The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

European Battles

Secular, anti-Christian forces in Europe, encouraged partly, I believe, by a general apathy among the populace, have been waging outright war against the Church and its teaching in recent years. The following stories from today's news each reflect a battle within this much larger war. In each case you can click on the title to read the details.
  • Physicians' Rights of Conscience. The European Parliament plans to vote on regulations that might well restrict the rights of physicians to avoid performing abortions, sterilizations, euthanasia and other procedures that violate their consciences and religious views.
  • Church Can't Dismiss for Immorality. The European Court of Human Rights has decided that a musician who violated his employment contract with a Catholic Church in Germany instead had his rights violated by the Church. The musician, who had agreed in his contract to live in accordance with Catholic values, ended his first marriage and had a child by another woman.
  • Cardinal Erdo Addresses European Demographic Crisis. One glance at the basic demographic data for Europe and it's apparent that the contraceptive mentality has taken firm hold of the population. Cardinal Erdo, the President of the Council of Episcopal Conferences of Europe (CCEE), made this point clearly in his comments regarding the theme of the Council's plenary assembly in Zagreb: "Unfortunately, today the family is often threatened by a selfish, relativist culture directed exclusively towards short-lived material well-being...many European countries do not have a healthy birth-rate...The demographic crisis and the crisis in the family institution are closely linked."
  • Nobel Prize Goes to Inventor of In Vitro Fertilization. The International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations (FIAMC) issued a statement in response to the awarding of the Nobel Prize for medicine to British biologist, Robert Edwards: "Although IVF has brought happiness to the many couples who have conceived through this process, it has done so at an enormous cost...undermining of the dignity of the human person. Many millions of embryos have been created and discarded during the IVF process." The Catholic doctors stated that they "recognize the pain that infertility brings to a couple, but equally we believe that the research and treatment methods needed to solve the problems of infertility have to be conducted within an ethical framework which respects the special dignity of the human embryo, which is no different from that of a mature adult with a brilliant mind."
These battles are not, of course, restricted to Europe. Indeed, they are being fought throughout the world. Europe just seems to be the favored least for now.

St. Michael, pray for us.

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