obstinately perseveres in manifest grave sin is not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”

The statement also said that situations which called for denial of communion “ideally” would be handled by “discussing the consequences of such sin with the person privately before actually denying them Communion.”

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Meditation on the First Sorrowful Mystery: Jesus' Agony In the Garden

I'm a little late on this one, but yesterday, March 3, was the First Saturday of the Month.  As I have mentioned previously,  Our Lady of Fatima has asked us, on the First Saturday of the Month to:

1.  Go To Confession.
2.  Receive Holy Communion
3.  Pray 5 decades of the Rosary and Meditate for 15 minutes on one of the mysteries of the Rosary.

This is to be done in reparation for the evil of the world and that the consecration of Russia be done to her Immaculate Heart.  I must add that the Consecration is the only solution to the crisis in which the world finds itself.  The solution is not political.  The devil is in that "solution."

I have chosen this month to meditate on the First Sorrowful Mystery, which is the Agony of Our Lord in the Garden.  The Book of Luke describes Jesus' agony as such (Luke 22:41-43):
And he was withdrawn away from them a stone's cast; and kneeling down, he prayed, Saying: Father, if thou wilt, remove this chalice from me: but yet not my will, but thine be done. And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony, he prayed the longer. And his sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground.
 In contemplating Christ's agony in the garden the night before he was crucified, I always read these verses to mean that our Lord was in agony over the physical brutality he was about to undergo.  And that may have been part of it.  But I think his agony was caused much more by the thought that he was about to take the entire sin of the world - past, present and future - upon himself, and thus to enter into such horror and wickedness that we cannot even comprehend.  Just to feel a tiny fraction of the evil that is the sin of the world would kill any one of us.  Just think of some of the gruesome murders you have heard of, child abuse, the horrors of war.  Christ saw and experienced all of this in living color, sterophonic sound, 3D, with all the sights and smells and pain associated with this evil.  Men who have been to war and experienced the death and brutality associated with it have come back never to be the same.  Our Lord took all of this on himself and so much more, and presented Himself to the Father as the Redemptive Sacrifice to pay the price for all of the unspeakable evil in the world. 

Our Lord brought the three closest men with him to the garden:  Peter, James and John.  He walked away from them to pray to the Father and prepare Himself for what he was about to undergo.   Matthew 26:36-39 gives us this account:
Then Jesus came with them into a country place which is called Gethsemani; and he said to his disciples: Sit you here, till I go yonder and pray. And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to grow sorrowful and to be sad. Then he saith to them: My soul is sorrowful even unto death: stay you here, and watch with me. And going a little further, he fell upon his face, praying, and saying: My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. 
 Here is the account of Christ's prayer in which he asks the Father to allow this cup of suffering pass from him.  He asks this not once, but twice more (Matthew 26:40-44):
And he cometh to his disciples, and findeth them asleep, and he saith to Peter: What? Could you not watch one hour with me? Watch ye, and pray that ye enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh weak. Again the second time, he went and prayed, saying: My Father, if this chalice may not pass away, but I must drink it, thy will be done. And he cometh again and findeth them sleeping: for their eyes were heavy. And leaving them, he went again: and he prayed the third time, saying the selfsame word.
Total Innocence, Goodness and Purity was taking on the vast evil and filth of this world in order to redeem our souls.  Is there any sacrifice too big for us to make in comparison to this?  It is the reason the martyrs throughout history have gladly given their lives for their Savior.  There is nothing we can do that can begin to compare to the terrible agony and suffering which our Lord experienced starting in the Garden of Gethsemani.  But as we say at each Mass:  "Lord, I am not worthy, that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my soul shall be healed."


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