Faith & Reason: November 2011 Archives

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In today's editorial piece, Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski personally addressed the US President Barack Obama on matters pertaining to conscience and religious freedom. Conscience is more than a policy; conscience is a basic human right given by God Himself. It is good piece for all to read --especially Catholics-- as it outlines recent history lest we forget. Wenski is right to bring to light the transgressions on conscience by this Administration. Our thanks to the Archbishop for teaching the faith. Thoughts?

In May 2009, President Obama gave the commencement address at Notre Dame University and received an honorary degree. That Notre Dame would confer an honorary degree on an elected official who advances abortion rights in contradiction to Catholic teaching caused no small controversy among many Catholics throughout the United States.

Those who supported Notre Dame felt vindicated, however, when in his speech the President promised to "honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion," stating that his Administration would provide "sensible" protections for those who wanted no involvement in the procedure. This would presumably include health-care providers, social-service providers, and consumers who might otherwise have to pay through their health-care plans for other people's abortions. Obama later reiterated this position to Catholic newspaper editors, stating that he would make such protections "robust."

On 14 November the US Catholic bishops established a permanent Subcommittee on Health Care Issues to deal with the highly contentious subject. The subcommittee will be under the supervision of the Bishops' Committee on Doctrine which is now chaired by Donald William Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, DC. Wuerl will appoint members of this new subcommittee. The bishops have followed through on their own recommendation from the June 2011 meeting to make this project a reality.

Hartford Archbishop Henry J. Mansell strongly supported the new subcommittee of the relation of health care to "the Gospel mission of the Church" and because the bishops need to have a handle on the "billions and billions of dollars in funding." Mansell also said, "We run the risk of losing a major ministry of the Church if we don't keep a close eye on health care issues." 

Cardinal Donald Wuerl will be succeeded by the Archbishop of St Paul and Minneapolis John C. Nienstedt.

The list of the bishops and consultants to the Doctrine committee is noted here.
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His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI met recently with the participants in the conference, "Adult Stem Cells: Science and the Future of Man and Culture," meeting 9-11 November, in Rome. The Pope's November 12th address can be read here where he underscores the unique opportunity to discover the beauty of human life in all its complexities through the work of science. He points out that there are possibilities for the healing of chronic degenerative illnesses. He advocates for an ethic that respects the integral good of human life and the common good of society, especially citing Dignitas Personae.

He's lending his voice to scientific research which gives the best outcome to regenerative medicine. Dr Robin L. Smith and her company, NeoStem, organized the symposium with key Vatican offices.

Listen to a Rome Reports clip on the meeting.

Here's a previous post about this meeting.
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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]



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This page is a archive of entries in the Faith & Reason category from November 2011.

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