August 29, 2014

Letters to the Editor

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Columnist’s piece, statistics share challenges of black community

A recent piece by noted Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson initially focused on the tragic shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo.

However, Robinson’s thoughtful and non-accusatory reflections on this death of a young black man by a white police officer then led to his observation regarding a same-day shooting death elsewhere of an innocent black 3-year-old girl by a gun-happy black man with a long criminal record.

Robinson went on to correctly note that “black-on-black violence is too often ignored—and continues to claim victims at a rate that our society should consider outrageous and unacceptable.” He stated that in 2012, black-on-black killings (some 2,412) were almost as great numerically as white-on-white killings—a hugely disproportionate death toll, percentage wise.

I would like to add to Robinson’s comments the haunting observation that an even greater example of black-on-black violence is the killing of black babies in the womb in the nation’s abortion mills. Percentage wise, the abortion mills—notably Planned Parenthood—eliminate far more black babies than white babies.

Margaret Sanger, a Planned Parenthood founder, clearly intended that Planned Parenthood would be the vehicle to dramatically reduce the black population via birth control and abortion. Unfortunately, Sanger’s hopes are slowly being realized.

According to the National Black Catholic Congress, 35 percent—or 420,000—of the 1.2 million babies aborted annually in the U.S. are black. This number dwarfs the reported number of blacks killed in street violence by black offenders in 2012.

- David A. Nealy | Greenwood
 

Father Tad’s column raises questions about procreation, gift of children

The Aug. 22 “Making Sense of Bioethics” column, “Is artificial insemination wrong even among married couples?” by Father Tad Pacholczyk is troubling. Father Pacholczyk seems so caught up in every minute physical detail that he leaves out the most Christ-centered life giving value of all, which is love.

His focus on the physical details without love is what objectifies the situation. The conjugal act, which also involves details, can be very destructive and objectifying without love.

Father Pacholczyk states that artificial insemination “would invariably involve a substitution or replacement of the conjugal act, which would not be morally acceptable.” As simply an action, that would be true, but as an act of love to bring life into the world is something all together different.

A married couple I know very well has two young adult sons produced via artificial insemination. The husband is a quadriplegic. His body produces sperm, but he is not physically able to fully engage in the conjugal act. Sperm was extracted from his body by way of electrodes, and artificial insemination produced two wonderful human beings who have brought joy to this couple and more goodness to the world.

While this process involved “substitution or replacement of the conjugal act, which [according to Father Pacholczyk] would not be morally acceptable,” it strengthened the bond of marriage, and was consistent with Jesus’ commandment to love one another.

Father Pacholczyk’s attempt at “Making Sense of Bioethics” did not make sense. The beauty of the “marital embrace” extends beyond a specific act of sex. God’s gift of life is greater than the acts that Father Pacholczyk identifies.

The use of a medical procedure to help produce human beings who are children of God—every bit as much as those who were produced by the “beauty of the marital embrace” that Father Pacholczyk describes—is not morally unacceptable. It is life-giving and filled with love.

- Alan Mytty | Indianapolis
 

Couples using artificial insemination should not be stereotyped, reader says

I must take exception to Father Tad Pacholczyk’s column in the Aug. 22 edition (“Is artificial insemination wrong even among married couples?”).

I would suspect that the majority of married couples seeking such a procedure would not fall into his stereotypes. I doubt that the wife is being treated as an “object” of any kind, let alone for “the pursuit of ulterior ends.”

I also doubt that the procedure is in any way substituting or “replacing the conjugal act,” nor is it in any way making the wife a “biological laboratory.” It is often a desperate attempt after years of “shared bodily intimacy” to fulfill a desire to have a family as God ordained a marriage to be.

My wife and I almost resorted to that procedure ourselves after 10 years of attempting to have a baby, so I know how hard the decision is.

We were blessed to conceive when we had effectively given up, and now have a beautiful 25-year-old daughter.

The “beauty of the marital embrace” can certainly continue after the procedure for it in no way takes the place of it.

I believe Father Tad is missing the point.

- Dick Sturniolo | Danville
 

(Editor’s note: The Catechism of the Catholic Church, in addition to explaining the reasons behind the Church’s teachings on this sensitive issue, encourages research “aimed at reducing human sterility” through moral means (#2375), a task taken up effectively by the Pope Paul VI Institute in Omaha, Neb. The catechism also reflects on the spiritual meaning of infertility: “The Gospel shows that physical sterility is not an absolute evil. Spouses who still suffer from infertility after exhausting legitimate medical procedures should unite themselves with the Lord’s Cross, the source of all spiritual fecundity. They can give expression to their generosity by adopting abandoned children or performing demanding services for others” (#2379).)

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