Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Brick by Brick...

From the article "Gynecologists and obstetricians of Ecuador reject abortion":

"They went on to note that 'science teaches that life begins with conception. If this truth is also affirmed by religions it does not therefore cease to be a strictly scientific truth to only become a debatable religious opinion. Whoever denies that life begins at conception doesn’t have an issue with religion but rather with science. To deny this certainty of biology is not an expression of a lack of faith, but rather a lack of an elementary knowledge of human genetics, or even worse, of simple general culture,' the doctors said."

Emphasis added.

Read the whole thing.

1 comment:

Phil Steinacker said...

Fr. John,

Your quote from the GYN/OB folks reminds me of one of my "brick by brick" experiences in becoming pro-life years ago - and eventually back to Our Lord and His Church nearly 5 years ago.

I recall listening to Alan Keyes when he was a radio show talk host in MD for about 18 months, and he pointed out that pro-aborts often claim that human fetuses aren't actually human.

His response to that particular lie (which I didn't believe even though I was pro-abort at the time) was that if you ask any biologist if a tadpole was of the same species as a frog, the answer would be yes. The principle, if you will, is that the offspring of a member of any species is also a member of that same species.

I listened to Alan as often as I could until he ran and lost for U.S. Senate in MD. During that year on the radio he offered me some other gems that progressively nudged me back into conservative thinking (towards which I was naturally inclined, but needed encouragement).

My other great pro-life (and conservative) influence was President Reagan, who responded to those "Christians" who pointed out that there was no direct, specific scriptural revelation supporting the pro-life position of Christianity that conception begins at birth (I know, the same falsehood that attacks the notion as a theological issue, and not a scientific/medical one, that your post references here).

Reagan said he agreed there was no specific revelation on that point, so, he asked, "Doesn't not knowing precisely when life begins require us, then, to err on the side of caution?"

He blew me away. That approach was exactly the principle-based thinking structure in which I had been raised as a Catholic. I was very comfortable with the sensibility of it, and I was fully pro-life not long after that. Alan Keyes provided the lay-up, and President Ronnie came through with the slam-dunk.

BTW, Father, I knew the Salesians of Don Bosco quite well. Your order played a major role along with my overall Catholic upbringing which included K-12 in Catholic school, plus 3 years at Loyola College in Baltimore back when Jesuits had their heads on right (most of them, anyway), 4 summers at summer camp for boys with your fine priests and brothers, and active participation in the Mass ranging from altar boy, choir, lector, and folk group leader until I overslept one Sunday morning from a night of drinking and drugging debauchery at age 22.

I didn't return (outside of the occasional near miss) for 31 years, and it was an "undercover" priest (he was home visiting his mom) in a bar who the Lord placed next to me who did what he was supposed to do. There was no persuasion or convincing that took place like in standard conversion stories (God bless all those folks, too) because I didn’t need that, evidently. All I needed was an invitation to return, have my confession heard, and start Mass & the Eucharist the next Sunday - the 1st Sunday of Advent 2003.

As for my Salesian experience, it was great. I spent the last two summers you held summer camp in Elkins, West Virginia. The first of those the camp director was a Father Jim, I believe. Once they closed I attended the camp in Goshen NY.

I am very glad and proud to tell you, father, that not once did any Salesian priest or brother ever behave in a sexual way or in any other inappropriate manner with me. Many of them had ample opportunity to do so.

A particular legacy left me by the Salesians of Don Bosco is my enduring love for Benediction. We prayed at Benediction every Sunday night for 7 weeks each summer - all 4 years. To this day I love it, and sadly that veneration has fallen to the wayside. I think in many ways that I continued to yearn for it during my 31 years in the wilderness.

Then again, I think that if Vatican II had not been distorted and misapplied I might not have left, much less stayed out as long as I did.

Any way, Father, I am so grateful for my 4 years with the men of your order, and when I encountered your blog (I am so on Fire for the Lord, and His Holy Spirit that I visit a lot of Catholic blogs) I felt a rush of excitement that I also felt when I met some Italian Salesians here in Baltimore last year (they barely understood me when I tried to explain my history with the Salesians).

I thought you might find this of interest since I read how your were provincial on the East coast for a while, and you would have at least a small vested interest in a first-hand report that no harm - and much good work - was done by the holy men of your order on my behalf. I was safe with them, and in that they did not betray the trust of Our Lord and His admonition not to lead astray the children.

Thanks for reading this; I know it was a lot.

If you'd like to respond my e-mail address is

Phil Steinacker