February 1, 2013

Letters to the Editor

Submit a letter to the editor electronically | For our letter writing policy, click here

Father Pacholczyk’s bioethics column raises questions from Criterion reader

I am writing because I am frustrated by the continuous half-truths written by Father Tad Pacholczyk and published in The Criterion.

I am deeply troubled that a man who serves “in persona Christi”struggles with telling the truth regarding matters of bioethics. I am a firm believer that if people are presented with the “whole” truth of a matter, they frequently come to the right decision.

The Church must be an advocate for the truth, indeed a beacon of truth, in this world filled with propaganda, marketing spin, and half-baked opinion, especially in matters of bioethics.

In his recent column, “The pill as health care?”, Father Pacholczyk subjected his readers to yet another series of half-truths meant, I can only assume, to scare women and couples from using the contraceptive pill.

In his article, he stated that the Pill is detrimental to women’s health in light of its heightened and well-documented risk of breast cancer, stroke and myocardial infraction (heart attack), among other things.

What Father Pacholczyk failed to tell his readers is that these risks are almost exclusively for women who smoke and use the Pill, and almost negligible in women who do not smoke.

I am not suggesting there are no health risks associated with the Pill. There are, just as with any pharmaceutical therapy.

But what Father Pacholczyk failed to mention is that there are also well-documented health benefits to the pill.

Women who take the Pill have a reduced risk for developing ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer and colorectal cancer. Women who suffer from endometriosis and PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) also benefit from taking the Pill.

Thus, if Father Pacholczyk’s bioethics column was designed to discuss the Pill as “health care”—his words, not mine—then he is obligated to present both the risks and the benefits of that health care.

I am not advocating use of the Pill. I understand well the Church’s theological argument against it, and its position that the use of any form of artificial contraception is immoral. What I am reacting to is the continued efforts of this priest to manipulate his readers.

If the Church’s position on this issue is the right position to hold, then no manipulation should be necessary. The truth should be able to stand on its own.

I find Father Pacholczyk’s tactics highly distasteful, not to mention ironic, given that he is supposed to be writing on the topic of bioethics.

- Diane Stothard | Ph.D., Molecular Genetics, M.A., Theology Indianapolis

Local site Links:

Like this story? Then share it!