Technology with God
In a speech on June 5, 1988, to workers in Piacenza, Pope John Paul II said that without spiritual guidelines, current genetic technologies threaten to outdo the early nineteenth century Industrial Revolution in “savage and dehumanizing” practices. That period, he said, was an :epoch of cruel exploitation where the ideology in power preached the liberation of the oppressed.”
Today, the Pope states, it is “absolutely necessary” that medical sciences follow the Church’s guidelines on bioethics and the sanctity of human life. Genetic technologies have touched already “explosive points, in which the very structure of living beings, including an, is threatened.”
In February 1987, the Vatican published its guidelines under the title, Instruction on Respect for Human Life in its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation.
Technology without God
Paul Gerber, a bioethicist at Queensland State University, has suggested using brain-dead women as surrogate mothers to make better use of “living corpses.”
Brain dead “neomorts,” or newly dead, he said, could first be used as baby incubators and then for organ transplants. “It’s a wonderful solution to surrogacy,” he thought, “and a magnificent use of a corpse.” (Sun, June 25, 1988)
Gerber’s suggestion provoked all-round angry denunciations, but there were no reports of requests he be fire. Tenure rules usually prevent professors from being fired but in some intellectual communities “moral turpitude” is still an indictable offence.”
Abortions for glory
Success hungry female track-and-field competitors are improving their performances by deliberately becoming pregnant and then having abortions. Press reports in Britain, Switzerland and France indicated that East Bloc countries have been encouraging their female athletes to become pregnant and have abortions following the discovery that muscle power greatly increases during early pregnancy. The practice has been confirmed by a Finnish sports-medicine expert, said the British Sunday Mirror. The story was revealed by professor Renate Huch of the University of Zurich, Switzerland.
Huch delivered a paper to the annual meeting of the Upper Rhine Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics in Strassbourg on this new form of “doping.” Agence France-Presse reports that according to Huch these “perfidious and unacceptable” practices take place in all countries, but are carefully hidden. In 1956, she stated, 10 of the 26 female Soviet athletes participating in the Olympics that year, were pregnant, a rate too high to be a matter of chance. The Soviet Union revealed these figures in defending itself against charges of doping its female athletes with masculine hormones. (Le Devoir, Le Droit, may 18, 1988).
With an eight to one decision, the Supreme Court suspended a fine of $100,000 per day imposed by a New York court on the Catholic Church in 1987, on request of pro-abortion forces. The Church had refused to pay the fine.
U.S. pro-abortionists have challenged the tax-exempt status of the Catholic Church because she allegedly promotes and supports political candidates (opposed to abortion). The Manhattan judge agreed and ordered the Catholic Church to turn over its records. The Supreme Court ruling stated the fine is “excessive” and implied that the judgment had been an exercise in “raw judicial power.” (Wanderer, June 20)
The feminist organization known as Canadian Catholic for Women’s Ordination (CCWO) has changed its fane to Catholic Network for Women’s Equality (CNWE). The organization was founded in 1981.
Its purpose is the ordination of women as priests in the Roman Catholic Church. This remains the same. But because the Church rejects the argument for women priests as contrary to the will of God, the emphasis for the time being will fall on changing the structures of the Church first payer, language, images, public worship, bible and all ministries.
Once the faithful have become used to the changes, the male hierarchy will be expected to surrender its illegally acquired position of dominance to include women as priests and bishops.
The Church of England voted in favour of women priests with a narrow margin at its 1988 annual meeting. Some 800 deaconesses have been “ordained” over the previous few years, but ordination of women to the Anglican priestly ministry may still have to wait some four years before parliamentary legislation has been passed.
The Church of England is a state church and must await state approval. Other autonomous units of the Anglican communion in Canada, the U.S.A. and New Zealand proceeded to call women to the ministry over ten years ago. The R.C. Church does not recognize Anglican orders as valid sacramental ordinations in the apostolic succession.
The ordination of women was approved by the Anglican Conference, held in Canterbury form July 16 to August 6. It is expected that from now on ecumenical relations with Rome will become more difficult, while those with Protestant churches, which have no sacramental ordinations for their clergy, may become easier.
Within the Anglican communion itself, the issue of women priests has led to the formation of at least three new churches worldwide which have separated from the main body: the Anglican Catholic Church (1987), (high church) with some 20 dioceses in the U.S., Canada and Australia; the Anglican Church of North America (low church); and a new independent Church of England in Zimbabwe, Africa.
The ordination of women has also widened the distance between what were originally “provinces” then “autonomous units,” now – for all practical purposes, 28 separate national churches of the Anglican communion. Said Australia Archbishop Donald Robinson of Sydney: “I think we will have an increasingly limited communion with one another. We are beginning to move apart without completely breaking relations with one another.” (The Age, April 28, 1988)