Dignity of Life Speaker Series: Fr. Tad Pacholczyk – “Care and Treatment Decisions for Compromised Patients at the End of Life”

Wednesday, February 25, 2008
Following 7:00 pm Ash Wednesday Mass

Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D.
Director of Education, The National Catholic Bioethics Center

Fr. Tad is a priest of the diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts. As an undergraduate he earned degrees in philosophy, biochemistry, molecular cell biology, and chemistry, and did laboratory research on hormonal regulation of the immune response. He later earned a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Yale University, where he focused on cloning genes for neurotransmitter transporters which are expressed in the brain. He also worked for several years as a molecular biologist at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School.

Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church
47650 North Territorial Road
Plymouth, MI 48170
(On the corner of Beck & North Territorial)

This series is sponsored by Gospel of Life Committee at OLGC. For more information, please contact Mark Renfer @ mark.renfer@gmail.com

Fr. Tad studied for 5 years in Rome where he did advanced work in dogmatic theology and in bioethics, examining the question of delayed ensoulment of the human embryo. He has testified before members of the Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Virginia and North Carolina State Legislatures during deliberations over stem cell research and cloning. He has given presentations and participated in roundtables on contemporary bioethics throughout the U.S., Canada, and in Europe. He has done numerous media commentaries, including appearances on CNN International, ABC World News Tonight, and National Public Radio. He is Director of Education for The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia and directs the Center’s National Catholic Certification Program in Health Care Ethics.

The Dignity of Life speaker series is a response to the crisis of modernity as described by Pope John Paul II. He wrote that the crisis of our age is the pulverization and degradation of the dignity and uniqueness of the human person. The speaker series address this crisis and hopes to offer concrete avenues to transform the culture into a genuine civilization of love.

Go Ahead, Push My Buttons

Okay, I read in OLGC bulletin that there was going to be a talk on U-M campus entitled “Why Liberals and Feminists Should Be Pro-Life” and decided to stay a little late at work and head over.  There was so much in that talk that I could blog about, but for now I’ll just comment on one thing at the end during the question and answer period.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to give a longer post on the talk over the weekend.

Towards the end of the question and answer period, which kept trying to become a heated debate between students/attendees, a girl (I call everyone girl, regardless of age, just a quirk of mine — she called herself an X-year old woman) was upset at the speaker, saying (essentially) that the speaker was talking of ideals and of a perfect world that does not exist, and that since we are currently in a world where women are still being put down for their sex and still in relationships where the men have control over when the couple will be conjugally active and where rape still exists — that abortion should still be legal, so that these women would not be forced to continue with a pregnancy that they might not have freely chosen.  One of her main points was that abortion was necessary as long as society devalued women [her] because “I have a vagina.”

Okay.  So my interpretation of what she is saying goes something like this:  You are upset because someone [males in power in society, presumably] is not giving you full human rights and dignity due to the anatomical fact that you have a vagina.  However, you do not see any irony in the fact that you are willing to deny someone [the unborn] every human right, beginning with the right to life, due to the anatomical fact that they have an umbilical cord?

And, further, if you are concerned about equal status and equal value amongst the sexes, promoting an attitude where certain people [the unborn] are not valued is not going to promote a societal ethos where that equality will be felt in the heart of the people.  Only if every single person, regardless of age, sex, birth status, mental capacity, etc., is seen as a unique, unrepeatable, special individual made in the image and likeness of God, in whom God is deeply and radically in love, can we begin to live in a society where each person is treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve.

 Yeah, so basically, I tried really hard to fight the urge to want to whap everyone there upside the head with a copy of “Theology of the Body.”

I may have to create a whole separate page on my blog just to talk about this issue, until I have properly vented.  What do you think?  Shall we have a pro-life forum here?  🙂