Marlowe's Shade

Friday, June 03, 2005

Catholic University Professors Back Euthanasia

In the fight for Terri Schiavo, the grassroots advocacy of pro-life Catholics was invaluable. Catholic clergy like Fr Pavone were the model for those who would stand in the gap for the disabled and terminally ill who are being targeted by the Culture of Death. So it's heartbreaking to see how the Catholic Church is now paying the price for allowing it's seminaries to be liberalized and it's universities to go the way of the rest of academia. In fact, like Catholic school kids on a spree, they seem determined to out-do their secular peers, as this report shows.

A special research report from the Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) published in the June issue of Crisis magazine documents the activities of 15 professors at leading Catholic universities who have publicly rejected Vatican teaching on euthanasia and assisted suicide. Several actively paved the way to Terri Schiavo's death by starvation, and others serve on the boards of national pro-assisted suicide lobbies.

"The danger is obvious: If the Church is going to face up to a growing movement for euthanasia and assisted suicide in the United States, Catholic universities must help in that important battle," writes CNS president Patrick J. Reilly in Crisis. "Harboring the enemy and training new spokesmen for the culture of death is not the way to do it."

This fifth column in the Catholic Church seriously undermines the Church's pro-life advocacy.

Professors identified in the report include:

· Charles Baron of the Boston College Law School, who has testified before Congress and Britain's House of Lords on legalizing physician-assisted suicide and serves on the board of directors of the Death With Dignity National Center.

· Carol Bayley, adjunct professor of nursing at the University of San Francisco and vice president of a large Catholic healthcare system in the western U.S., who signed a brief in the Schiavo case rejecting Vatican teaching soon after announcing that Catholic Healthcare West would "take the Pope's statements very seriously."

· Tom Beauchamp, senior research scholar at Georgetown University's Kennedy Institute of Ethics, who serves on the board of directors of the Compassion in Dying Federation.

· Maxwell Gregg Bloche of the Georgetown University Law Center, who signed an amicus court brief arguing that doctors' actions protected by Oregon's assisted-suicide law constitute "sound and ethical medical practices."

· Robert Free of the Seattle University Law School, who has signed court briefs arguing for assisted suicide and has served as an adviser to Compassion in Dying of Washington.

· Howard Freed of the Georgetown University School of Medicine, who signed a court brief arguing that former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft's attempts to interfere with Oregon's assisted-suicide law diminished "physicians' ability to care for terminally ill patients nationwide."

· Lawrence Gostin of the Georgetown University Law Center, who has served as the health law and ethics editor of the influential Journal of the American Medical Association and on the executive committee of the ACLU board of directors, has signed court briefs supporting legalized assisted suicide in Oregon.

· Milton Heifetz of the Boston College Law School, whose book The Right to Die advocates legalizing assisted suicide and even entertains the possibility of euthanasia for severely retarded people and newborns with severe medical problems.

· Marquette University theology professor and former Jesuit priest Daniel Maguire, who has accused Pope John Paul II and Vatican officials of a "fetishism of life signs," using any sign of life as a justification for delaying death.

· Rev. Richard McBrien, theology professor at the University of Notre Dame, who proclaimed to Bill O'Reilly of FOX News that the removal of Schiavo's feeding tube was "the removal of an extraordinary means of sustaining life," publicly contradicting Vatican teaching and presenting his own view as the Church's teaching.

· Curtis Naser, philosophy professor at Fairfield University, who is touted by Fairfield as an expert in biomedical ethics and "end of life decisions" despite his opposition to New York and Washington state bans on physician-assisted suicide.

· Attorney Lawrence Nelson, who despite his unsuccessful court battle in California to euthanize a disabled but not vegetative man and his writings arguing for embryonic stem cell research, is a scholar at Santa Clara University's Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and even has received a grant from the university "to explore the place of philosophical ethics in Jesuit higher education and mission."

· Rev. Kevin O'Rourke, O.P., ethics professor at the Loyola University of Chicago Medical School, who said it was "blasphemy" to keep people like Schiavo alive "as if you were doing them a favor." O'Rourke drafted a statement critical of Vatican teaching on euthanasia that was circulated at a Catholic Health Association meeting in March.

· Rev. John Paris, S.J., bioethics and theology professor at Boston College, who ridiculed Terri Schiavo's family for their ties to "the radical, antiabortion, right-to-life Christian right" and dismissed the Pope's statements on feeding tubes as "mischief-making at the Vatican."

· James Walter, chairman of the Bioethics Institute at Loyola Marymount University, did not personally evaluate Schiavo yet insisted that "any chance of self-awareness is not going to happen" and expressed certainty that Schiavo would not suffer from the removal of her feeding tube.

I fear that this trend may have gone so far that there is little the Church can do to correct it. I wonder if the Catholic universities haven't become such a liability that the Church should disassociate from them completely. I think it's just a matter of time before we have a Catholic version of Rev Ralph Mero.
papijoe 6:43 AM