Sunday, March 11, 2007

Stem Cell Article

Those who know me tell me I can be a bit cynical at times. So you can guess what my first reaction was when I read the headline, Stem Cell Research Gains Ground in Catholic Church, in today's Newark Star Ledger. I was expecting to see another "cookie cutter" article which so often is the case when the Ledger writes about anything in the Roman Catholic Church.

In case you don't read the Star ledger, here's their usual recipe:

  1. start with the premise that society is correct and then give the Church's 'antiquated' position;
  2. quote one or two 'average Catholics' who tell us that they know what the Church teaches, but they feel totally different;
  3. quote some dissenting Priest or nun academic from some allegedly Catholic college who tells us that their dissenting belief was the original position of the Church back in the 2nd century and how the dogma only came around sometime in the middle ages when the evil, patriarchal Church desired to keep their people dumb and subservient;
  4. give some incredibly lame, incomplete definition of what the Church actually teaches;
  5. go back to the 'average Catholic' quotees and allow them the last word about how they don't care what the Church says, they're going to continue feeling like they do while still considering themselves 'good Catholics');
Anyway, I have to admit: When I read this article I was shocked to see that they have very accurately reported that the Archdiocese of Newark is doing what they can to assist in the funding and research of stem cells obtained in ways that Church teaching considers morally permissible: stem cells obtained from adults as well as from the umbilical cord blood of newborns (which, in fact, are also the only sources that any medical successes using stem cells have been achieved).

Even when the article brings in the opinion of Fr. Tadeusz Pacholcyk, his fear is that human greed will kick in when hospitals and universities see all of this taxpayer-obtained money floating around out there waiting to be snatched up, if only they begin dissecting human embryos for their stem cells.

Human greed with taxpayer money? I can believe it. Whoops, there I am being cynical again.

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